It was today in 1944 that hundreds of thousands of American, British, Canadian, and other Allied troops were staged to invade Nazi-occupied France. At the last minute General Eisenhower postponed D-Day until tomorrow because of weather. There wasn’t much rock and roll going on, but if they hadn’t done what they did, chances are we’d be listening to a lot more Kraftwerk, Scorpions, and Neu! today.
It was tonight in 1964 that the Rolling Stones played their first live show on U.S. soil at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernadino, California. It was as close as they would get to Seattle on the 11-date tour. Bill Wyman called it a disaster: “When we arrived, we didn’t have a hit record or anything going for us”. When they appeared on the “Hollywood Palace” TV show they were openly mocked by host Dean Martin, who said “I’ve been rolled when I was stoned myself”.
Dusty Springfield was much nicer to The Jimi Henrix Experience when they appeared on her TV show in London today in 1968. They even did a song together, Mockingbird. The footage survives, barely:
It was today in 1971 that The Beatles record for selling out Shea Stadium in New York was broken by a band from Flint, Michigan: Grand Funk Railroad.
It was today in 1975 that Pink Floyd were at EMI’s Abbey Road studios in London working on a final mix of a song about their founder Syd Barrett, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, when an overweight man with a shaved head (eyebrows even) entered the room holding a plastic bag. It was Syd. The band did not recognize him for a while, when Roger Waters finally did, he was reduced to tears. A crew member later said “Two or three people cried. He sat around and talked a bit, but wasn’t really there”. When asked how he had gained so much weight, Syd said he “had a large refrigerator in his kitchen, and ate a lot of pork chops”. Syd stayed for a reception being held for the newly-married David Gilmore in the EMI canteen, but left without saying goodbye. They never saw him again. He died in 2006.
It was today in 1977 that Alice Cooper’s Boa Constrictor died after being bit by a rat it was being fed. Alice held auditions for a replacement snake.
It was tonight in 1983 that U2 recorded their “U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky” album at a show at the Red Rocks amphitheater outside of Denver.
Steely Dan’s original drummer Jim Hodder drowned in his swimming pool today in 1990 at age 42. He quit after Pretzel Logic, and went on to play for Sammy Hagar and David Soul.
It was today in 2007 that Sir Paul McCartney released his 21st solo album, Memory Almost Full, the first on a record label called Hear Music launched by a little coffee company from here in Seattle: Starbucks. The album sold over 1.5 million copies through Starbucks stores in 29 countries world wide. Paul intended to sign a long-term deal with the label, but Starbucks washed its hands of the record business a year later.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Sly and the Family Stone guitarist, singer, and brother of Sly Freddie Stone is 65. These days he is a pastor in Vallejo, Califonia.
Tom Evans of Badfinger would also be 65, had he not taken his own life at 36. He was depressed over fighting over royalty payments and the suicide of bandmate Pete Ham 8 years earlier.
Be safe, Crowski.