Brian Epstein was working at his record store in Liverpool today in 1961, when for the second time in as many days, some customers asked him for a single by the Beatles. He finally figured out that they were looking for a record made in Germany, My Bonnie by crooner Tony Sheridan, on which the Beatles served as his backing band, changing their name to The Beat Brothers on account of The Beatles was dangerously close to a German slang word for oral sex. Epstein would soon ask the increasingly popular band to let him manage them.
The Rolling Stones then-leader Brian Jones entered a plea-bargain deal today in 1967 in which he admitted to possession of cannabis and allowing it to be smoked in his flat, but pleading not guilty to possession of cocaine and methedrine. He was sentenced to 9 months in London’s notorious Wormwood Scrubs prison, which was suspended and he was released on bail the next day.
T-Rex appeared on the BBC’s Top Gear today in 1967. In the 70’s it became a car show that is immensely popular today, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond, but at the time the name Top Gear was used for a music show hosted by John Peel, who was a big fan of Marc Bolan’s band. They were the first to appear on the show without first having a recording contract.
Doors frontman Jim Morrison was sentenced to 6 months in prison today in 1970 for showing “Little Jim” to an audience in Miami. His lawyers immediately appealed, but Jim died in Paris without serving any time before the case was resolved. He was posthumously pardoned in 2010 by Florida’s governor.
Pink Floyd released their 6th studio album Meddle today in 1971. It featured a 23-minute song called Echoes that took up a whole album side. It can be heard regularly on KZOK HD-2, and on KZOK’s 10pm Monday night Pink Floyd show Think Pink.
KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park ran on NBC tonight in 1978, in which four members of a popular costumed American rock band brought a mad scientist to justice. All four members of KISS had just released separate solo albums, with the one by lead guitarist Ace Frehley being the only one that was good.
Jimmy Page was well-chuffed to be nominated for a Grammy award today in 1988, but it wasn’t for anything he’d done with Led Zeppelin. It was a best rock instrumental performance award for a piece he’d done for the movie Outrider. He didn’t win, and apparently still has never won a Grammy.
Nirvana played what was supposedly their first show ever tonight in 1988, in a dorm room at the Evergreen State College in Olympia. A cheap guitar that Kurt Cobain smashed, believed to be his first, was kept by an attendee and later sold to Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project for thousands of dollars, and is currently on display in their exhibit Nirvana: Taking Punk To The Masses.
A man in Los Angeles called police to complain about loud music coming from his neighbor’s house tonight in 1990. The noisemaker, Guns-N-Roses singer Axl Rose, hit the complainer over the head with a bottle and was arrested and fined $10,000.
All four original members of Black Sabbath reunited to play Paranoid on The Late Show With David Letterman tonight in 1998.
Motley Crue were playing a show at Gilley’s Nightclub in Dallas Texas tonight in 2004. Singer Vince Neil asked a soundman to turn up his guitar in the monitor mix, and as the soundman went to adjust the volume, Neil attacked him and left him unconscious. A warrant was issued for his arrest.
The Ramones manager, real estate agent to the stars, and ex-wife of Sire records president Seymour Stein, Linda Stein, was found beaten to death in her Manhattan apartment today in 2007. Her clients also included Billy Joel, Sting, and Sir Elton Hercules John, who told the New York Times he was “absolutely shocked”.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick is 72.
Temptations singer Otis “Big Daddy” Williams is 70.
Drummer Chris Slade is 65. He was a member of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, The Firm, Uriah Heep, and played with Tom Jones, David Gilmore, and AC/DC.
Eagles and Poco bass player Timothy Bruce Schmidt is 65.