This week, 56 years ago, monk Thích Quảng Đức sat down at a busy Saigon intersection, doused himself in petrol and set himself alight. He did not utter a sound as he died.
The Buddhist crisis in Vietnam throughout 1963 precipitated the downfall and assassination of South Vietnamese president Ngô Đình Diệm. It began with the shooting of nine civilians in Hue who were protesting the ban on the Buddhist flag. Malcolm Browne, the photographer, won a Pulitzer Prize for the image.
Decades later, in 1992, Los Angeles’ rap metal squad Rage Against The Machine featured the picture as the cover for their debut album.
Text on the first and second paragraph via History Everyday.
This week, 75 years ago, Martha Gellhorn was the only woman to land on the shores of Normandy on D-Day.
Each news outlet could only send one reporter and Collier’s magazine chose Ernest Hemingway who at the time was the estranged husband to Gellhorn. Hemingway asked for her slot and all women who applied were turned down. However, Gellhorn wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and proceeded to hide in the bathroom of a hospital ship. When it came time to land, she disguised herself as stretcher bearer and went unnoticed; also managing to get there ahead of Hemingway. She was able to send off a dispatch about what she saw, but was arrested by military police upon her return. She recalls what she saw: “It will be hard to tell you of the wounded, there were so many of them. There was no time to talk; there was too much else to do. They had to be fed as most of them had not eaten for two days; their shoes had to be cut off; they needed help to get out of their jackets; they wanted water; the nurses and orderlies, working like demons, had to be found and called quickly to a bunk where a man suddenly and desperately needed attention; plasma bottles had to be watched; cigarettes had to be lighted and held for those who could not use their hands; it seemed to take hours to pour hot coffee from the spout of a teapot into a mouth that just showed through bandages. But the wounded talked among themselves, and as time went on you got to know them, by their faces and their wounds, not by their names. They were a magnificent, enduring bunch of men. Men smiled who were in such pain that all they really can have wanted to do was turn their heads away and cry, and men made jokes when they needed their strength just to survive. All of them looked after one another, saying, ‘Give that boy a drink of water,’ or ‘Miss, see that ranger over there; he’s in bad shape. Could you go to him?’ All through the ship, men were asking after other men by name, anxiously, wondering if they were on board and how they were doing.” __________ Text: History Cool Kids.
Today, 38 years ago, first ever Kerrang issue was published. AC/DC’s guitarist, Angus Young, was on the cover.
Founded by Geoff Barton, it was first published as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper. Named after the word that derives from the sound made when playing a power chord on a distorted electric guitar, Kerrang! was initially devoted to the new wave of British heavy metal and the rise of hard rock acts. Launched as a monthly magazine in 1981, Kerrang! began to appear on a fortnightly basis later, and in 1987 it went weekly. During the 1980s and early 1990s the magazine placed many thrash and glam metal acts on the cover (like Mötley Crüe, Slayer, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Poison, and Venom) but later discarded them when grunge acts such as Nirvana rose to fame. Readers often criticise the magazine for repeating this process every time a new musical subgenre becomes trendy. The term “thrash metal” was first coined in the music press by Kerrang! journalist Malcolm Dome while making a reference to the Anthrax song “Metal Thrashing Mad” in issue number 62, page 8, published on 23 February 1984. Prior to this Metallica’s James Hetfield referred to their sound as “power metal”. With the emergence of emo and metalcore during the mid to late-2000s, Kerrang! began to heavily feature this musical trend. The revamp was not welcomed by all readers and many complaints were received about Kerrang!’s sudden emphasis on emo and metalcore music. In April 2017, Kerrang! magazine, its website, and the K! Awards were purchased by Mixmag Media, publisher of dance monthly Mixmag, along with assets related to defunct style magazine The Face. Mixmag has since formed parent company Wasted Talent, which relaunched Kerrang! as a digital-first title, while continuing to publish a weekly print edition. The magazine received a logo change in mid-2017 before receiving a complete redesign during 2018.
Keith Richards, Tina Turner, and David Bowie partying backstage. One of the most iconic photographs ever in rock ’n’ roll history. The picture was taken in January 1983 at The Ritz, New York City. The club was managed by Jerry Brandt who discovered Chubby Checker, booked acts like The Beach Boys and Sonny & Cher, and brought The Rolling Stones to the USA. The photographer, Bob Gruen, told V Magazine: “David Bowie was there that night, and Keith Richards came too; Jerry Brandt was the one who’d brought the Rolling Stones to America, so it was no big thing for Richards to show up at The Ritz. [Richards] was also friends with Tina because she and Ike had opened for the Rolling Stones in Europe in the sixties.” When the photo was taken Tina Turner had just broken up with Ike and launched a solo career. “Tina’s Ritz show was fantastic; she was obviously back to being Tina Turner the star, doing what she knew how to do best: entertain. I don’t know how to describe it, but she was more experienced being on her own at this point. The audience was totally with her; their energy was in the palm of her hands, or rather her legs. This was the beginning of her career comeback. Whenever there was a big show at The Ritz, the afterparty at Jerry’s office would get pretty crowded. There was a side room, which is where we all ended up with Tina, Bowie, Keith, Patti Hansen. Everybody was so happy. I remember Tina trying to pour the champagne for David Bowie. He was nervous about it splashing on him, and Tina wasn’t really a drinker. This was all about celebrating.”
Mugshot of John Wojtowicz who unsuccessfully tried to rob a bank in 1972 to pay for his wife Eden’s gender reassignment surgery.
Apparently, Wojtowicz had based his plans on the movie, The Godfather (1972), which he had watched earlier that day. His robbery attempt failed and he was arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison of which he served five.
His story was later turned into a movie called Dog Day Afternoon (1975) starring Al Pacino and John Cazale, both of whom, interestingly enough, had starred in The Godfather. For the rights to his story, Wojtowicz was paid $7,500 and 1% of the movie’s net profits, which he gave to Eden. After her operation, she married someone else before dying of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1987. Wojtowicz attended her funeral and delivered a eulogy.