Life Apexes: Pop Stars, Institutions, Countries, The Famous And More At Their Height Continued

Written by | June 10, 2020 4:30 am | No Comments

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about pop stars apexes (here) and the response was, to put it simply, astounding. Nobody read it. Soooo…. never one to let abject failure bother him, here we add to where we were and  include stars of more than music as well as countries, sports team and anything else that might have an apex… This is the purest expression of the pandemic, Got the idea from watching the curve flatten and it hit me that lives could be seen in a similar manner. I am considering expanding into an Amazon Book but I think that moment passed…

Alan Alda – M.A.S.H.

ABBA – just before punk hit, ABBA owned the world in 1976 with “Dancing Queen” and Arrival 

Adolf Hitler – arriving in Paris

Aimee Mann – The Magnolia soundtrack highlighted by a New York Times interview (here)

Alexander Pushkin – Eugene Onegin

Alexander The Great – the conquest of Persia in 334 BC

Alfred Hitchcock  – “Vertigo”

Andrew Cuomo – The daily Covid-19 News conference which hit an apex in mid-April, as he was going to meet Donald Trump and got a warship he didn’t need.

Anthony Perkins – “Stop The World I Want To Get Off”

Anwar Sadat – when he told Barbara Walters he would go to Jerusalem for peace

Ariana Grande – thank you, next

Attila The Hun – 441, the invasion of the Byzantine Empire

Arcade Fire – There The Suburbs roll out was a masterpiece for an album the exact sound their fans wanted

B.B. King Blues Club & Grill – Sly Stone

Bay City Rollers – “Saturday Night” cracked them in the States

Bee Gees – The Saturday Night Fever songs

Beyonce – The Coachella concert

Biggie Smalls – “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems”

Big L –  ‘Ebonics”

Bill Cosby – “The Cosby Show”

Blake Shelton – 2013’s “Based On A True Story” tour

Blondie – circa American Gigolo

Blur – “Song 2”

Bob Dylan – Another tough one… the Before The Flood Tour

Bob Geldof – The Live Aid gig

Bob Marley – Live in 1975 (at the Lyceum)

Bugs Bunny  The one at the opera

Buzzcocks – Another Music In A Different Kitchen 

Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Wake, It’s Morning

Bruce Springsteen – even though I dislike it, The Rising was the height…

Carly Simon – No Secrets album, you can mention it in the same sentence as Tapestry.

Carole King – Tapestry 

Charles Dickens – “Great Expectations”

Charlie Chaplin – “Modern Times”

Childish Gambino _ The “This Is America” music video

Cleopatra – 47 BC

Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young – Deja Vu 

Danny And The Juniors – “At The Hope”

Dawes – “All Your Favorite Bands” was a fluke and a height.

David Bowie – “Let’s Dance” -it made him the pop superstar he wanted to be.

David Essex – “Rock On” even broke North America

David Mamet – Glengarry Glen Ross

Derek Jeter – against the  Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on July 1, 2004, his dive headfirst into the stands and getting the out.

Donovan – “Sunshine Superman”

Drake – I wanted to go with the Drake-Lil Wayne tour in 2013, but it isn’t really true. It is “God’s Plan” and Drake has remained huge since but that was the height and he is coming down

Dusty Springfield – I know you think it’s In Memphis, but 1966’s “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” is IT

Eddie Cochran – your instinct says “Summertime Blues” or maybe “Cmon Everybody” but McCartney covered “20 Flight Rock”…

Ed Sheeran – Divide

Elliott Smith – “Miss Misery” at the Oscars

Enid Blydton – Five on a Treasure Island

Eric Clapton – Oddly, his greatest moment wasn’t about electric guitar, 461 Ocean Boulevward

Elvis Costello – tricky, very tricky… “Everyday I Write The Book” in sales, Imperial Bedroom for art

Elvis Presley – also tricky but the 1968 special had everything

Eminem – where Rihanna and “Love The Way You Lie” changed him overnight back in (incredibly enough) 2010

Eric Clapton – oddly, not his electric guitar prowess but 461 Ocean Boulevard

Federico Fellini – La Dolce Vita (1960)

Fiona Apples – she will never pull off another Fetch The Bolt Cutters

Fred Astaire – “Top Hat”

Gene Kelly – “Singing In The Rain”

