Say It's Your Birthday: Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister, Mike Curb & Lee Dorsey

Not fair! One killer birthday party today, and ATN queen

of news Jaan Uhelszki keeps the invitation for herself. You can read her

account of Lemmy Kilmister's decadent 50th birthday bash elsewhere in today's

news. She tried to regale us with the stories. But the rest of your faithful

ATN birthday team was frankly too pooped from mop-up duty to pay attention to

her. Our first stop was a cookout for Mike Curb. The entrepreneur and

soundtrack hack was named president of MGM Records in 1969, when he was barely

of voting age, and made headlines when he publicly approached the companies

artist roster who were suspected of promoting demon drug use. Of course, closer

inspection revealed that all the acts dropped were those who simply weren't

moving enough product; the one MGM artist who publicly advocated drug

experimentation, Eric Burdon, was selling far to many records to be let go. By

the time the dust had settled, however, Curb had made a political career for

himself as an early proponent of "family values" and would eventually become

lieutenant governor of the state of California. He's remained a music mogul as

well, scoring heavily in the new country field with his Curb Records imprint

through Warners Capital and other distributors. The food at Michael's wing-ding

was great, but the atmosphere left something to be desired. Too many

Republicans and cowboy hats. We cruised by the party for Human League bassist

Ian Burden (no relation to Eric) but there were too many gloomy synth nerds

sitting around theorizing about dance music while nobody danced. Just when it

looked like our quest was a washout, we finally found a birthday party worth

crashing. Unless you're a musical trivia buff, the name Lee Dorsey might not

mean too much. But listen to any of his classic R&B sides from the early '60s

("Ya Ya," "Holy Cow," "Working In a Coal Mine") and you will not fail to be

moved by the spirit of sweet soul release. (The Clash were certainly moved back

in the late '70s when they toured with Lee as an opening act. So were Devo, who

covered "Working In a Coal Mine.) Lee's party was jumping! So much so

that it didn't seem to bother folks that Mr. Dorsey himself passed away in

1986. In New Orleans, the don't let a little thing like death stand in the way

of a good party.