The disc-jockey who had first befriended The Beatles in the U.S. (he often referred to himself as The Fifth Beatle) Murray “Murray The K” Kaufmann was fired from New York’s WOR-FM today in 1967 for insubordination and “inability to take direction”. The formerly “free form” rock station had moved to a set playlist, which Murray violated frequently.
Paul McCartney was at Abbey Road by himself today in 1968, playing all the instruments himself on a song he had written in India on their trip to meet the Maharishi when he saw two monkeys copulating in the street. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road appeared on The White Album.
For the first and only time in the history of the BBC’s long-running Top Of The Pops TV programme (1964-2006), they refused to air the number one song today in 1969. a lurid little ditty called ‘Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus (In English: I Love You…Me Neither) was an extremely erotic song written by Serge Gainsbourg for his girlfriend Brigitte Bardot in 1967 (though her version wouldn’t be released until 1986). It featured audio of Serge and another girlfriend, actress Jane Birkin, seemingly “doing it”, coming to a feverish head with Birkin’s orgasmic groans at the end. It was banned by many American radio stations, 7 countries, and was even banned before 11pm in France. Fontana, the label that released it, dropped it even though it was still #2 on the charts.
The Who played at the University of Surrey in England tonight in 1971 with John Sebastian joining them on harmonica during Magic Bus, the only time another musician ever joined the band on stage. They may have been in a good mood because they were celebrating John Entwhistle’s 27th birthday.
Yoko Ono gave birth to her and John Lennon’s only child, Sean Taro Ono Lennon today in 1975, John’s birthday. John retired from music to be a “house husband” for Sean’s first 5 years.
The Sex Pistols signed to EMI records today in 1976 for an advance of just under $70,000. They were dumped three months later, with the3 label stopping production of and deleting the band’s Anarchy In The UK from its catalog.
The Rolling Stones played the first of two nights at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum tonight in 1981 with Prince as the opening act. Prince was dressed in his usual-at-the-time bikini briefs and trench coat, and managed to play for all of 15 minutes before being chased off stage by booing fans pelting him with beer cans.
Ringo Starr started a new job today in 1984, playing the role of the conductor/storyteller on the BBC’s children’s show Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends. He left after two years, and was followed in the role by comedian George Carlin, and actors Alec Baldwin and Pierce Brosnan.
Yoko Ono marked what would have been John Lennon’s 45th birthday today in 1985 by formally dedicating a garden in New York’s Central Park across the street from the Dakota Apartments called Strawberry Fields. Funded by her 1 million dollar donation, the garden features a circular mosaic with the word “Imagine” at the center that is still a pilgrimage site for Beatles fans worldwide.
Seattle’s Nirvana entered the charts with their third and final studio album In Utero today in 1993. Kurt Cobain reportedly wanted to call the record I Hate Myself and I Want To Die.
Yoko Ono dedicated another memorial to her late husband today in 2007, with their son Sean, Ringo Starr, and George’s widow Olivia Harrison in attendance. Paul McCartney was invited but didn’t attend because of a court date. The Imagine Peace Tower is a white stone monument equipped with 15 search lights, located in Reykjavik, Iceland because of that country’s natural beauty and Eco-friendly use of geothermally generated electricity. The column of light appears every year between John’s birthday (today) and the day he was shot (December 8th).
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Head Beatle John Winston Ono Lennon would be 72 today. He was just 40 when he was shot to death by an idiot who really really liked him.
Still considered by most rock fans as the best bass player ever, John Alec “The Ox, Thunderfingers” Entwhistle of The Who would be 68. He died on the eve of The Who’s 2002 tour at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas of a cocaine-and-hooker induced heart attack at age 57.
Singer,guitarist, songwriter, and political activist Jackson Browne is 64.