1966 — The Beatles release “Doctor Robert”

A song from the album “Revolver” (or, in America, “Yesterday and Today”), “Doctor Robert” is a somewhat autobiographical song about the way that the Beatles’ touring schedule was somewhat fuelled by drugs.

Somehow, it doesn’t seem to get much airplay.

Referenced in:
Edit — Regina Spektor

1971 – Paul McCartney releases “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey”

The first single off his second solo album, “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey” was intended to be a nostalgic piece by McCartney. The uncle Albert of the title was his actual uncle, while Admiral Halsey was American Navy Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, who served with great distinction in the Pacific during World War Two.

The song – only the second single to be released by McCartney since the dissolution of the Beatles – quickly reached number one on both the US and UK charts, and acheived gold status shortly thereafter. It is notably one of only three singles to be credited to Paul and Linda McCartney – the following year’s album would be the first from Wings.

Referenced in:

Edit — Regina Spektor

1991 — Use Your Illusion I and II are released

Of all Guns n Roses songs, it is the most epic (although not the longest). “November Rain” was the 4th single from the Use Your Illusion twin albums, and the 2nd most successful (after “You Could Be Mine”). In interviews, the band stated that they felt that this was their “Stairway to Heaven”. As bold as that claim was, it was borne out by history.

The song remains a staple of classic rock radio stations everywhere, the clip regularly places among the most popular on MTV and other such music video stations, and naturally, it is a long-standing staple of Guns n Roses live performances.

Referenced in:
On The Radio — Regina Spektor

1117 BCE — Delilah cuts Samson’s hair

Samson is one of the great heroes of Judges era of the Isrealites. A judge and priest, he was also a mighty warrior, gifted by God with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal man. (I don’t describe him this way by accident – Samson was explicitly one of the inspirations for Siegel and Shuster in creating Superman.) He had strength and skill at arms that made him a great hero to his people at a time when they were under constant attack from the Phillistines.

His great success came at a price, however. It’s fairly well-known that his power would desert him if he shaved or cut his hair. Less well-known is that he was also forbidden to drink alcohol. But maybe it was worth it to him. This is a man who once tore a lion apart with his bare hands. Who smote the Phillistines ‘hip and thigh’ – on one occasion, using ‘the jawbone of an ass’ as a weapon – and mowed through their armies like the Rambo of his day. Who, on one particularly slow day, tied flaming torches to the tails of no fewer than three hundred foxes, and drove the panicked animals through the farms of his enemies.

Understandably, he did not endear himself to the Phillistines, but they were unable to defeat him by force of arms. And so they resorted to guile.

Samson’s wife, Delilah, was approached by the Phillistines and bribed to cut his hair. Thus weakened, Samson was easy prey for his foes, and was captured, blinded and imprisoned in one of their temples where anyone could mock or hurt him without penalty. To the extent that his story has a happy ending, it is that many years later, God answered his prayers to restore his strength long enough for him to pull down the temple on top of himself and all his foemen inside it.