Unc's Daily Update Archives - 11 Orange 400x100px

December 16 - 31, 2015


These are the scripts Joe Benson used on the air at 100.3 The Sound (KSWD) in Los Angeles. They all received final editing by Jan Benson, without whom the task would have been far too daunting. Remember to give credit where credit is due, and enjoy!


December 16, 2015


UncUpdate B-day Graphic

Guitarist Tony Hicks of The Hollies is 70.
ABBA's Benny Andersson is 69.
Singer/guitarist Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top is 66.

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On this day in 1966, the Jimi Hendrix Experience released their first single, "Hey Joe," in England.

On this day in 1972, Yes' "And You And I (Part II)" peaked at #42 as Paul McCartney's "Hi, Hi, Hi" entered the singles charts on its way to #10 and the Doobie Brothers' cover of "Jesus Is Just Alright" began its climb to #35.

On this day in 1984, ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill was accidentally shot in the stomach when a gun he carried in his boot went off as his girlfriend helped him remove his footwear. He recovered after surgery.

On this day in 1989, Bon Jovi's "Living In Sin" peaked at #9 on the singles chart.

2015 Off The Record w/uncJoe 288x63px logo

This Sunday night at 8pm on 100.3 The Sound of Los Angeles, OFF THE RECORD with Joe Benson will feature a special Holiday show with rockin' Christmas music and interviews with Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Bob Seger, Brian Setzer, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Stevie Nicks, Styx, Lynyrd Skynyrd, U2, former Eagle Don Felder, John Lennon and Bob Geldof. Check out this preview!

The Uncle Joe Show Menu

Hump Day 12/16/15


10 At 10: Laughter
Uncle Joe's Lunch Box (with Supercross tix!): 12:30pm
The Story - Tom Schulz/Boston: 1:30pm
Laughter At 45 After - Maz Jobrani: 4:45pm & 6:45pm
Laughter At 45 After - Late Night Round Up: 5:45pm


UncUpdate Music News Graphic

Sing Like Dylan

Do you think you could sing "Like A Rolling Stone" just like Bob Dylan? You need the new "Singing Session" feature on the Studio A Revisited microsite promoting the release of Dylan's newest box set, "The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12." You're scored after you sing along to a backing track, and given a score ranking your singing ability, taking into account pitch and timing. If you did well, you can share your score via Facebook and Twitter, maybe qualifying for a bonus level — or not. There's also an interesting interactive timeline featuring snippets of songs in their unfinished form, photographs, stories, studio artifacts and sound engineer notations from various recording sessions that took place in 1965 and early '66 in the "Listening Session."

Roger's Scare

Roger Daltrey's recent battle with viral meningitis, which forced The Who to postpone its entire North American Fall tour until next Spring, was far scarier than we thought. Daltrey recalls, "I crawled into the hospital on my hands and knees. I started talking gobbledygook, I couldn't get anyone's name right and my legs went all funny. I virtually stopped working. It was touch and go there for a few days. I've never known pain like it. I know it sounds weird but an incredible peace came over me, which I can still tap into now. I guess when you face adversity you learn something and you gain something." He says, "Out of all that I came to terms with my own mortality. I was ready to go, and if I had to go I would have gone with a smile on my face. I've still got aches and pains in my legs. It feels like the bottom half of my legs don't belong to me — like to learning to walk again." The Who will next perform in London on February 13th, with American dates starting on February 27th in Detroit, then hitting Honda Center in Anaheim on May 22nd and May 25th at the Staples Center. This is a show you don't want to miss!

UncUpdate Quotes of Note Graphic

It was Alfred Hitchcock who said: "The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder."

It was Euripides who said: "Waste not fresh tears over old griefs."

It was Leonardo Da Vinci who said: "It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."

It was Robin Williams who said: "If women ruled the world we wouldn't have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days."

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15 AAMCO 144x110px logo

This Thursday, 4pm - 6pm: Join J.B. at AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care at 2030 S. Western Avenue in Hollywood for a good hang with The Sound Crew (and maybe win Clippers tix!). See you there!


December 17, 2015


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Vocalist Paul Rodgers of Free and Bad Company is 66.
R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills (born in Orange, CA!) is 57.

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On this day in 1973, Fleetwood Mac's manager, Clifford Davis, took advantage of the group's first break from touring and recording by stealing their name and sending the fake Fleetwood Mac out on tour. When Mick Fleetwood found out what was happening, he sued Davis and assumed management of the band himself.

On this day in 1977, Fleetwood Mac's "You Make Loving Fun" peaked at #9 on the charts.

