Odds & Ends: Davis, Hetfield & Springfield

Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” album is celebrated, Metallica frontman James Hetfield donates land and Rick Springfield writes his memoir.

Kind Of Blue’s 50th Birthday

To mark the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, the United States House of Representatives has unanimously voted to honor the 1959 landmark album. Resolution H.Res.894 passed on a 409-0 vote.

Photo: AP Photo / Herman Leonard Photography
This 1949 flood-damaged photo shows Miles Davis at Birdland in New York.

The album, which was released on Columbia Records and clocks in at just 37 minutes, is considered by many to be Davis’ masterpiece and the greatest jazz album of all time. Kind Of Blue has made a huge impact on jazz in addition to influencing other genres such as rock, blues, hip hop and classical. Trumpeter Miles Davis is joined on the album by saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb.

Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat who sponsored the measure, said the album “made musical history and changed the artistic landscape of this country and in some ways the world.”

Heavy Metal Donation
Metallica frontman James Hetfield has followed up on his previous donation of more than 400 acres of open space in San Rafael, Calif., by throwing in another 330 acres.

The plots of land, which overlook California’s Lucas Valley and are located around Hetfield’s home, were donated to Marin County.

Hetfield made the donations to preserve open space as well as maintain privacy, according to his land use consultant. The singer is working with county officials on a deal to reroute a hiking trail that crosses his property. Rerouting is expected to set the county back more than $200,000.

Rick Springfield’s Story
Singer-songwriter/ actor Rick Springfield is writing an “extremely candid” memoir, which will delve into his long battle with depression.

“Late, Late at Night” is being published by Touchstone Fireside and is scheduled to hit bookstores in October 2010.

Photo: AP Photo
At his home and recording studio.

The 60-year-old performer is best known in the music world for his 1981 No.1 hit song “Jessie’s Girl.” The tune earned Springfeld a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. In 1983 he tied with John Mellencamp for an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist.

After staring on “General Hospital” from 1981-1983 as Dr. Noah Drake he returned to the show in 2005 and he now plays both Drake and a 1980s rock star named Eli Love. Springfeld recently guest starred in several episodes of the third season of Showtime’s “Californication” in a role his website describes as a “wickedly twisted version of himself.”