While The Hollies were touring in Scotland today in 1963, guitarist Graham Nash noticed a door he thought might be unlocked. He was right, and tumbled out onto the pavement at 40 mph. He was treated for cuts and bruises.
Paul McCartney’s song Yesterday was released as a single today in 1965, but only in the U.S. The Beatles thought it sounded so drastically different from the rest of their material (The recording was only Paul backed by a string quartet), they refused to release it as such in England. It went on to become the most-covered song in the history or recorded music.
The Beatles formed the Fiftyshapes, Ltd. electronics company today in 1967, with John Alexis “Magic Alex” Mardas at it’s head. He claimed to be able to build a 72-track tape recorder at a time when Abbey Road still had only 4-tracks (he never did), and wanted to replace the sonic baffling used around Ringo’s drums with an invisible sonic force field. George Harrison later said employing Magic Alex was the biggest disaster of their careers.
John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and the rest of the Plastic Ono Band flew to Toronto today in 1969. Members Eric Clapton, Alan White, and Klaus Voorman were such late additions that they had to learn the songs and rehearse on the plane. The performance was later released in 1969 as the Live Peace in Toronto album.
Led Zeppelin played the Berkeley Community Theater tonight in 1971, and it didn’t go over well. Jimmy Page later mused over the reasons the crowd didn’t like them: “a) They were contaminated by the negative press we had continually received from the locally-based Rolling Stone; b) They were sitting in the remnants of the vibrant San Francisco music scene they had witnessed over the last 5 years; c) They weren’t receptive to new music we played – material from the unreleased Led Zeppelin IV; d) They were heavily stoned, or; e) were all of the above.”
Geffen Records threw a party at the Re-Bar nightclub in Seattle (It’s still there on Howell Street) tonight in 1991, to celebrate Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit single. The liquor flowed freely, and the band were booted from their own party for starting a food fight.
E-Street Band drummer Max Weinberg moonlighted tonight for the first time in 1993 as the band leader on Late Night With Conan O’Brien.
Sir Elton Hercules John threw a rock star hissy fit in Lisbon, Portugal tonight in 2000, after guests at a VIP dinner before his scheduled concert were slow in taking their seats. Elton hopped on his private jet and flew home without playing a note.
The central-district home where Jimi Hendrix grew up was saved from demolition today in 2005. The City of Seattle and Experience Hendrix LLC worked together to move the house and turn it into a community center across the street from the Greenwood Memorial Park in the Renton highlands where he is buried.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Blood, Sweat, and Tears singer David Clayton-Thomas is 70.
Chicago bass player and soft-rock solo artiste Peter Cetera is 68.
Steve Kilbey of Australian band The Church is 58.
The current drummer of The Who and Oasis, Zak Starkey is 47. When he and his wife had a daughter in 1985, his dad Ringo Starr became the first Beatle grandfather.