Musings On Music History: In Which We Collectively Regret Vanilla Ice, Celebrate A Pepper, and Witness A Folk-Tinged Wedding

10.31: Robert Matthew Van Winkle joined us this day in 1968. Wait, what? You’ve never heard of Robert Matthew Van Winkle? Well, when we tell you the name that most of us know him by, you’ll wish we hadn’t. Still want to know? Vanilla Ice. There, we said it. Vanilla Ice. Man, we feel so dirty. The simple fact that more people know “Ice Ice Baby” than know the immaculate, incredible, indelible Queen and David Bowie collaboration of “Under Pressure” (from whence Ice sampled its amazing riffs and beats) makes us cringe, cry, and scream in anger, all at the same time. Ice’s thankfully short-lived chart and cultural popularity will forever be one of those things (like “Disco Duck” and Ashley Simpson and ’80s hairstyles) that everyone collectively looks back on and hates themselves for having taken part in, if only by way of knowing what and who they are.

11.01: On this day in 1962, F.I.S.T. star and Red Hot Chili Peppers singer, Anthony Kiedis, was born. Though the Chili Peppers have been around since the mid-’80s, they didn’t really show up on the “mainstream” radar until their Mother’s Milk album in 1989, with its killer, funky, heavy cover of Stevie Wonder’sHigher Ground.” The next album, however, is the one that launched them into superstardom, when they released Blood Sugar Sex Magik in 1991. Selling more than 13 million copies, this album melded their signature sound with a collection of vivid and memorable videos for the funky “Give It Away,” the ethereal “Under The Bridge,” and the bawdy, euphamistic “Suck My Kiss.” Mr. Kiedis’ hybrid of singing and rapping heralded the emergence an entirely new subgenre within rock, built from funk, hip-hop, and hard rock, for better and worse. From this new sound emerged both the greatness of Rage Against The Machine and the dregs of the Kottonmouth Kings. A two-edged sword, indeed, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy birthday, Mr. Kiedis! [more]

11.02: On this day in 2006, Kanye West wasn’t happy about losing the Best Video Award at the MTV Europe Music Awards and ran on stage to voice his displeasure with his perceived snub. Justice vs. Simian watched in horror as they waited to accept.

11.03: James Taylor and Carly Simon tied the knot on this day in 1972. Eventually, Simon became unhappy with Taylor’s grueling tour schedule and asked him to choose between the road and his family. He chose the road (and drugs). The couple divorced in 1983.

11.04: On this day in 1970, the art of 80’s pop sampling found their leader. Sean John Combs, aka Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, Puffy, etc., was born. We like to call him “PuhDiddy”, but that’s just us and we’d never say it to his face. We’re not even sure what he goes by these days. Remember when Ol’ Dirty Bastard used to change his name? We think Diddy should crib one of those laid-to-rest names. Instead of Big Baby Jesus (our favorite ODB nickname), Diddy could be Big Baby Diddy. Or instead of Dirt McGirt (our second favorite ODB nickname), Diddy could be Dirt McDiddy. Man, we could play this game all day, but we have work to do. What new Diddy names can you come up with?


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