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Tommy’s Coffee Break Calendar for July 21st

Cat Stevens
Early 1970’s portrait of Cat Stevens. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Today, Chuck Berry meets Hell’s Angels; the biggest selling debut in U.S. history is released; and Happy Birthday to one of the ’70’s smartest songwriters

7/21/1973 (42 years ago today) – Over in Derbyshire, England, it’s the annual Buxton Music Festival featuring Canned Heat, Chuck Berry, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and more. What’s a little different this time around? How about the Hell’s Angels arriving in full force and literally drinking the site dry! At first they paid for booze, but when the money ran out, Angel’s members went into the audience to collect “donations”. Things start getting tense during Chuck Berry‘s set, so Chuck goes all showman-and-show-biz to keep things “calm”; about 20 minutes in, Chuck then decides to show one of the Angels how to do his duck-walk properly, doing an absolutely fantastic job going from one end of the stage to the other, and ultimately disappearing into the wings. While his band plays on, the Angels bopped, and Chuck duck-walks his way to his car, driving off at high speed, never to return!!!

7/21/1987 (28 years ago today)Guns ‘N Roses debut album on Geffen Records is released, and they never match its impact again. “Appetite For Destruction” currently boasts worldwide sales of almost 30 million, 18 million-plus here in the U.S. alone, making it (hands-down) the all-time best-selling debut album ever in America. What was once kinda scary has become bona-fide classic, and whatever we think of Axl now, there’s no doubt “Appetite…” rips ‘n’ roars from start to finish! Good stuff.

7/21/1947 – Happy Birthday to Cat Stevens, 68 years old today. Changing his name to Yusaf Islam back in 1977 confused his audience beyond description; what remains quite clear, however, is the run of albums he made in the early Seventies, a fantastic triple-shot of work that still resonates — “Tea For The Tillerman” (1970), “Teaser And The Firecat” (1971), and “Catch Bull At Four” (1972) — proving his abilities as a songwriter and making him an equal to peers like Paul Simon and James Taylor. Remarkable talent, actually, and somewhat underappreciated. Those Cat Stevens albums remain powerful testaments to just what real song-craft can do for your soul. You should own at least one of ’em!

Got some feedback, etc…for the Calendar? Have at it right here on our web site and on the WBLM Facebook and Twitter pages with the hashtag #TommysCoffeeBreak.

“You know I’ve seen a lot of what the world can do/And it’s breaking my heart in two…”, xoxo.


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