I didn't know I'd encountered Neil Young when I first heard "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing." It was late July 1966 and New York's WOR-FM had changed formats to playing rock music. Due to a DJ union issue, the station at first simply had songs and commercials. No DJ chatter. Good and bad. I preferred music to chatter: good. I also wanted to know the names of songs I'd never heard before: bad. And who was this guy Clancy I kept hearing about?
Hey who's that stomping all over my face?Where's that silhouette I'm trying to trace? Who's putting sponge in the bells I once rung? And taking my gypsy before she's begun?
What I'd later discovered was the Buffalo Springfield and by extension, Neil Percival Young.
I didn't know who this Buffalo Springfield was, but I like them and all their three of their albums. I was also disappointed when they broke up. By then I knew the names of its members and was delighted to find out that Neil Young had released a solo album
To this day, Neil himself is not happy with the album's production. The explanation I'd heard was that he did not like his singing voice and deliberately had it buried in the mix. Later, when he became successful, the tracks were remixed with his voice more prominent.It made no difference to me. I loved the album despite it lyrical density. Unlike Dylan, I could understand the lyrics, but like Dylan they I could not translate them.But the music went inside me and reached great places. He has continued to do so for another 48 years and counting. His solo work, now stands at 50 releases and growing, compares to anyone.
Long May You Run
Anyone would have a pretty good argument if they said that the Neil Young was the most important musician to come out of the 1960's counter-culture. Of course there is Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan's immeasurable contributions and his continued influence. but overall, Neil Young has stayed closer to the roots of those 60s, while Dylan's musical journey has taken him many more places. It's not a competition.Truly, Neil, Long May You Run!
November 12, 1775: General Washington, owner of more than 300 slaves, issued an order which forbade recruiting officers to enlist blacks. (see July 2, 1777)
November 12, 1976: a race revolt erupted at Reidsville State Prison, now known as Georgia State Prison, in Reidsville, Georgia. Just a few years prior, a federal judge had ordered the prison to desegregate inmate living quarters. According to newspaper reports at the time, the riot began when 50-75 white prisoners armed with shanks attacked a group of black prisoners; in the end, 47 prisoners were injured and five were killed. Prison officials blamed the incident on an argument between homosexual inmates.In 1968, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Georgia state law requiring racial separation of prisoners at Reidsville (where 60-65% of prisoners were black). However, after an initial attempt at integration, the prison had repeatedly reverted to segregation in supposed efforts to cool racial tensions. At the time, ACLU of Georgia Director Gene Guerrero remarked, “It's the worst sort of cop-out – to lay the problems at Reidsville on integration.”Following the November 1976 riot and several other incidents of deadly violence, U.S. District Judge Anthony Aliamo issued an order on July 3, 1978, to re-segregate dormitories at Reidsville for a period of 60 days. The common areas, such as the mess hall and recreation yard, were to remain integrated. When another deadly racial attack occurred in August 1978, the state successfully sought an extension of the re-segregation order, resulting in eight months of segregated dorms. At the time, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Offender Rehabilitation said that he thought the prison would have a “hard time going back” to integrated dormitories. (BH, see Nov 25; RR, see May 17, 1980)
BLACK & SHOT
November 12, 2016: the judge in the Samuel DuBose case (see July 19, 2015) declared a mistrial after the jury became deadlocked. (B & S, see January 24, 2017; DuBose, see July 18, 2017)
November 12, 1954: Ellis Island closed after processing more than 20 million immigrants since opening in New York Harbor in 1892. (NYT article) (see June 17, 1958)
November 12 Music et al
November 12, 1966: deejay Jimmy O'Neill was the host of Shindig! He opened a nightclub called Pandora's Box on the Sunset Strip. This led to massive throngs of teens and traffic on the strip, and Los Angeles city enacted a series of loitering and curfew laws targeting teenagers. Young people gathered at Pandora's Box to defy the 10pm curfew. The riots kept growing, and the panicked L.A. City Council quickly moved to condemn and demolish Pandora's Box, which they ultimately did in 1967. The incident inspired a number of songs in 1967 and see Sunset Riots:
“For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield
“Plastic People” by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
“Daily Nightly” by The Monkees
“Riot on Sunset Strip” by The Standells
Poor Side of Town
November 12 – 18, 1966: “Poor Side of Town” by Johnny Rivers #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
November 12, 1966 – February 10, 1967: The Monkees’ The Monkees the Billboard #1 album.
