Day of Yore, June 25

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As John noted earlier, today is the anniversary of The Battle of Little Big Horn. I find it more than slightly ironic that one of the Indian War Chiefs who died that day was named, “Lame White Man.”

With apologies to everyone who lost their lives that day, here in the world of Pop Culture, the June 25th deaths of 2009 are almost impossible to top. Both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died that day. 

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I wrote about Farrah’s death that day here. That post detailed the burgeoning desires of a teenage boy, and it also set off a series of events that led to me getting married three years later. Farrah was a gift that certainly kept on giving. I learned of Michael Jackson’s death in an airport security line, on my way back home to Minnesota for a golf weekend/bachelor party.

What’s the greatest album of all time? Impossible to answer obviously, the music mags and sites have a new answer every five years or so. If you were in high school in the ’80’s like I was, and especially if you grew up in Minneapolis like I did, this one, which came out today in 1984, is on your short list.

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Purple Rain” was so freaking good it made a pretty bad movie a cult classic. In 2008 Entertainment Weekly named it the No. 1 album of the past 25 years. I’m not arguing. The start of “Let’s Go Crazy” was so genius that it’s amazing that nobody had ever thought to use it to start a song before. Nine songs that anyone who went to clubs in the 1980’s knows by heart. If “The Beautiful Ones” isn’t in the top four songs of your album, you’ve made a pretty god damn good album.

I’m now going to admit to a guilty pleasure. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone say they didn’t like this movie, but it’s in my top 10 and even though I’m not really proud of that, I can’t deny it either. “Sleepless in Seattle” came out today in 1993, and though I loved it to death, it’s not the movie I’m talking about. (Psych!)

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I loved every frame of that movie, it’s hard not to, but I didn’t love it as much as this one:

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“The Notebook” came out today in 2004 and it pulled me in hook, line and sinker.

Two pretty people falling in love cute, but he’s a townie with no big future and she’s a richie rich whose parents won’t let her marry outside of her cash class. Young love torn asunder! A war. A best friend dead. A new guy, who’s good looking and charming. An engagement. And here’s where Nicholas Sparks really got it right, in making this the best thing he’s ever written: he didn’t give Rachel McAdam’s character an easy out. The “bad” guy never does anything wrong, he’s just not the guy she’s in love with. She likes him a lot, and loves the idea of him and how easy he’d make the rest of her days, but she’s in love with somebody else. 99.99 percent of stories make the other guy an asshole and an easy out.

If you ever tell anyone I wrote that, I’ll have to kill you. And I’ll deny it. (Google search engines be damned.)

Today in 1976, “The Omen” came out and my wife swears it scared her more than “The Exorsist”. I didn’t see it because I hate scary movies. (You probably inferred that from the last item… I’m seriously not as big of a wuss as I sound today.)

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“Bladerunner” came out today in 1982. I liked it a lot when I saw it that summer, but I’ve never seen it again and I don’t need to. It’s cult status was weird to me. I’d rather watch The Notebook again.

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There have been some pretty stellar debuts that came out on June 25th over the years.

1947 saw the publication of, “The Diary of Anne Frank”. The world view of a young teenage girl in hiding from the Nazi’s is one of the more prized works of the last century.

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Though not as highly praised as that, (although it may be in some circles) Jay-Z dropped his debut album, “Reasonable Doubt” today in 1996. Hailed by critics as a masterpiece, it set the tone for a career that has seen nothing but astonishing success. “Dead Presidents,” “Don’t Knock the Hustle,” “Ain’t No Nigga,” and “Feelin It” are iconic rap songs.

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Another debut that’s led to HUGE success hit today in 2002, when Maroon 5 debuted with “Songs About Jane”. “Harder to Breathe,” “This Love,” “She Will Be Loved,” and “Sunday Morning” were all smash hits and Maroon 5 hasn’t missed since. It remains to be seen however, if Adam Levine’s legacy doesn’t become, “that hot, charming guy in the chair.”

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— Bill Hubbell

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