On this day in 1982, The Who performed one of their first farewell concerts at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. Worried about never seeing one of the greatest rock bands in history again, many of us gullible fans purchased the concert on pay-per-view. Of course, 30 years later The Who still tour on a semi-regular basis.

On this day in 1983, The Pretenders released the song "Middle of the Road," which eventually topped out at #19 on the charts.

On this day in 1986, The Doobie Brothers reunited for the first time. Turns out that they got along so well during the benefit concert in Palo Alto, they've been rockin' down the highway ever since.

On this day in 1988, as U2's "Angel Of Harlem" entered the singles charts on its way to #14, Guns N' Roses' "Lies" compilation of an EP and various live tracks began a run to #2 and five million sold.

The Uncle Joe Show Menu

Thursday 12/17/15


10 At 10: 1968
Uncle Joe's Lunch Box (with Supercross tix!): 12:30pm
The Story - Chrissie Hynde/Pretenders: 1:30pm
Laughter At 45 After - Billy Gardell: 4:45pm & 6:45pm
Laughter At 45 After - Late Night Round Up: 5:45pm


UncUpdate Music News Graphic

Hall Of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame's class of 2016 inductees are Chicago, Steve Miller, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick and N.W.A.. More details shortly!

Hall Of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame's class of 2016 inductees will be announced this morning — stay tuned!

UncUpdate Quotes of Note Graphic

It was Mark Twain who said: "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned."

It was Sam Levenson who said: "Insanity is hereditary; you can get it from your children."

It was Elbert Hubbard who said: "Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.

It was Louis Vermeil who said: "The prime purpose of eloquence is to keep other people from speaking."


December 18, 2015


UncUpdate B-day Graphic

Chas Chandler, bassist for the Animals and Jimi Hendrix's original manager would have been 77.
Bassist Sam Andrew of Big Brother & the Holding Company is 74.
Defying the odds, the one and only Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones is 72.
Bobby Keys, the longtime sax player with The Rolling Stones who survived hanging with Keef for so many years, would have been 72.
Guitarist Elliot Easton of The Cars is 62.

UncUpdate On This Day Graphic

On this day in 1965, The Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" backed with "Day Tripper" entered the charts. In short order, "We Can Work It Out" hit #1 and "Day Tripper" reached #5.

On this day in 1971, 36-year-old rock icon/hell raiser Jerry Lee Lewis divorced his 27-year-old second cousin, Myra Gale Brown after 14 years of marriage. At least they were still family.

On this day in 1971, Led Zeppelin's "Led Zeppelin IV," one of the greatest rock albums ever, began a four-week run at #2. It eventually sold over 23 million copies in the States alone.

On this day in 1971, Elton John's "Levon" entered the singles charts on its way to #24. Superstardom was right around the corner.

On this day in 1975, to no one's surprise, Rod Stewart announced that he was leaving the Faces for a solo career.

On this day in 1976, Jackson Browne's album "The Pretender" hit #5 while selling over three million copies.

On this day in 1976, the title track of Steve Miller's signature "Fly Like An Eagle" album entered the singles charts on its way to #2 as the title track of Heart's debut album, "Dreamboat Annie," began a short run to #42.

On this day in 1976, the Eagles' soon-to-be #1 hit "New Kid in Town" entered the charts as their classic "Hotel California" album was released.

On this day in 1978, Led Zeppelin finished recording their last studio album, "In Through The Out Door."

On this day in 1982, "Coda," Led Zeppelin's final collection of unreleased songs, began its run up the charts to #6 with over a million sold.

The Uncle Joe Show Menu

Friday 12/18/15


10 At 10: 1980
Uncle Joe's Lunch Box (with Supercross tix!): 12:30pm
The Story - Don Felder/Eagles: 1:30pm
Laughter At 45 After - Don Friesen: 4:45pm & 6:45pm
Laughter At 45 After - Late Night Round Up: 5:45pm

2015 Off The Record w/uncJoe 288x63px logo

This Sunday night at 8pm on 100.3 The Sound of Los Angeles, OFF THE RECORD with Joe Benson will feature a special Holiday show with rockin' Christmas music and interviews with Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Bob Seger, Brian Setzer, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Stevie Nicks, Styx, Lynyrd Skynyrd, U2, former Eagle Don Felder, John Lennon and Bob Geldof. Check out this preview!


UncUpdate Music News Graphic

Hall Of Fame '16

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame's class of 2016 inductees are Chicago, Steve Miller, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick and N.W.A.. Who finally voted the long overdue artists in? Over 800 musicians, historians and other industry players, along with one single vote respresenting all of the fan balloting. The 31st annual induction ceremony will be held April 8th at Brooklyn's Barclay Center.

