Tommy’s Coffee Break Calendar for April 17th
4/17/1960 (58 years ago today) - He was responsible for the original versions of "Summertime Blues" (famously covered by The Who), "Twenty Flight Rock" (ditto The Rolling Stones!), "Cut Across Shorty" (props to Rod Stewart), "C'mon Everybody", "Somethin' Else" and many more important pre-Beatles rock 'n' roll singles: On this date, while on tour in England, up-and-coming rocker Eddie Cochran was killed when the taxi he was riding in crashed into a lamp post on Rowden Hill, Wiltshire (there is now a plaque there commemorating the event). Surviving the accident were fellow rocker Gene Vincent and songwriter Sharon Sheeley; ominously, Eddie's current British hit at the time was "Three Steps To Heaven" -- The taxi driver was convicted of dangerous driving, prohibited from operating any automobiles for the next 15 years, and he was also sent to prison for six months.
4/17/1983 (35 years ago today) - He was probably most famous for producing Cream's studio albums: In a tragic fit of jealous rage, Felix Pappalardi (bassist and songwriter for the legendary Brit psychedelic/prog-rock band Mountain) was shot dead by his wife and songwriting partner Gail Collins -- She was convicted of "criminally negligent homicide" and sentenced to four(!) years in prison. Pappalardi, best remembered for his superb studio stewardship on the classic "Disraeli Gears" and "Wheels Of Fire" albums, was only 43 when he died.
4/17/2008 (10 years ago today) - He had been with Bruce Springsteen longer than any other member of The E Street Band: Keyboardist Danny Federici died of cancer at age 58 -- For a little over forty of those years, Danny shared the stage and studio with The Boss, as far back as Bruce's high school outfits Steel Mill and Child -- Next time you hear them, pay closer attention to the organ playing on classics like "Jungleland" and "Rosalita", you'll discover a deeper connection for the feel of just how integral Danny's contributions really were.
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"When you hear that music you can't sit still...", xoxo!