Religion & Public Education
November 12, 1968: in Epperson v. Arkansas, the US Supreme Court struck down an Arkansas state law that prohibited the teaching of Darwinian evolution. The Court argued that the First Amendment required government neutrality on questions of religion and overturned the Arkansas State Supreme Court, which had ruled that the state's law represented a legitimate exercise of its authority to determine school curriculum.Justice Fortas wrote, "The State's undoubted right to prescribe the curriculum for its public schools does not carry with it the right to prohibit, on pain of criminal penalty, the teaching of a scientific theory or doctrine where that prohibition is based upon reasons that violate the First Amendment." The two other members of the Court concurred in the result, writing that it violated either the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment (because it was unconstitutionally vague) or the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment. (FS, see April 4, 1969; R & PE, see June 28, 1971)
Feminism/US Labor History
November 12, 1973: in the case of Laffey v. Northwest, decided on this day, stewardesses employed by Northwest Airlines won a sweeping ruling regarding sex discrimination over issues related to unequal pay, the lack of promotions, unequal benefits compared to male employees, and weight monitoring for stewardesses. The job of stewardess was a separate all-female job category, and women were forced to retire in their early 30s, not allowed to be married, and subject to monitoring of their weight. (Feminism, see January 21, 1974; Labor, see March 24, 1974)
Church of England
November 12, 1981: The Church of England General Synod votes to admit women to holy orders. (see Feminism June 30, 1982)
November 12 Peace Love Activism
Iran hostage crisis
November 12, 1979: in response to the hostage situation in Tehran, U.S. President Jimmy Carter orders a halt to all oil imports into the United States from Iran. (see Nov 14)
November 12, 1988: President Reagan signed legislation that granted Calvin full disability benefits, increased his back pay to $4917, and allowed $18,000 for past medical bills, contingent on receipts for the medical services. By this time, some of the doctors who treated him had died and many medical bills were lost. Calvin received only $2,100 of the possible $18,000. (Calvin Graham for full story)
César E. Chávez
November 12, 1990: Mexican President Salinas de Gortari awarded Chávez the Aguila Azteca, the highest Mexican civilian award. (see April 23, 1993)
Terrorism, World Trade Center
November 12, 1997: Ramzi Yousef was found guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. (NYT article) (see January 8, 1998)
AIDS, Ricky Ray
November 12, 1998: the U.S. Congress enacts the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act, honoring the Florida teenager who was infected with HIV through contaminated blood products. The Act authorized payments to individuals with hemophilia and other blood clotting disorders who were infected with HIV by unscreened blood-clotting agents between 1982 and 1987. (Federal site info) (see April 30, 2000)
November 12, 2008, LGBT: same-sex marriages begin to be officially performed in Connecticut. (NYT article) (see Jan 1, 2009)
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
November 12, 2010: The US Supreme Court refused to intervene on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy while it was on appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. (NYT article) (see Nov 30)
Banning Marriage Equality
November 12, 2014: U.S. District Judge Richard Mark Gergel ruled against South Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. In Condon v. Haley, Lambda Legal and private attorneys sued the state on behalf of same-sex couples who argued that South Carolina’s ban on marriage equality violated the U.S. Constitution. In his ruling, Judge Gergel cited the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Bostic v. Shaeffer, in which the federal appeals court struck down Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The Fourth Circuit ruling in Bostic was binding precedent on South Carolina. (NYT article) (LGBTQ, see Nov 19; South Carolina, see Nov 20)
November 12, 2013: a University of Utah neurologist and two other Utah doctors announced their support for allowing a medical use of a marijuana extract for children who suffer from seizures. In a letter sent to the state Controlled Substances Advisory Committee on Tuesday, pediatric neurologist Dr. Francis Filloux said the liquid form of medical marijuana is a promising option for children with epilepsy. (see Dec 10)
Fair Housing& Consumer Protection
November 12, 2015: a proposed federal rule announced on this date would prohibit smoking in public housing homes nationwide under, a move that would affect nearly one million households and open the latest front in the long-running campaign to curb unwanted exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.The ban, by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, would also require that common areas and administrative offices on public housing property be smoke-free. (FH, see January 20, 2017; CP, see May 5, 2016)
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November 12, 1966: deejay Jimmy O’Neill was host of the popular teen music show Shindig!, He opened a nightclub called Pandora’s Box on the Sunset Strip. This led to massive throngs of teens and traffic on the strip, and Los Angeles city enacted a series of loitering and curfew laws targeting teenagers. Young people gathered at Pandora’s Box to defy the 10 pm curfew. The riots kept growing, and the panicked L.A. City Council quickly moved to condemn and demolish Pandora’s Box, which they ultimately did in 1967. (click >>> NYT article re sunset strip)
There’s something happening here What it is ain’t exactly clear There’s a man with a gun over there Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong Young people speaking their minds Getting so much resistance from behind
Frank Zappa and
the Mothers of Invention
“i hear the sound of marching feet… Down sunset boulevard to crescent heights …and there…at pandora’s box… We are confronted with…a vast Quantity of…plastic people…” Take a day and walk around Watch the nazi’s run your town Then go home and check yourself You think we’re singing ’bout someone else”
Darkened, rolling figures move through prisms of no color Hand-in-hand, they walk the night But never know each other Passioned pastel neon lights light up the jeweled traveler Who, lost in scenes of smoke-filled dreams Find questions, but no answers
Riot on Sunset Strip
I’m going down to the strip tonight I’m not on a stay home trip tonight Long hair seems to be the main attraction
But the heat is causin’ all the action
Bright lights everywhere Pretty girls with long blond hair But somehow the people they don’t care. It just doesn’t seem fair
Also on this date:
November 12 – 18, 1966: “Poor Side of Town” by Johnny Rivers #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
November 12, 1966 – February 10, 1967: The Monkees’ The Monkees the Billboard #1 album. Here we come!
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