july 1 1986

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On this day in music history: July 1, 1986 - “Music From The Edge Of Heaven”, the third album by Wham! is released. Produced by George Michael, it is recorded at Sarm West Studios in London, GM Home Studio, Knightsbridge, London, UK, and Worker’s Gymnasium in Beijing, China from August 1982, November 1984 - May 1986. Released in only North America and Japan, the eight song compilation consists of new material, previously released singles and remixes from the duos last UK album, the fifteen-track double LP set “The Final”. The three brand new songs “The Edge Of Heaven” (#10 Pop) (featuring Elton John on piano), “Battlestations”, and “Where Did Your Heart Go?” (#50 Pop), are paired with George Michael’s own recent solo hit “A Different Corner” (#7 Pop), along the previously released Wham! singles “I’m Your Man” (#3 Pop), the seasonal “Last Christmas” (#2 UK) (unreleased in the US prior to its inclusion on this album), a new remix of their UK debut single “Wham Rap”, and the live track “Blue (Armed With Love) (Live In China)”. The US release also differs from its UK counterpart, featuring a longer version of “Different Corner” and a shorter version of the extended mix of “I’m Your Man”. The album is also sequenced with all of the uptempo songs on the first side (HOT SIDE) and the ballads on the second side (COOL SIDE). The packaging for the US LP is also largely redesigned from the artwork prepared for “The Final” in the UK. The US “Heaven” LP jacket features a striking rainbow color spectrum on the front and back designed by George Michael, Peter Saville Associates and Trevor Key (New Order). The album sleeve includes no text other than the artist name, title and catalog number printed on the spine. A removable sticker with a picture of Michael and Ridgeley along with the album track listing and UPC code is affixed in the upper right hand corner. The inner sleeve includes a larger version of the same photo on the sticker, song titles printed on the back, and a separate insert with printed lyrics and credits. “Music From The Edge Of Heaven” peaks at number ten on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

10

October 17th is the birthday of John Stewart, Green Lantern of Sector 2814.  Happy Birthday, John Stewart!  (Not to be confused with the fake news guy, Jon Stewart)

Created by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams, John Stewart first appeared in Green Lantern v.2 #87 in December 1971.  He is DC’s first African-American superhero.  (The Black Racer appeared earlier in 1971, but is not exactly a “hero”).

A former Marine and architect from Detroit, John Stewart was selected by the Guardians of the Universe to be the backup Green Lantern for Hal Jordan when Guy Gardner was seriously injured.  He served as the backup Green Lantern several times before becoming the primary Green Lantern of Sector 2814 in Green Lantern v.2 #182 (November 1984), when Hal Jordan relinquished his ring.  He has remained a member of the Green Lantern Corps, even after Hal Jordan returned.  He has also served as a member of the Justice League.

Here are a few John Stewart comics from the DuGarm Collection at the University of Iowa: Special Collections.

Green Lantern v.2 #188 (May 1985), cover by Joe Staton and Bruce Patterson

Green Lantern: Mosaic v.1 #3 (August 1992), cover by Cully Hamner and Keith Aiken

Green Lantern v.2 #190 (July 1985), cover by Joe Staton and Bruce Patterson

Crisis on Infinite Earths v.1 #1 (April 1985), cover by George Perez

Green Lantern v.2 #165 (June 1983), cover by Gil Kane

Crisis on Infinite Earths v.1 #2 (April 1985), cover by George Perez

Green Lantern v.2 #182 (November 1984), cover by Dave Gibbons

Green Lantern Corps v.1 #202 (July 1986), cover by Joe Staton and Bruce Patterson

Green Lantern v.3 #6 (November 1990), cover by Pat Broderick

Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe v.1 #9 (November 1985), cover by Paris Cullins and Dick Giordano

2

Just before Prince picked her up, Lisa’s mother told her, ‘You’ll be fine. Just be yourself and don’t do anything stupid.’ Her guy pulled up, 15 minutes late, at the wheel of a white Buick convertible with personalized license plates that read LOVE. Eschewing the gravel driveway, he vaulted over a chain-link fence and knocked on the door. “Hello,” he said, kissing her hand. “My name is Prince. Ready to have a good time?”

Prince sat with Barber in a back row. He did not buy her any Raisinets or popcorn but otherwise behaved like a perfect gentleman. “Well, there was one time during the movie when he played with my hair and he put his arm around me,” says Barber. “But that’s all he did. Honest.” And did Prince, rock’s reigning purple enigma, actually engage in conversation sometime during the evening? “Oh, yeah,” says Barber. “I asked him how he liked it here. He said it was real pretty and that I was lucky to live here. In the car he asked me what the best radio station was, and when he turned to it, the deejay was talking about him. He said, 'If I had a phone in here, I’d call him.” –PEOPLE, July 23, 1986

Prince and Lisa Barber, MTV’s contest winner, at the Centennial Twin theater for a private screening of “Under the Cherry Moon” in Sheridan, WY., July 1, 1986.

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December 7th is the birthday of Harvey Dent, more infamously known as Two-Face.   (I always thought he would be a Gemini.) Happy Birthday, Harvey!

Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Two-Face first appeared in Detective Comics v.1 #66 in August 1942.

District Attorney Harvey Dent had the left side of his face disfigured by acid thrown at him by Salvatore “Boss” Moroni.  After his disfigurement, Dent had a mental breakdown and became the notorious villain, Two-Face.  Two-Face’s criminal activities often involve the number “two”.  Two-Face employs a double-sided coin, with one of the faces crossed out, in much of his decision-making.  The unmarked side represents “good” and the scarred side representing “evil”.

Harvey Dent was portrayed on film by Billy Dee Williams in Batman (1988) and Lego Batman (2017), Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever (1995), and Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight (2008).

These comics (and many more) are part of the DuGarm Collection at the University of Iowa: Special Collections.

Batman v.1 #398 (August 1986), cover by Tom Mandrake

Batman & Robin Adventures  #2 (December 1995), cover by Ty Templeton

Batman v.1 #397 (July 1986), cover by Tom Mandrake

Justice League of America v.1 #125 (December 1975), cover by Ernie Chan

Detective Comics v.1 #581 (December 1987), cover by Jim Baikie

Batman v.1 #346 (April 1982), cover by Rich Buckler 

Batman: Two-Face Strikes Twice!  Book One Part Two (November 1993), flip cover by Daerick Gross

Batman: Two-Face Strikes Twice!  Book Two Part One (December 1993), cover by Dick Sprang  

Batman v.1 #314 (August 1979), cover by José Luis García-López

Teen Titans v.1 #48 (June 1977), cover by Rich Buckler

6

The airport crowd let out a hoot when Prince’s Learjet appeared as a dot in the Western sky. It landed and sat on the strip for a few minutes, the passenger door opened. Then one tiny, high-heeled boot appeared. Then all 5'3" of Prince Rogers Nelson, decked out in a purple paisley silk suit, emerged smiling. He walked down a red carpet and threw his jacket over a fence to the crowd, then politely exchanged pleased-to-meet-you’s with Sheridan’s mayor, Max Debolt, and other dignitaries. DeBolt, who takes every opportunity to plug Sheridan’s tourist attractions (hunting and fishing) and neighborly life-style (“I think we had a thief here—once”), was delighted with the hoopla. As Prince climbed into a gray-and-black limo, he said, to no one in particular, “I’m going to buy a house here.” –PEOPLE, July 21, 1986.

Prince arrives in Sheridan, Wyoming for a private screening of “Under the Cherry Moon” with MTV’s contest winner, Lisa Barber, July 1, 1986.