10 Years On


Allan Jones


March 5 to 11, 1997

The Notorious B.I.G. is shot dead as he sits in a car outside the Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles. Police confirm they are investigating links between the killing and the slaying of Tupac Shakur in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas six months earlier, fuelling tabloid stories of a feud between the East Coast and West Coast rap communities. Biggie's demise comes just days after Death Row Records president Marion 'Suge' Knight receives a nine-year sentence for parole violations.

Paul McCartney receives his knighthood from the Queen at Buckhingam Palace, to add to the MBE he received in 1965.

Bono bemoans the state of modern rock music, while plugging U2's Pop album in the pages of Time magazine: "It does seem absurd that there are punk rockers in the late '90s rebelling against their parents with their parents' music. I can't quite get my head around that, it's like 'Dad, you suck - can I borrow your Sex Pistols album?'. White bread rock has, for me, lost its sense of adventure, and seems very tired in comparison with hip-hop.

Spice Girls become the first act to have UK Number One singles with each of their first four releases, following the success of the double A-side "Who Do You Think You Are" and "Mama", but are knocked off the top of the albums chart by U2.

Wearing his film producer's hat, Mick Jagger is rumoured to be wooing Madonna to star in a forthcoming movie about a 1930s Hollywood starlet who becomes a political activist.

R&B legend Lavern Baker dies of complications from diabetes, aged 67. Only the second woman ever to be inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame (after Aretha Franklin), she was best known for the hits "Tweedle Dee" and "Jim Dandy". She was halfway through a comeback tour, despite having had both her legs amputated two years earlier.

Actor David Doyle, best known as Bosley in the TV series Charlie's Angels, dies of a heart attack, aged 67.

A French court orders Brigitte Bardot and her publishers to pay 250,000 francs compensation to her ex-husband Jacques Charrier and son Nicholas for comments made in her memoirs. Bardot described Charrier, who she divorced in 1963, as a "bourgeois coward" and Nicholas as "a tumour who fed off me while I was pregnant".

Private Parts, the biopic of Howard Stern in which the controversial broadcaster plays himself, tops the US box office chart, ending a five-week run of the special editions of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back.

An explosion at a nuclear waste processing plant in Japan triggers panic across the country, although authorities claim only a handful of the plant's 35 workers were exposed to low-level radioactive contamination.

Tete de Femme, a 1931 work by Pablo Picasso, is stolen from a London gallery, but recovered a week later.


Editor's Letter

The Fourth Uncut Playlist Of 2015

This week's big distraction has been what appears to be a crazy number of early Aphex Twin tracks accumulating on Soundcloud (I've added the link below). Among the new stuff, though, please try Bop English; the new solo project of James Petralli from White Denim.