AC/DC's First

We've all been wondering what's going on with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at the former Olympic Stadium in London. It turns out that AC/DC has been selected to be the first band to perform a major concert in the recently renovated stadium. The remodeling includes installing the largest roof of its kind in the world, a community track, innovative retractable seating, spectator and hospitality facilities and external landscaping. And AC/DC will kill off any vermin with billions of watts of shear audio power at the June 4th, 2016 show.

UncUpdate Quotes of Note Graphic

It was Carl Zwanzig who said: "Duct tape is like the Force. It has a dark side, it has a light side, and it holds the Universe together."

It was Will Rogers who said: "If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there."

It was Thomas Fuller who said: "All things are difficult before they are easy."

It was Lucille Ball who said: "I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done."

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This Saturday, 1pm - 3pm: It was so much fun last time, how about another midday hang near the beach with J.B. and The Sound Crew at Santa Monica Ford! Tacos, tix for the Lakers, Clippers and Kings — join the good times!


December 21, 2015


UncUpdate B-day Graphic

Frank Zappa would have been 75.
English blues guitarist Albert Lee (Eric Clapton's buddy) is 71.
Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys would have been 69.

UncUpdate On This Day Graphic

On this day in 1966, The Beatles recorded the clarinets used on "When I'm Sixty-Four."

On this day in 1967, The Rolling Stones released their psychedelic stinker "Their Satanic Majesties Request" in the U.S., where it reached #2 on the album charts right behind The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour."

On this day in 1968, The Bob Seger System's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" (featuring backing vocals from future Eagle, Glenn Frey) entered the singles charts on its way to #17 and the Bar Band Hall Of Fame Set List.

On this day in 1974, Bad Company was joined for a jam on stage by Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin at London's Rainbow Theatre.

On this day in 1974, The Doobie Brothers' "Black Water" (originally released as a B-side in April 1974) reentered the singles charts on its way to #1 as both ELO's "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" and John Lennon's "#9 Dream" entered the charts on their way to #9.

On this day in 1978, Rod Stewart settled out of court with drummer Mickey Waller, who claimed he was not paid royalties for his work on 1974's "Smiler" album. Anybody know where Mickey is today?

On this day in 1985, as Heart's "Heart" album hit #1 while selling five million copies, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's rocking version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" was entering Holiday playlists around the world.

On this day in 1991, Guns 'N' Roses' surprising cover of Paul McCartney's "Live And Let Die" entered the singles charts on its way to #33.

On this day in 1992, legendary blues guitarist Albert King died from a heart attack in Memphis at the age of 69.

The Uncle Joe Show Menu

Monday 12/21/15


10 At 10: 1975
Uncle Joe's Lunch Box (with Ducks tix!): 12:30pm
The Story - Tom Petty/The Kinks: 1:30pm
Laughter At 45 After - Cheech & Chong: 4:45pm & 6:45pm
Laughter At 45 After - Late Night Round Up: 5:45pm


UncUpdate Music News Graphic

Kinks Again (Maybe)

Friday night turned out to be quite special at London's Islington Assembly Hall. For the first time since their 1996 Summer tour, The Kinks' Ray and Dave Davies performed together onstage — and got along quite well off stage! The unannounced and unexpected reunion at Dave's solo concert saw the brothers close out the set with a rousing rendition of The Kinks' classic "You Really Got Me." In recent years, both Ray and Dave have said that they were interested in coming together for some kind of reunion project or performances, but nothing has ever been planned or announced — not even for their 50th anniversary. Now we have renewed hope that the brothers may put aside their years of feuding and animosity to finally reunite. It's also worth noting that a reunion in 2016 might be tied to "You Really Got Me," the Julien Temple-directed biopic about The Kinks which will start shooting in March. Rock on, boys!

Bruce/Macca

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band returned to Saturday Night Live for the first time in 13 years this past weekend. But the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler-hosted episode featured another special guest. After performing a pair of cuts from their "The River" deluxe reissue, Bruce and the band were joined by Sir Paul McCartney, who casually strolled onstage with sleigh bells in hand to join in a festive romp through Bruce's Christmas classic cover of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." Right so!

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It was Bruce Springsteen who said: "Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time."

It was Henry Ford who said: "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."

It was Dr. Seuss/Theodor Seuss Geisel who said: "From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!"

It was Mark Twain who said: "I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened."

