1823 – Alexander Pearce is tried and sentenced in Hobart Town

Alexander Pearce had committed many crimes – the original theft that saw him transported to Van Diemens Land from Ireland, sundry minor infractions in Hobart Town including at least one escape attempt, and assorted infractions after he was sent to Macquarie Harbour. But on this day, he stood before the court charged with escaping Macquarie Harbour and making his way overland to Hobart Town.

He had left Macquarie Harbour with seven others, two of whom had turned back and surrendered to the authorities there. The other five were unaccounted for, except by Pearce’s remarkable tale of cannibalism among the six, whittling down their numbers until he was the last left alive. The judge, of course, knew this for the lie it was. Pearce was sent back to Macquarie Harbour and the watch for the other five, still at large, was redoubled.

The only problem was, Pearce had told the truth. He really had participated in the murder and consumption of five other men. But no one would believe him until he did it again.

Referenced in:
A Tale They Won’t Believe — Weddings, Parties, Anything

1968 — Prudence Farrow arrives at Rishikesh

Prudence Farrow (younger sister of Mia Farrow), came to study under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at his ashram Rishikesh for the same reason everyone else did in the late Sixties: seeking enlightenment via Transcendental Meditation. The members of the Beatles arrived there a few weeks later, and became fast friends with her – especially John.

Farrow was notoriously serious about her meditation practice, and routinely stayed in her room meditating long beyond the assigned times for classes and sessions – up to 23 hours a day, in fact. Lennon in particular made efforts to drag her out into the world, to remind her that the point of meditation was ecstatic union with the world, not separation from it. She would need to be reminded to attend meals at times.

Referenced in:
Dear Prudence — The Beatles

1976 – David Bowie releases the album “Station to Station”

David Bowie’s tenth studio album was a transitional work. It built on the funk and soul of his previous album, Young Americans, while moving toward the more krautrock-influenced sound of the so-called ‘Berlin Trilogy’ that was his next three albums (Low, “Heroes” and Lodger). It also introduced his last great character, ‘The Thin White Duke’.

The best-known song from the album in Golden Years, a plastic soul number that was the first recorded track for the album, but the album as a whole is a critical and popular favourite in Bowie’s career. Ironically, it also marks the high point of Bowie’s cocaine addiction and fascination with Nazism, and Bowie himself has described it as soulless.

Referenced in:
Trans-Europe Express – Kraftwerk
Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers

1983 – “The A-Team” premieres

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.

This opening narration prefaced every episode of “The A-Team”, first heard by the world when the opening episode was broadcast by NBC on January 23, 1983. For the next five years, the world would thrill to the adventures of “Howling Mad” Murdock, B. A. Baracus, John “Hannibal” Smith and Templeton Peck on a weekly basis. And even as late as 2003, it was voted the series that people most wanted revived.

Referenced in:
TV Party — Black Flag
I Love America — Alice Cooper