This Date in Music History: April 16

Paul McCartney's 1973 network TV special and Ian MacKaye turns 50

On this day in 1973, Paul McCartney and Wings had their very own network TV special, James Paul McCartney. The variety/musical show was a bit cheeky and a bit sappy — in other words, pretty funny to watch now. Paul and Co. do a bunch a Beatles tunes and a bunch of Wings stuff, including the just released "Live and Let Die." Worth watching (or at least skipping through) if you were a fan of Sir Paul's kick-ass mullet, always wanted to hear a drunk Paul sing drinking songs in a crowded pub or wondered how "The Cute One" looks in a pink tuxedo and mustache.

Paul's most recent adventures in visual entertainment contains a bit more star power:

Click on for Born This Day with Dusty Springfield, Akon and Ian MacKaye.


Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing an April 16 birthday include composer/band leader (themes to Peter Gunn and The Pink Panther, not to mention "Moon River") Henry Mancini (1924); recent Rock Hall inductee (with Bill Haley's backing Comets), taxman Rudy Pompilli (1924); Jazz flute (and no doubt Ron Burgundy influence) Herbie Mann (1930); Pop crooner Bobby Vinton (1935); soulful chanteuse Dusty Springfield (1939); politician/activist/Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett (1953); lead singer/guitarist for Soul Asylum, Dave Pirner (1964); slain Tejano star Selena (1971); modern Pop star Akon (1973); late young Blues phenom Sean Costello (1979); and modest Punk trailblazer Ian MacKaye (1962).

Though he's just reaching 50, MacKaye has long been Punk's wise sage. With Minor Threat, she shouted his pure beliefs in your face; with Fugazi, he was snakier about it, approaching "Punk Rock" like Miles Davis approached Rock & Roll on Bitches Brew. Some would criticize MacKaye for being overly "didactic" when he'd, say, stop a concert to tell the overly aggressive "dancers" to stop punching people in the face.

One thing you could never accuse MacKaye of is being was/is a hypocrite. Early on, Fugazi adapted a "keep shows and records cheap for fans" and "we don't need no major label" stance. With the Alternative music breakthrough in the ’90s, Fugazi could have probably gotten Major League Baseball superstar money for two albums on Sony or Geffen. They asked. Fugazi constantly said "No thanks." They stopped asking. Fugazi released several amazing records and put on hundreds of spellbinding live shows across the globe. And then they stopped, just because they wanted to.

There's never been a "break up" of Fugazi, officially. The further they get away from their "indefinite hiatus" announcement in 2003, the harder it is to imagine Fugazi coming back with any sort of fanfare. If you know Fugazi, you know they'll be more likely to get back together for a coffeehouse benefit than headline Coachella. But as long as that chemistry between those four players is what it always was, the prospect of new material is giddying.

If you haven't checked out a show or two from the Fugazi Live Series vault online through MacKaye's Dischord imprint here, it's well worth the $5 (being that it's Fugazi, they do offer a sliding scale payment option). The group had an unrivaled electricity when on stage together and since they were always sober, most of their recorded live shows sound excellent. The Aug. 22, 1993 show at Bogart's is available here.

Please come back, Fugazi. Or else people will keep doing stuff like this:

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