UncUpdate News of Note Graphic
15 xmasshow logo 432x181px

At last! It's time for Uncle Joe's Rockin' Christmas Show — four hours of your favorite Classic Rock & Roll Christmas songs, Joe's exclusive chats with artists, stories and rare Nuggets. Enjoy songs from John Lennon, Boston, Bruce Springsteen, the Eagles, U2, Stevie Nicks and many others, airing on over 85 stations across North America (as well as the Bahamas), including on 100.3 The Sound at 10am - 2pm Christmas Eve and 6am - 10am Christmas morning.


December 22, 2015

08 Joe on vacation.

Time For A Holiday Break!


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Guitarist Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick is 69.

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On this day in 1965, The Byrds recorded the song "Eight Miles High" (initially inspired by flying in an airliner at 50,000 feet elevation).

On this day in 1967, Pink Floyd played the "Christmas On Earth Revisited" event at London's Olympia Theater. Throughout the concert, singer Syd Barrett simply stared at the audience in a hallucinogenic daze. Quite the showman, that Syd.

On this day in 1973, "Hello It's Me" by Todd Rundgren peaked at #5 as Gregg Allman's "Midnight Rider" entered the charts.

On this day in 1973, Steve Miller's million selling "Joker" album hit #2 just as Paul McCartney's "Band On The Run" entered the charts on its way to four weeks at #1.

On this day in 1978, The Who announced that the Faces' Kenny Jones was the replacement for their late drummer Keith Moon.

On this day in 1979, Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," which singer Freddie Mercury wrote while bathing in a tub, launched its climb to a four-week run at #1.

On this day in 1979, Led Zeppelin's last charting single, "Fool In The Rain," began its run to #21 as Pat Benatar's first charting single, "Heartbreaker," began its climb to #23.

On this day in 1979, Paul McCartney held the first of three Concerts for Kampuchea at London's Hammersmith Odeon to benefit relief efforts in the war-torn country. Besides Macca, The Clash, Elvis Costello and The Who appeared on the bill.

On this day in 1984, John Fogerty's "Old Man Down The Road," on which he played every instrument, began its run up to #10 on the singles charts.

On this day in 2002, Joe Strummer, lead singer/guitarist/songwriter for the seminal British punk band The Clash, died of a heart attack in his home at the age of 50.

On this day in 2014, Joe Cocker lost his battle with lung cancer in his Colorado home at the age of 70. Most famous as an interpreter of other artists' songs, Cocker famously covered The Beatles "With A Little Help From My Friends," Leon Russell's "Delta Lady," Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On," Dave Mason's "Feeling Alright" and many more, including Billy Preston's "You Are So Beautiful."

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Xmas Factoids

Over 16% of the people who decorate their yards and houses spend more than six hours each year putting up the decorations.

The first documentation of decorating a Christmas tree was in 1604 in Strasburg, Germany. Decorating Christmas trees became a tradition in the U.S in the mid-1800's and has evolved over the subsequent 150 year period into the industry we know today.

In 1851, Mark Carr hauled two sleds loaded with trees from the Catskills to the streets of New York City and opened the first retail tree lot in the U.S. Until fairly recently, all Christmas trees came from forests, not farms.

It takes up to 12 years to grow a Christmas tree of average retail height, which is between 6 and 7 feet.

The tallest living Christmas tree on the North American continent is believed to be the 161-foot, 120-year-old Grand fir on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Northern Idaho.

Happy Holidays to all!!


December 23, 2015


UncUpdate B-day Graphic

Original Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen is 75.

Mott the Hoople guitarist Ariel Bender and Spooky Tooth guitarist Luther Grosvenor are 69, and never, ever seen together. Do you think that they're the same person?

Guitar whiz Adrian Belew, who worked with Frank Zappa, David Bowie and King Crimson, is 66.

Vocalist Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam is 51.

UncUpdate On This Day Graphic

On this day in 1957, Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" entered the chart for the first time. Don't worry — I will NOT play his version of that song on this year's Uncle Joe's Rockin' Christmas Show!

On this day in 1967, Jimi Hendrix's classic "Foxey Lady" began a short run to #67 on the singles charts.

On this day in 1967, as The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" album began its climb to eight weeks at #1 with six million sold, The Rolling Stones' psychedelic "Their Satanic Majesties Request" album began its climb to six weeks at #6. Those were spacey days indeed!

On this day in 1969, Elton John and Bernie Taupin began writing songs together. One year later, their composition "Your Song" was an international hit. Since day one, John has always provided melodies to Taupin's lyrics.

On this day in 1972, Jethro Tull's "Living In The Past" eclectic compilation hit #3 for the first of three weeks.

