4 September

Pick a Day

4 SEPTEMBER

In Music History

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2014 All is well in Seattle as the Super Bowl champion Seahawks play the first game of the season, with local band Soundgarden performing during the pregame.

2009 The-Dream and Christina Milian elope in Las Vegas; they separate three months later, though the split is not made public until July 2010.

2007 The Bob Dylan "biographical" movie, I'm Not There: Suppositions On A Film Concerning Dylan, premieres at the Venice (Italy) Film Festival.

1991 Country singer Dottie West, 58, dies five days after getting in a car accident on her way to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.

1986 Gregg Allman is arrested in Belleview, Florida, when a police officer sees his 1985 Trans Am weaving on Route 441. He blows a .27 (legal limit: .10) and is charged with drunken driving and driving with an expired license. Allman is sentenced to five days in jail and ordered to do community service, which he serves by playing a drug-and-alcohol-free graduation party for area high schools. He does his time in January 1987, a month before his aptly titled solo album I'm No Angel is released.

1980 Pop singer Dan Miller (of O-Town) is born in Laconia, New Hampshire.

1972 John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear on Jerry Lewis' muscular dystrophy telethon.

1971 At a Bruce Springsteen show at the Student Prince in Asbury Park, New Jersey, the E Street Band comes together when sax player Clarence Clemons joins the band on stage for the first time, a story recounted in the song "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out."

1970 The Rolling Stones release Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!

1969 The Youngbloods, a rare rock band scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, are scratched. Carson says it's because they were being disrespectful; the band says they were slated to play two songs: a new one and their hit "Get Together," but when the show went long, the producers nixed the new song, so they walked.

1968 The Beatles play to a live audience for the first time in two years when they record promotional films for "Hey Jude" and "Revolution" at Twickenham Studios in front of an audience of about 100. It goes so well, they decide to make a documentary, which becomes Let It Be.

1965 While The Who shop for a guard dog, their van and $10,000 worth of equipment is stolen.

1964 The Animals play America for the first time with a show at New York's Paramount Theatre.

1960 Kim Thayil (lead guitarist for Soundgarden) is born in Seattle, Washington. He would be raised near Chicago in Park Forest, Illinois.

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Fiona Apple Puts MTV On Blast At VMAs

1997

Accepting the award for Best New Artist, 19-year-old Fiona Apple rages against the machine, saying: "This world is bulls--t. And you shouldn't model your life about what you think we think is cool, what we're wearing, and what we're saying."

Apple is far more influenced by Maya Angelou than Madonna, and has a healthy disdain for celebrity fetish. She never wanted to be famous: Her music was just for her own personal expression until she realized she would need to find a career after high school. When she was 17, one of the few copies of her demo tape found its way to a Sony Music executive named Andy Slater, who signed her and produced her debut album, Tidal, released in June 1996 when Fiona was 18. Apple and MTV are an uneasy fit. She's in the demographic, but her music is much more mature than her age. She does, though, convey a wash of pathos in her songs that certain teenagers can relate to. "Shadowboxer," her first single, is a jazz-influenced song with a demure black-and-white video. It's a better fit for VH1, and got very light airplay on MTV. Apple slowly built a following at the beginning of 1997 and got a lot of exposure that summer on the Lilith Fair, where she was one of the headliners. Her MTV breakthrough was her "Criminal" video, which showed her in various states of undress in some kind of basement surrounded by lethargic young people mostly seen from the neck down. It was also her first hit. At the VMAs, Apple is nominated for Best New Artist In A Video for "Sleep To Dream," where she plays a true-to-life moody insomniac. The heavy favorite in Hanson, whose "MMMbop" was inescapable for most of the summer. But instead of going with the perky preteen pop stars, MTV opted for the brooding teenager whose songs were musical embodiments of her most visceral feelings. A much more credible choice. In interviews to promote Tidal, it became clear that Apple will say whatever is on her mind at any given time, and her thoughts are often too complex to distill into sound bites. She's not only unfiltered, but completely dissociated from the celebrity industrial complex MTV thrives on. When Apple takes the podium to accept her award, she has a deer-in-the-headlights look and no prepared speech. After quoting Maya Angelou, she goes on a rant against the manufactured, superficial scene being celebrated at that very moment. "This world is bulls--t and you shouldn't model your life about what you think that we think is cool and what we're wearing and what we're saying and everything," she says. "Go with yourself. And it's just stupid that I'm in this world, but you're all very cool to me." Apple has a valid point: The red carpet affectations of the VMAs are not reflective of real life, and not something to aspire to. But the nuance is lost on this crowd, and in the reporting, which portrays it as a meltdown rather than a honest and extemporaneous expression of her truth. She explains on her website: "When I won, I felt like a sellout. I felt that I deserved recognition but that the recognition I was getting was for the wrong reasons. I felt that now, in the blink of an eye, all of those people who didn't give a f-k who I was, or what I thought, were now all at once just humoring, appeasing me, and not because of my talent, but instead because of the fact that somehow, with the help of my record company, and my makeup artist, my stylist and my press, I had successfully created the illusion that I was perfect and pretty and rich, and therefore living a higher quality of life. I'd saved myself from misfit status, but I'd betrayed my own kind by becoming a paper doll in order to be accepted." It's a defining moment for Apple, and one she's asked about for the rest of her life. Predictably, her diatribe against popular culture makes her much more popular. The Tidal album goes on to sell over 3 million copies, and Apple is dispatched on a headline tour. She soldiers on, but finally crashes in March 1998 when she cancels a planned spring tour. When her next album, When the Pawn..., is released in 1999, she's far more media-averse and does just a limited round of interviews and shows. As the years go on, she gets more reclusive, releasing albums at lengthier intervals: Extraordinary Machine in 2005, The Idler Wheel in 2012.

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