21 October

Pick a Day

21 OCTOBER

In Music History

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2016 Leonard Cohen releases his last album, You Want It Darker. Cohen was in poor health while the album was being made, and never went to the recording studio, relying on his son Adam to handle the sessions and integrate his tracks. Cohen dies a few weeks later age age 82.

2011 Tom Waits releases Bad as Me, his 16th studio album and his first in five years to feature entirely new material (the last being 2006's Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards).

2010 In the Five Points district of Columbia, South Carolina, a sculpture in unveiled honoring Hootie & the Blowfish, who formed when they were students at the nearby University of South Carolina.

2006 Sandy West (drummer for The Runaways) dies of lung and brain cancer at age 47.

2005 Bob Seger sings the US national anthem before the World Series game between the Detroit Tigers and the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.

2004 Bo Diddley postpones a concert in California to have a toe amputated due to complications from diabetes.

2003 Barenaked Ladies release their sixth studio album, Everything To Everyone.

2003 Elliott Smith, known for his song "Miss Misery" (featured in Good Will Hunting, where it earned an Oscar nomination) dies of self-inflicted stab wounds to the chest at age 34 in Los Angeles, California. Smith battled depression and addiction most of his life.

2003 David Gest, recent ex-husband of Liza Minnelli, sues the singer for $10 million, alleging physical and emotional cruelty.

2002 For the second year running, Radiohead is honored as "best act in the world today" at the Annual Q Awards, held in London.

1999 George Martin, who produced most of the Beatles albums, lends his reputation and four decades of music business experience to a start-up Internet company catering to unsigned bands. Martin announces that he will serve as chairman of the advisory board for Garageband.com.

1999 Dishwalla appear on Charmed in the episode "The Devil's Music," where their manager delivers girls who will "do anything to meet the band" to a devil. Alyssa Milano, posing as a groupie, vanquishes the demon.

1994 Neil Diamond publicly announces his divorce from his second wife, Marcia Murphey, whom he has been with since 1969.

1992 Elvis' first grandson, Benjamin Storm, is born to Lisa Marie Presley and Danny Keough.

1978 Neil Young releases Comes a Time, his 9th studio album. Featuring "Lotta Love," it's certified Gold a little over a month later.

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Madonna Reveals All (Literally) In $50 Book

1992

Madonna's book Sex is released. Everything about it is shocking: the $50 price, the Mylar wrapping, the metal covers, and especially the images inside.


Steven Meisel's photos show the singer naked in various erotic scenes, and a few celebrities show up as well, including Isabella Rossellini, Naomi Campbell and Vanilla Ice. "Everything you are about to see and read is a fantasy, a dream, pretend," Madonna writes in the introduction. Sex is not a new topic for Madonna: This is the same girl who cooed about being "touched for the very first time" in "Like A Virgin" and writhed in ecstasy across the stage at the VMAs. The one who was fired by Pepsi and condemned by the Vatican for kissing a black priest and dancing in front of burning crosses in "Like A Prayer." The one banned from MTV for her racy "Justify My Love" video. All mere flirtation before getting down to the dirty deed that is Sex. The book is a cavalcade of carnal adventures led by our mistress of ceremonies, Dita Parlo (named for the German actress of the 1930s), the singer's alter ego who wears little more than a good tooth adorned wit a 'D.' Within the book's steamy pages, Dita tells titillating tales of her sexual fantasies with visual accompaniment ranging from explicit body piercings to S&M play. Aside from boyfriend Vanilla Ice, actress Isabella Rossellini joins the singer for a skinny dip in a pool, while model Naomi Campbell and rapper Big Daddy Kane appear for various nude romps. The book is sealed in a Mylar bag to shield its shocking content from prying eyes and to simulate opening a condom wrapper. Critics slam Madonna for going too far in the name of shock value, with some claiming the collection is childish rather than revolutionary. "I don't have the same hang-ups that other people do, and that's the point I'm trying to make with this book," Madonna defends the work to Vanity Fair. "I don't think that sex is bad. I don't think that nudity is bad. I don't think that being in touch with your sexuality and being able to talk about it and being able to talk about this person and their sexuality [is bad]. I think the problem is that everybody's so uptight about it that they make it into something bad when it isn't, and if people could talk about it freely, we would have people practicing more safe sex, we wouldn't have people sexually abusing each other, because they wouldn't be so uptight to say what they really want, what they really feel." Erotica, Madonna's latest album, serves as a musical companion to Sex, with Mistress Dita opening the title track with a growling promise to "put you in a trance." The single's music video pulls back the curtain on the book's nude photo sessions, with Madonna lounging topless on a man's lap and cruising naked on a motorcycle. It's quickly banned by MTV, but as always, controversy works in Madonna's favor. The album peaks at #2 and Sex becomes the fastest-selling coffee table book of all time with over 1.5 million copies sold worldwide.

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