October 29 – Don Giovanni, My Generation, ? and the Mysterians

1787

Mozart conducts the premiere of one of his great operas, Don Giovanni, with Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, in Prague, Bohemia.

Da Ponte recalled ‘the enthusiasm of the Bohemians’ for Mozart, their appreciation even of ‘the pieces least admired in other countries,’ and their ability to understand ‘perfectly’ a genius whom other nations recognized only ‘after many, many performances.’

Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard called it “a work without blemish, of uninterrupted perfection.”

A piece appearing in the Prager Neue Zeitung shortly after Mozart’s death expresses this sentiment: ‘Mozart seems to have written for the people of Bohemia, his music is understood nowhere better than in Prague, and even in the countryside it is widely loved.’

The Don Juan subject (dates to 1630) has been made into countless films; the opera itself is adapted to a highly-regarded film(*) in 1979; Lorin Maazel conducting the Paris Opera Orchestra. Note: librettist Da Ponti’s life story is an interesting one.

Harnoncourt:DG Overture  1979 film (3 hrs)    Audio: WFMT show on DonG (Stream, 59m)  ‘Prague’ Symphony 

1965

British rockers The Who release a new single, My Generation (*).

It climbs to UK#2, but only US#74, despite an airing on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Eventually Rolling Stone will name it #11 on their top-500 songs list.

The rushed debut Who album (same name)(*) is released December 3, going to UK#5 and nowhere in the US charts. (It’s widely heard within the 60s counterculture; the US mainstream doesn’t notice The Who until 1969’s double-album Tommy.) In 2006 NME names My Generation #49 on their 100 Greatest British Albums list (*).

 ( Website Out in the Street  The Kids are All Right 

1966

Bay City, MI band ? & the Mysterians have a US#1, CA#1 hit with their garage rock classic 96 Tears on Cameo-Parkway Records. Live  Record 

The original song title was ’69 Tears’; the original pressing (Pa-Go-Go Records #102) was 750 copies. (*) It makes them the first Latino rock group with a major hit.

’96 Tears’ (with a Vox organ played by 14-year-old Frank Rodriguez) appears on their 12-track 1966 debut album (US#66). Followup 1967 album Action includes single Can’t Get Enough of You Baby (US#56) (also a US#27 for Smash Mouth in 1998).

The name The Mysterians came from a 1957 Japanese sci-fi film (by Godzilla father Ishiru Honda), in which aliens arrive to conquer Earth. Hòrale!

 ( Website▷CB: Bio▹ (*) ▷about Pa-Go-Go▹ ▷Michigan RnR Legends▹ ▷Retrokimmer▹