Alan Cross Greatest Moments #50-41
50. The 25th anniversary of Woodstock, in 1994.
49. Jack Irons passes a Mother Love Bone (demo?) tape to Eddie Vedder.. the beginnings of Pearl Jam.
48. Licensed to Ill by the Beastie Boys is a huge hit for the white Jewish rapper act.
47. The Sex Pistols sign to the record label A&M in front of Buckingham Palace.
46. Winter 1990: Kurt Cobain goes out for a night on the town with his good friend Kathleen Hanna of the Seattle band Bikini Kill. It involves a lot of beer, spray-painting of graffiti, and other good-natured pranks. When they get back to Kurt's house, Hanna spray-paints the words "Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit" on his bedroom wall.
At the time, Kurt liked another member of Bikini Kill. Tobi Vail wore the deodorant Teen Spirit, and Hanna's tagline meant that Kurt smelled like the deodorant because he was all over Vail. Kurt didn't get it, and instead thought it meant "Wow.. you're really cool.. you have the spirit of teen rebellion within you." (a great compliment, right?)
He didn't understand the true inspiration until after he'd written the hit song Smells Like Teen Spirit.
45. 1951: The invention of the stringed acoustic double bass guitar by the Leo Fender Guitar Company. It was light, portable, had frets to put your fingers in, and could be worn around the neck. This invention allowed for electric phat bottom-heavy bass notes in almost every song written since, except for songs by the White Stripes. ;) Through 1957 to 1960, the stand-up bass was almost entirely phased out through music.
44. The Smiths almost singlehandedly saved guitar-based pop music in the UK when they formed in 1982. By 1987, there were problems associated with drug use / personality conflicts / fights with the record label. On Aug. 18, Morrissey sent a letter to the producer stating his intent to break up the band in order to pursue a solo career.
On Sept. 12, the breakup became official. This caused as much heartbreak as the Beatles' disbanding did among music fans of that era.
43. In the 1980's, people liked goth music for its dark properties. They also noticed when Robert Smith of the Cure got rid of his unruly jet-black hair that he'd had from 1982 to 1984. There was a swift, angry reaction when he got it cut in military style.. much like the one Elvis received when he joined the Army and had to get it cut. In 1992, "The Hair" was back to stay.. Cure fans hated the non-black haircut.
42. U2 started innocuously enough, through an ad that Larry Mullen pinned to a high school bulletin board saying that he wanted to start a band. Seven people showed up in his kitchen a few days later: Dave Evans, Dick Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry himself, Paul Hewson, and two other schoolmates.
Once Paul started playing the guitar, he was banned from any type of guitar playing. (lead or support) He was only allowed to sing, and they didn't know much about other bands then. They certainly did when they got famous, though. :)
41. Shawn Fanning was taking senior-level courses at Northeastern University in Boston, yet got bored. Through friends he met on an IRC chat channel, he was introduced to MP3s. He quickly got tired of their crappy servers, lost FTP downloads, etc. Using his Uncle John's $7000 notebook computer, he created Napster and launched it on June 1, 1999. (Napster was a nickname that his friends had given him for his "nappy" haircut)
The new file-sharing system was only originally supposed to be for about 30 of his friends, yet they told lots of others about it. From a base of 30 people to thousands eventually, it had lots of appeal... the rest is history, as we all know.