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Week in Rock History: The Monkees' 'Head' Movie Bombs

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November 11, 2002: Paul McCartney alters songwriting credits to "McCartney-Lennon" on his new album, enraging Yoko Ono and Beatles fans
Paul McCartney's double live album Back in the U.S.: Live 2002 carried controversial credits: a newly altered swap of his famous Beatles songwriting handle to "McCartney-Lennon."

Lennon-McCartney, one of the most beloved and enduring songwriting tags in rock, was an unshakable brand throughout the Beatles' massive career, and it continued intact until McCartney switched the order on his 1976 album Wings Over America. (At the time, Lennon reportedly did not care.) However, for McCartney's 2002 live disc, he flipped the credits again; Yoko Ono protested with a wide public campaign, claiming that McCartney was being petulant in response to Ono omitting his name from a recent Lennon hits compilation.

In response to Ono and fans' outcry, McCartney maintained that Lennon and the Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, agreed in the 1960s to reverse the songwriting credits whenever the members saw fit. Although he has not reversed the names prominently since the 2003 debacle, McCartney's lengthy public statement lives on online, including the exasperated jab, "The truth is that this is much ado about nothing and there is no need for anybody to get their knickers in a twist."

November 6, 2006: Marianne Faithfull announces that she has beaten breast cancer
The reigning British rock chanteuse of the 1960s, Marianne Faithfull, handled public attention deftly for much of her life. Her romance with Mick Jagger in that decade was world-famous, not least for her double role as his muse; she was the inspiration for the Rolling Stones masterpieces "Wild Horses" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want," and the band covered her track "Sister Morphine" on Sticky Fingers. After publicly battling drug abuse and health problems throughout the 1970s, she released her triumphant comeback disc Broken English in 1979, an innovative slice of post-punk, dance and husky aggression.

In September of 2006, Faithfull abruptly cancelled the European stretch of her world tour after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The tumor was still in an early stage, and she underwent surgery and recuperated in France. Two months later, her publicist announced that Faithfull was in full recovery from the disease. 

In the spring of 2007, Faithfull gave an interview to Britain's Daily Mail describing Jagger's sweet phone call to her in the hospital – their first conversation in 35 years – and explained, "Having cancer has been one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. But life goes on, and it's up to me to make the most of it."

LAST WEEK: Carly Simon and James Taylor Tie the Knot

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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