On this day in 1978, Foreigner's "Blue Morning, Blue Day" started its climb to #15 on the singles charts.

On this day in 1978, just as Rod Stewart's "Blondes Have More Fun" album entered the charts on its way to three weeks at #1, he released the song "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy." That was the exact moment that his old band, The Faces, thanked the heavens that Roddy had left them behind.

On this day in 1978, The Doobie Brothers' career redefining "Minute By Minute" album began its journey up the charts to a five week run at #1 capped by three million in sales.

On this day in 1987, after two years of bitter recrimination and mudslinging, Pink Floyd legally finalized one of the most strongly contested breakups in Rock & Roll history. The agreement between guitarist/frontman David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason and bassist/mastermindRoger Waters enabled the band to carry on without Waters — as long as they paid him royalties for his music and use of any images created during his tenure.

On this day in 1999, police arrested a stalker at George Harrison's Hawaiian home. The unemployed woman appeared to be living in the empty mansion, using the phone and washing machine and even ordering pizza.

UncUpdate News of Note Graphic

More Xmas Factoids

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer. But male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually between late November and mid-December, while female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of those magic caribou — from Rudolph to Blitzen — had to be female. While this is a bit on the nontraditional side, it does make sense. Only women, while pregnant, would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost! You go girls!

Rudolph is definitely the most famous reindeer of all, so much so that he's even had movies based on his exploits. The other 8 tiny caribou [Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dancer, Dasher, Donder (or Donner), Prancer, and Vixen] were first named in 1822 by American poet Clement Clark Moore in his poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas." Rudolph was first written about in 1939 by Robert May, who included him in a story for the Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog. Commerce, baby, pure commerce!

Santa Claus, as we know him, was introduced in a 1931 Coca-Cola advertisement. Famed commercial artist Haddon Sundblom (who was also responsible for Aunt Jemima) drew Santa as a very plump human with a jovial face and big beard, rather than the traditional middle-European elf. Today, it is the image of Sundblom's Santa that slips down chimneys and warms hearts around the world. Santa and Rudolph — commerce, baby, warm and fuzzy marketing genius!

The common abbreviation for Christmas, Xmas, was derived from the Greek alphabet. X is the letter Chi, the first letter of Christ's name in Greek. Not invented in America, not even for commerce.

Mistletoe was associated with peace and friendship in ancient Scandinavia. Even in the time of the Druids, mistletoe was believed to have magical properties. People who met under a tree bearing mistletoe were forbidden to fight, even if they were enemies, and anyone who entered a home decorated with mistletoe was entitled to shelter and protection. The kissy face stuff came later. Commerce? You be the judge.

Charles Dickens' initial words for Scrooge's outburst in the book, "A Christmas Carol," were "Bah, Christmas!" He eventually changed it to the now immortal, "Bah, Humbug!", but never really got the big cash payoff.

Bing Crosby's "White Christmas," from the soundtrack of the holiday movie classic "Holiday Inn," is the biggest selling Christmas single of all time. More than 30 million copies have been sold. (In fact, only Elton John's "Candle in the Wind '97" has sold more copies, at 33 million.) Good ol' American commerce!


December 24, 2015


UncUpdate B-day Graphic

Guitar ace Doyle Bramhall II, who's played with Clapton and Dylan, is 47.


UncUpdate On This Day Graphic

On this day in 1968, Led Zeppelin left Britain to start their first American tour. Robert Plant later said, "It was Christmas, and Christmas away from home for the English is the end of the world."

On this day in 1977, Aerosmith' "Draw The Line" album, made under harrowing circumstances, entered the charts on its way to #11 and over two million sold. Still, it was a wonder that anyone in the band survived.

On this day in 1992, Doobie Brothers percussionist Bobby LaKind lost a long battle with cancer. He was only 47.

15 xmasshow logo 432x181px

At last! It's time for Uncle Joe's Rockin' Christmas Show — four hours of your favorite Classic Rock & Roll Christmas songs, Joe's exclusive chats with artists, stories and rare Nuggets. Enjoy songs from John Lennon, Boston, Bruce Springsteen, the Eagles, U2, Stevie Nicks and many others, airing on over 85 stations across North America (as well as the Bahamas), including on 100.3 The Sound at 10am - 2pm Christmas Eve and 6am - 10am Christmas morning.

UncUpdate News of Note Graphic

More Xmas Factoids

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer. But male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually between late November and mid-December, while female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of those magic caribou — from Rudolph to Blitzen — had to be female. While this is a bit on the nontraditional side, it does make sense. Only women, while pregnant, would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost! You go girls!

