On This Day, July 21

Posted on 21st Jul 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

You’ve all seen the stereotypical Hollywood ‘quick-draw’ street gunfights?  Well they are based in fact and the first one happened on this day in 1865, in the market square of Springfield, Missouri.  Wild Bill Hickok got the Gold Medal and a gambler called Davis Tutt took out the Silver and the less-precious metal, lead, simultaneously.  Springfield is the birthplace of Route 66 and If you get to visit are two small brass plaques inlaid into the pavement on Park Central Square to mark the locations of both Hickok and Tutt during the famous shootout.  And, on this day eight years later, Jesse James and his gang pulled off the first successful train robbery in the ol’ wild west.

Those born on this day… Steven Georgiou aka Cat Stevens aka Yusuf Islam aka Yusuf in 1947.  He has been in Melbourne recently for the world premiere of his musical, Moonshadow. – a lovely, lovely man from all accounts and the best concert I have been to.  It would have been early 1972 – he had a delightful banter with the audience played all the hits from Matthew & Son, Mona Bone Jakon, Tea for the Tilleman and Teaser & the Firecat over several hours and several encores.

The encores were in response to genuine, spontaneous affection – for the final encore he arrived on stage without a band and sat at the grand piano… he said that he had run out of songs he could perform with his band and announced that he was putting a new album together and it had a working title of Catch Bull at Four.

He then started plying parts of tracks, chatting about the meaning of the songs and even asking advice… “Well I rode a while for a mile or so, down the road to the 18th Avenue, and the people I saw were the people I knew and they’d all come down to take a view… now, that’s the key I started in, but I’m now thinking more this, what do you think?  Well I rode a while for a mile or so…”  It was after 1:00am when we left the Hordern Pavilion, with him thanking us!

Wrapping up the birthdays – Robin Williams 1951, rugby league player and TV host Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin in 1959 and purple Wiggle, Jeff Fatt, on this day in 1953.  Fancy a Wiggle being older than me!  We both had pretty routine heart surgery in July 2011… I mention that only because I wonder if the doctors and nurses were poised as he emerged from anesthetic to yell, “Wake up, Jeff!”  (Sorry – and for non-Wiggles fans, Wake Up, Jeff! was one of their biggest hits with those pre-school rockers)