After having wild-eyed fans looking for their records in his store and going to see them at the Cavern Club, Brian Epstein invited The Beatles to his Liverpool office today in 1961 to discuss him managing the band. John Lennon, George Harrison, and Pete Best were late for the 4pm meeting, as they’d been down at the pub drinking, and George made an excuse for Paul McCartney who had just got up and was taking a bath.
The Rolling Stones had their second British #1 single with Little Red Rooster today in 1964, a song they’d recorded at Chess Records in Chicago, the same place that Howlin’ Wolf had first recorded it in 1961.
P.A. systems used at rock and roll shows were still fairly primitive today in 1965 when Keith Richards was knocked unconscious by an electrical shock when his guitar made contact with a microphone in Sacramento.
Ray Charles was in court today in 1966, receiving a 5 year suspended prison sentence and a $10,000 fine for possession of pot and heroin.
The Rolling Stones were at Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama today in 1969, recording a song Mick Jagger had written about his then-secret girlfriend, singer and actress Marsha Hunt (who later gave birth to Mick’s first and her only child Karis). Brown Sugar went to #1 in both the U.S. and England.
Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention were playing the casino in Montreaux, Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva tonight in 1971 when “some stupid with a flare gun burned the place to the ground”, as chronicled in Deep Purple’s hit two years later, Smoke On The Water.
Ronnie Wood’s then-wife Krisse was arrested at the couple’s home in the Richmond area of London today in 1975 for possession of cannabis and cocaine. Her friend Audrey Burgeon was also arrested and newspapers reported that the two women had been “sleeping together”.
A 40-foot helium-filled pig broke free of it’s tethers between the smokestacks of the old Battersea power station on the Thames today in 1976, where it was being photographed for the cover of the new Pink Floyd album Animals. Pilots were alerted to the aviation hazard, which eventually reached an altitude of 18,000 feet, by the tower at Heathrow Airport. After floating around London the pig eventually crashed into a barn in Kent, where the farmer complained it had frightened his cows.
The Philadelphia Fury lost it’s first game in the fledgling North American Soccer League today in 1978, 3-nil to the Washington Diplomats. The Furies were co-owned by avid English Premier League football fans Peter Frampton, Paul Simon, and Mick Jagger.
The Who were playing Cincinatti’s Riverfront Coliseum tonight in 1979 when things went horribly wrong. When fans outside heard the band’s late sound check outside the stadium, they thought the show was starting and started a mad stampede for the first-come-first serve seats. 11 of them were trampled to death, and 26 were injured. The tragedy marked the end, mostly, of what had been known as “festival seating” at rock shows, and inspired a particularly cynical and tasteless t-shirt that read “I’d Walk Over You To See The Who”.
Judas Priest were sued today in 1986 by two families, whose lawyers argued that their song Better By You, Better Than Me contained the subliminal phrase “Do it” that inspired their sons to enter a suicide pact, which they carried out. The trial lasted a little over a month, but the case was eventually thrown out of court.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Velvet Underground singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist John Cale (OBE) is 70.
Black Sabbath’s original lead singer John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne is 64.
Jefferson Starship lead singer John Michael “Mickey” Thomas is 62.
Molly Hatchett guitarist Duane Roland would be 59 had he not died of natural causes at 52.