George Clooney – Ocean’s Eleven

George Harrison – All Things Must Pass

Hank Williams – 1951 , when he followed “Hey Good Looking” with “I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Cry”

Hannah Arendt – Her reporting on Adolf Eichman’s trial

Iman Lababedi (aka me) – Wednesday, February 9, 2005

James Brown – 1971 – 1976

Jahn Wenner – Rolling Stone in the mid-1970s when they owned SoCal and before they missed punk

Jason Isbell – Southeastern

Jay Z – The MSG “Fade To Black” gig

Jeffrey Dahmer  – he killed and ate eight men in 1991

Jesus Christ – a toughie at first glance but since he rose from THE DEAD we can’t say that was a highlight of his life, I’ll go with raising Lazarus

Joe Strummer – “Coma Girl”

John Ford – 1946’s “My Darling Clementine,” the best Western ever because it was the one where man’s violence was most closely matched to his courtliness. Henry Fonda was never better.

John Lennon – “Imagine”

John Lydon – Public Image Ltd at the Palladium in 1980, pushing their masterpiece, The Metal Box

Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison

Joni Mitchell – Blue

Joseph Stalin – In February 1943, the German troops attacking Stalingrad surrendered.

June Carter Cash – “Ring Of Fire”

Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself,” co-written with Ed Sheeran, 1.5 BILLION streams on Spotify

Kanye West – The “TGIF” songs set the place for the rest of his career -every Friday a mad scramble to find them and download them

Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

Kid Rock – Devil Without A Cause

King William The Conqueror – 1066, the Battle Of Hastings

King Henry VIII – The Protestant Church, many tried none had managed to wrest control before…

Laura Marling – counter intuitive, because my ears tell me it was the suite that opens Once I Was An Eagle but my heart tells me it was the 2011 gig at McKittrick Hotel (here)

Laurel And Hardy – “Me And May Pal” – the one where Oliver is getting married and Stan keeps distracting everybody with a jigsaw puzzle, from 1933

Lemmy – Yes, I concur, 1980 Ace Of Spades EXCEPT… in 1977 Motorhead were one of the few bands to survive (indeed: thrive) with the arrival of UK Punk

Leo Tolstoy – “War And Peace”

Lester Bangs – That article where he went on the road with the Clash

Lucille Ball – “Lucy Goes To The Hospital,” January 19, 1953

Madonna – 1998, when both the tour of and the album Ray Of Light made her a serious musician and a pop icon.

Magazine – The Correct Use Of Soap 

Marlon Brando – A Streetcar Named Desire (even the Godfather can’t compare)

Manchester – Madchester from 1979 – 1995

Martin Amis – “London Fields”

Martin Scorces – “Goodfellas”

Marvin Gaye – “What’s Going On”

Mayor Bill de Blasio – when he said schools wouldn’t reopen, and Cuomo replied “I haven’t decided” and Bill replied “like he hadn’t decided about Shelter At Home”

Michael Jackson – “Thriller”

Moses – between the plagues and the parting the Red Sea and even if you include the ten commandments, I’d say the parting of the red sea

My Morning Jacket – never came close to “Evil Urges” again -not in a million miles

Nas – Never got back to Illmatic

New York City – I agree it seems a little strange and I realize it was months from 9-11, but when “The Producers” hit Broadway in April 2001, New York City was back to being the greatest city in the world

New York Yankees – admittedly I was a season ticket holder then but from 1996 – 2001.

NSYNC – No Strings Attached

Oasis – At the VMA’s cira “Champagne SUpernova” -the most Oasis appearance ever

Otis Redding – “Dock Of The Bay”

Patsy Cline – “Crazy”

Paul Anka – writing the lyric to “My Way” for Frank Sinatra

Pauline Kael – The “Bonnie And Clyde” review

Paul McCartney – Band On The Run

Pauly Shore – 1992 – 1995

Peggy Lee – “Fever”

Peter Sellers – “Being There”

PG Wodehouse – 1934’s “Right Ho, Jeeves”

PJ Harvey – 1995 -strapping on her guitar and playing voodoo blues around Manhattan -I caught this show twice.

