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Good morning ladies and gents! Hope you’re enjoying the perils of Black Friday after a long awaited and self-induced turkey coma. Time to get truly geared up for the holiday season, and to start it all off here’s your weekly fix of TGI music history Friday!
Today in music history back in 1976, Jerry Lee Lewis, just ten hours after being previously arrested for drunk driving, was being arrested yet again outside the gates of Graceland. He showed up for a second time that night wielding a pistol and shouting that he demanded to see The King. Reportedly he told security that he was there to kill The King. This was certainly not Lewis’s first brush with the law or downright questionable decisions. He married his thirteen year old cousin before he was legally divorced for the second time and radio stations refused to play his music condemning him as a pervert while he continued to live a life of drinking heavily and doing drugs. Lewis also accidently shot his bass player in the chest, thank goodness he miraculously recovered. He also totaled his Rolls Royce, walking away from the accident with barely any injuries. He was married about six times, divorced four times and widowed twice, both times under slightly suspicious conditions. He was also the first performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was known for his raucous performances, during which he would kick away his piano stool, playing on his feet and dance suggestively towards the audience. Goodness gracious, great balls of fire, indeed.
Also on this day in 2002, the late George Harrison’s final album, Brainwashed, was released a year after his death. Harrison began working on the album with a release date set as early as 1988. He worked on the album sporadically over the next decade and a half. After he was attacked in his home by Michael Abram in December of 1999, Harrison worked on the album more intensely. In 2001 he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous growth from his lungs as well as radiotherapy to treat the cancer that had spread to his brain when he realized his condition was irreversible. Harrison’s final work was done on the album in Switzerland before his return to the states for what would be the last of his cancer treatment before his death on November 29, 2001. He left a guide to finishing the remainder of the album for its release with his son and his collaborator, Jeff Lynne.
Celebrating his 58th birthday today is singer-songwriter, accordion and piano player Bruce Hornsby. He studied at the Berklee College of Music and collaborated as a member of the Grateful Dead as a member of the band from 1990 to 1992.