Rudolph is definitely the most famous reindeer of all, so much so that he's even had movies based on his exploits. The other 8 tiny caribou [Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dancer, Dasher, Donder (or Donner), Prancer, and Vixen] were first named in 1822 by American poet Clement Clark Moore in his poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas." Rudolph was first written about in 1939 by Robert May, who included him in a story for the Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog. Commerce, baby, pure commerce!

Santa Claus, as we know him, was introduced in a 1931 Coca-Cola advertisement. Famed commercial artist Haddon Sundblom (who was also responsible for Aunt Jemima) drew Santa as a very plump human with a jovial face and big beard, rather than the traditional middle-European elf. Today, it is the image of Sundblom's Santa that slips down chimneys and warms hearts around the world. Santa and Rudolph — commerce, baby, warm and fuzzy marketing genius!

The common abbreviation for Christmas, Xmas, was derived from the Greek alphabet. X is the letter Chi, the first letter of Christ's name in Greek. Not invented in America, not even for commerce.

Mistletoe was associated with peace and friendship in ancient Scandinavia. Even in the time of the Druids, mistletoe was believed to have magical properties. People who met under a tree bearing mistletoe were forbidden to fight, even if they were enemies, and anyone who entered a home decorated with mistletoe was entitled to shelter and protection. The kissy face stuff came later. Commerce? You be the judge.

Charles Dickens' initial words for Scrooge's outburst in the book, "A Christmas Carol," were "Bah, Christmas!" He eventually changed it to the now immortal, "Bah, Humbug!", but never really got the big cash payoff.

Bing Crosby's "White Christmas," from the soundtrack of the holiday movie classic "Holiday Inn," is the biggest selling Christmas single of all time. More than 30 million copies have been sold. (In fact, only Elton John's "Candle in the Wind '97" has sold more copies, at 33 million.) Good ol' American commerce!


Xmas Factoids

Over 16% of the people who decorate their yards and houses spend more than six hours each year putting up the decorations.

The first documentation of decorating a Christmas tree was in 1604 in Strasburg, Germany. Decorating Christmas trees became a tradition in the U.S in the mid-1800's and has evolved over the subsequent 150 year period into the industry we know today.

In 1851, Mark Carr hauled two sleds loaded with trees from the Catskills to the streets of New York City and opened the first retail tree lot in the U.S. Until fairly recently, all Christmas trees came from forests, not farms.

It takes up to 12 years to grow a Christmas tree of average retail height, which is between 6 and 7 feet.

The tallest living Christmas tree on the North American continent is believed to be the 161-foot, 120-year-old Grand fir on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Northern Idaho.

Happy Holidays to all!!


December 25, 2015


UncUpdate B-day Graphic

Bassist Noel Redding of the Jimi Hendrix Experience would have been 70.
Parrot Head Jimmy Buffett hits 69.
Singer Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics is 61.

UncUpdate On This Day Graphic

On this day in 1959, young Richard Starkey received his first drum set for Christmas. The 18-year-old apprentice engineer seemed to have a knack for pounding the skins and a few years later become world famous as Ringo Starr, drummer for The Beatles.

On this day in 1964, jealous fans attending one of The Beatles' London Christmas shows attacked George Harrison's girlfriend Patti Boyd.

On this day in 1965, recorded under daunting time restraints, The Beatles' classic "Rubber Soul" album entered the charts on its way to six weeks at #1 with over six million sold. It still stands as one of the finest collections of inspired songs of their career.

On this day in 1965, George Harrison proposed to Patti Boyd as they drove to a Christmas dinner in London. No fans got close enough to attack this time.

On this day in 1965, The Rolling Stones's "As Tears Go By" (as originally covered by Mick Jagger's girlfriend, Marianne Faithful) entered the America charts on its way to #6. Marianne's version had peaked at #22 a year earlier.

On this day in 1967, Paul McCartney, ever the romantic, became engaged to actress Jane Asher. Alas, they never did marry.

On this day in 1971, Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" entered the singles charts on its way to #15. The actual words "Black Dog" do not appear in this song; it was named after a "black dog" that wandered in and out of the Headley Grange recording sessions.

On this day in 1976, the song "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas entered the singles charts on it's way to #11.

On this day in 1976, as the Eagles' "Hotel California" — one of the finest albums ever recorded — entered the charts on its way to eight weeks at #1 and 16 million copies sold, Paul McCartney's live "Wings Over America" began it's climb to #11.

On this day in 1993, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers "Mary Jane's Last Dance" began its climb to #14.

