David Bowie was at Trident Studios in London today in 1969, recording a song inspired by the hit Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey from the year before. Beatles producer George Martin had been unimpressed with the demos and turned the project down. Bowie’s second-choice producer for the album Bowie thought the song was a gimmick, and delegated the recording of Space Oddity to an underling who was eager to help David get the song released to coincide with the Apollo 11 moon landing coming in early July. The musicians playing with him on the track were relatively unknown, save the keyboard player: Rick Wakeman from Yes.
The second three-day Newport Pop Festival started today in 1969 at the Devonshire Downs horse track in Northridge, California. The first Newport Pop Festival in ’68 had been the first to attract 100,000 fans, Newport ’69 set a record too: The $50,000 paid to Jimi Hendrix was the most money ever paid to a single performer, and was the same amount promoters had paid all the musicians at the festival the year before. Also on the bill: Joe Cocker, Spirit, Taj Mahal, CCR, Jethro Tull, Eric Burdon, Love, Steppenwolf, Booker T and the MG’s, The Chambers Brothers, Poco, The Byrds, Johnny Winter, Marvin Gaye, Buddy Miles The Grass Roots, The Rascals, and Three Dog Night.
It was today in 1987 that The Firm had a number one hit in England. Unfortunately for Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers, this The Firm was not their short-lived supergroup that had broken up the year before, but a novelty act that hit it big with a parody based around catch-phrases from the TV show called Star Trekkin‘. Page and Rodgers did not take them to court.
It was tonight in 2004 that Paul McCartney played his 3000th live show (including Quarrymen, Beatles, Wings, and as a solo act) in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was an outdoor show, and promoters hired three jets to seed clouds with dry ice so that it wouldn’t rain.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Guitarist Danny Cedrone would be 92 today. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this last Spring as a member of Bill Haley’s Comets, posthumously, as only 10 days after recording the legendary guitar solo on Rock Around the Clock he fell down some stairs and broke his neck.
British producer Mickie Most would be 74. He had a massive string of hits in the 60’s with Donovan, The Animals, Herman’s Hermits, and The Jeff Beck Group.
The Beach Boys creative genius Brian Wilson is 70, and reunited with his old band for their 50th anniversary tour, which comes to the Chateau St. Michelle Winery on Friday July 13th.
Chickenfoot and original Van Halen bass player Michael Anthony is 58.
And Seattle’s own Green River, Mother Love Bone, and Pearl Jam guitarist Stoney Gossard is 45, and usually doing good things with all that money when it’s not being stolen by weasels.
Be safe, and enjoy the sunshine! –Crowski.