President Barack Obama – Obamacare

President Charles de Gaulle – Free France on June 14th, 1944

President Donald Trump – The week of February 3rd, 2020: acquitted from impeachment, best approval ratings, and at the Iowa Caucus  a 97.1% win

President Franklin Roosevelt – The meeting at Malta (a sign of his greatness: it was near the end of his life)

President George H. Bush – his speech to Congress when he claimed victory for Desert Storm.

President George W. Bush – At ground zero on 9-14-01 with a bullhorn: “I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people – and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

President John Kennedy – The Cuban Missile crisis

President Richard Nixon – DETENTE!

President Teddy Roosevelt – 1901 and the New Deal

Prime Minister Harold Wilson – meeting wit the Beatles

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – The Falklands War

Prime Minister Winston Churchill – “we will never surrender”

Phil Collins – His cover of “A Groovy Kind Of Love” shut me up for a second as well

Radiohead – In Rainbows, where they did the pay what you want and changed the game

Ravi Shanker – when he cheekily thanked the audience for applauding the tune up at the Concert For Bangladesh

Rihanna – The Global Citizen gig at Central Park in 2016

Ringo Starr – His eponymous third album

Robert Goulet – “What Kind of Fool Am I?”

Roman Polanski – “Chinatown”

Rosemary Clooney – White Christmas – snow, snow, snow

Ryan Adams – when he recorded Taylor Swift’s entire 1989

South Africa – When Mandela made the death penalty illegal

Squeeze – “Tempted”

Steve Jobs – 2007, the release of the iPhone changed reality

Steven Spielberg – “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”

Stevie Winwood – Back In The High Life Again

Stevie Wonder – That run of albums from 1972 to 1976

Talking Heads – “Burning Down The House”

Taylor Swift – The Yahoo listening party for “Shake It Off” followed quickly by the “Blank Space” video

Telly Savalas – “Kojak” after decades of playing the heavy

The Bangles – no, not “Manic Monday,” but “Walk Like An Egyptian”. It reminds me of a bar near where Bob Nevin and I worked and we’d watch it on the new at the time video jukebox.

The Band – Their eponymous second album (that’s the one with “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up On Cripple Creek”)

The Beach Boys – Not to be contentious, but 1965’s Summer Days (And Summer Nights) is as good as Rubber Soul... put it this way: side two goes “California Girls” and “Let Him Run Wild” – on their second of three albums released that year and the first one was the sublime The Beach Boys Today!

The Beatles – That One World satellite show of “All You Need Is Love”

The Boomtown Rats – “I Don’t Like Mondays”

The Clash – Those 17 concerts at Bonds International Casino in New York City

The Jam – All Mod Cons -but then a long plateau through to the end of their career…

The Kinks – “Lola”

The Monkees – “Daydream Believer” where pop manufacturing  met artistry

The National – 2017, the Grammy for Sleep Well Beast -also their best album

The Ramones – Not as easy as you might think: do you include Road To Ruin? Or is it only Ramones, Leave Home, Rocket To Russia… I say the latter

The Rolling Stones – “Miss You” made them the Kings of New York and disco

The Runaways – ‘Cherry Bomb”

The Stranglers – “No More Heroes”

The Supremes –  “You Can’t Hurry Love”

The New York Times – 1971

The Washington Post – Watergate

The Who – Who’s Next 

Tom Cruise – “Mission Impossible”

Tom Jones – an apex is an apex but it might be followed by a plateau, 1965’s “It’s Not Unusual” is the apex, “Green, Green Grass Of Home” the plateau.

Tom Selleck – “Magnum P.I.”

Tom Stoppard – “Arcadia”

Tony Bennett – His joining MLK Jr on the Selma, Montgomery march in 1965

Traffic – “Hole In My Shoe”

Travis Scott – when his wife at the time Kylie Jenner, got in the roller coaster with him at MSG in November 2018

Tupac Shakur – All Eyez On Me (especially “I Ain’t Mad At Cha”)

U2 – “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

United States Of America – from a purely power position? The fall of the Berlin War.

Van Morrison – “Moondance”

Vladimir Nabokov – “Lolita”

Walt Disney – The opening of Disneyland

Wayne Newton – In 1994, Newton performed his 25,000th solo show in Las Vegas

William Shakespeare – “Hamlet” is the obvious choice but is there a High School in the Western hemisphere that hasn’t done a production of “Romeo And Juliet”?

Willie Nile – If I was A River 

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