On this day in 2006, James Brown — "The Godfather of Soul," "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business," "Soul Brother Number One" and "Mr. Dynamite" (and often introduced as all of the above) — died in Atlanta of congestive heart failure at the age of 73.


December 26, 2015


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Uber producer/convicted murderer Phil Spector is 76.
Drummer Lars Ulrich of Metallica is 53.

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On this day in 1963, due to overwhelming popular demand, Capitol Records rush released The Beatles' U.S. breakthrough single "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Within three days of its release, 250,000 had been sold. Two weeks later, it had sold over one million copies.

On this day in 1964, The Beatles "I Feel Fine" topped the charts, while their song "She's a Woman" hit #4. In 12 months, they had scored a staggering 30 charting hit singles. Meanwhile, The Rolling Stones — who had still not achieved any significant action on the charts — took out a full-page ad in the U.K. music press wishing starving hairdressers a Happy Christmas.

On this day in 1964, The Kinks "All The Day And All Of The Night" began its run up the singles charts to #9 and their second entry into the Bar Band Hall Of Fame Setlist.

On this day in 1967, The Beatles premiered their psychedelic movie "Magical Mystery Tour" on British TV, and absolutely no one could figure it out.

On this day in 1968, Led Zeppelin began their first U.S. tour in Denver (but all except bassist John Paul Jones had picked up nasty colds during their three-day-stay in Los Angeles — too much bare-ass running around!).

On this day in 1970, George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" peaked at #1 on the charts. It is still considered by many to be his best solo work.

On this day in 1970, Van Morrison's highly influential "His Band And The Street Choir" album began its climb to #32 on the charts. It is still considered by many to be one of his finest.

On this day in 1981, although no one knew what the lyrics were about (including singer Phil Collins), Genesis' "ABACAB" began its run to #26 on the singles charts. In fact, the title came from the way the song was assembled: A section, B section, A section, C section, A section, B section.


December 27, 2015


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Scotty Moore, ace guitarist for Elvis Presley on the early recordings that helped define Rock & Roll, is 85 and still rockin'.
Keyboardist Michael Pinder of The Moody Blues is 75.
Pete Quaife, the original bassist with The Kinks, would have been 73.
Foreigner's head guy, Mick Jones, is 72.
Guitarist David Knopfler, fired from Dire Straits by his brother Mark in 1983, is 64 and still a bit bitter. But is he working?

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On this day in 1969, The Beatles' "Abbey Road" had its 11-week run at #1 on the American album charts briefly interrupted by "Led Zeppelin II" as The Rolling Stones' classic "Let It Bleed" hung in there at #3. Now that was some significant music!

On this day in 1975, Queen's incredible "A Night At The Opera" album entered the charts on its way to a peak at #4 and three million sold. The songwriting, performances and production are even more astounding today than it was back then.

On this day in 1976, Queen released the follow-up to their highly acclaimed "A Night At The Opera" album, "A Day At The Races." Both album titles were taken from Marx Brothers movies.

On this day in 1976, acclaimed blues guitarist Freddie King died in Dallas, Texas of a heart attack. He was only 42.

On this day in 1980, John Lennon's "(Just Like) Starting Over," and the album it came from, "Double Fantasy," both hit #1 as Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart" peaked at #5 on the singles charts. Also, Fleetwood Mac's contractually obligated "Live" album began its chart run to #14.


December 28, 2015


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Multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter is 70.


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On this day in 1968, as The Doors "Touch Me" began its climb to #3 on the singles charts, The Beatles' "White Album" hit #1 for the first of nine weeks. In due time, the "White Album" sold over 19 million copies.

On this day in 1974, Jethro Tull's "Warchild" album began a three week run at #2 in the States as George Harrison's "Dark Horse" LP began its chart climb to #4.

On this day in 1979, The Who and The Pretenders headlined the third of Paul McCartney's Concerts For Kampuchea.

On this day in 1983, Beach Boy Dennis Wilson drowned at the age of 39 after he dove into the Pacific Ocean at Marina Del Rey.

On this day in 1985, "Small Town" by John "Cougar" Mellencamp peaked at #6 on the singles charts, truly changing the course of his career on every level.


December 29, 2015


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Bassist Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues is 75.
Drummer Cozy Powell — who worked with Black Sabbath, Richie Blackmore and Jeff Beck — would have been 69.
Guitarist Neil Giraldo, Pat Benatar's guitar wizard better half, is 61.

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On this day in 1966, the Jimi Hendrix Experience made their first-ever TV appearance on the BBC's "Top Of The Pops," performing their new single "Hey Joe."

On this day in 1967, singer/guitarist Dave Mason left the recently formed Traffic, citing musical differences with group leader Steve Winwood. Within the year, Dave rejoined the band... then soon left once again. Hard to believe that upon Traffic's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 36 years later, Mason complained about not being included in their performance.

On this day in 1973, John Lennon's "Mind Games" peaked at #18 as Led Zeppelin's "D'yer Mak'er" topped out at #20 on the singles charts.

On this day in 1975, Grace Slick divorced her Jefferson Airplane cohort Paul Kantner.

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As we approach the New Year, I thought I'd pass along a few choice anonymous quotes people have sent in. Thanks for playing along!

Being "over the hill" is much better than being under it.

Seat belts are much less confining than wheelchairs.

"Failure is the path of least persistence."

"Never argue with a fool. Someone watching may not be able to tell the difference"... More »»


December 30, 2015


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Rock & Roll icon Bo Diddley would have been 88.
The Monkees' Michael Nesmith is 74.
The Monkees' Davy Jones would have been 71.
Poet/rocker Patti Smith is 70.
Jeff Lynne, head E.L.O. guy and occasional Traveling Wilbury, is 69.
Occasional Eurythmic Dave Stewart is 66.


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On this day in 1967, The Beatles hit #1 with the song "Hello Goodbye."

On this day in 1972, the Eagles' "Peaceful Easy Feeling" began its climb to #22 on the singles charts.

On this day in 1968, Led Zeppelin performed at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. The resulting "Gonzaga '68" bootleg was the first ever made of the band, who later set a record for the most bootlegged performances ever.

On this day in 1999, George Harrison and his wife were stabbed several times by a crazed fan in their home in Henley-upon-Thames, England. Although one knife wound came perilously close to his heart, Harrison survived the attack.


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This Sunday night at 8pm on 100.3 The Sound of Los Angeles, OFF THE RECORD with Joe Benson will feature the music of Bad Company and more of Joe's extensive conversations with singer Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke and Mick Ralphs. Check out this preview!


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Lemmy R.I.P.

Four days after celebrating his 70th birthday on Christmas Eve, Motörhead frontman Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister died from "an extremely aggressive cancer." The singing bassist (and legendary consumer of booze and amphetamines) suffered through numerous health issues over the last few years, leading to last minute gig cancelations and postponed tour dates. But after 40 years of heavy drinking and hard living, it was over quickly. Gene Simmons of KISS perfectly described the Lemmy I knew: "Behind the Man and the Legend was a kind man who went out of his way to make you feel special." God speed, Lemmy. God speed.

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New Year/New Warnings

Now they're telling us that due to increasing product liability litigation, American liquor manufacturers have accepted the FDA's suggestion that the following 10 warning labels be placed on all containers:

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you have mystical Kung Fu powers, resulting in you getting your ass kicked.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to roll over in the morning and see something really scary.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burns on the forehead, knees and lower back.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause a disturbance in the time-space continuum, whereby gaps of time may seem to literally disappear.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause pregnancy.


December 31, 2015


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Police guitarist Andy Summers is 74.
John Denver would have been 72.
Guess Who vocalist/keyboardist Burton Cummings is 69.
Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton is 65.

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On this day in 1961, The Pendletons performed their first gig under their new name, The Beach Boys, at the "Ritchie Valens Memorial Concert" in Long Beach.

On this day in 1967, "Gimme Some Lovin'" by the Spencer Davis Group entered the U.S. singles charts.

On this day in 1969, Jimi Hendrix unveiled his new group Band of Gypsys at New York's Fillmore East. The concert, featuring the rhythm section of Billy Cox and Buddy Miles, was later released as the album "Band Of Gypsys."

On this day in 1970, Paul McCartney filed a suit against John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison as The Beatles Co., effectively ending the band.

On this day in 1973, AC/DC — consisting of guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young, Rob Bailey, Peter Clark and singer Dave Evans — made their debut at Sydney's Chequers Club. The gig went so well, the band recruited their roadie, Bon Scott, as their new singer.

On this day in 1974, a document signed by all The Beatles confirmed the dissolution of their partnership.

On this day in 1974, drummer Mick Fleetwood invited Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to join Fleetwood Mac. Mick met the pair in Van Nuys where they were recording their second album as a duo. The Fleetwood Mac line-up had been changing continually since 1967 (as it still does today), but the inclusion of the two American singer/songwriters formed the most successful version of the group.

On this day in 1984, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen was critically injured in a car accident in England. His arm was amputated, but he later learned to drum with foot pedals and is still playing with the band today.

On this day in 1996, Paul McCartney was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.



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