The Beatles returned to Liverpool from Hamburg tonight in 1960 without their bass player Stu Sutcliffe, who had quit to pursue a career in art (He would die two years later of a brain aneurysm). They played the Casbah Coffee Club with new member Chas Newby, who in turn quit two weeks and 3 shows later, in order to return to college. Guitarist Paul McCartney moved to bass, and eventually made more money than any college education could have got him.
Bob Dylan played his first-ever show in England tonight in 1962, at the Troubadour nightclub in London.
Carroll James became the first American disc jockey to play The Beatles today in 1963, when he spun a 45 on WWDC in Washington DC that his stewardess-girlfriend had brought home from England. Capitol Records considered suing the station, as I Want To Hold Your Hand hadn’t been released in the U.S. yet, but instead decided to put it out sooner than planned.
The Who threw a Christmas party at their favourite stomping ground, London’s Marquee Club, tonight in 1968. Members of their fan club got in for a mere 15 shillings, while the general public had to pay £1. Opening the show was a brand-new act who called themselves “Yes“.
Elvis Costello and The Attractions were tapped as a last-minute fill-in for The Sex Pistols on Saturday Night Live tonight in 1977. Lorne Michaels and NBC’s censor crew were more frightened of Elvis’ snarling punk-rock musical condemnation of the increasing commercialization of the broadcast industry Radio Radio than they were of the Sex Pistols (who were unable to get in the country with their criminal records), and specifically ordered him no to play it. He got just a little way into his song Less Than Zero and stopped, saying “There’s no reason to do this”, and launching into Radio Radio anyway.
At the time the most famous female drummer in the world, Karen Carpenter, played her last show with her and her brother’s namesake band tonight in 1982 in Sherman Oaks California. She would be dead a little over a year later at age 32 from complications of the eating disorder Anorexia Nervosa.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Art Neville is 75, one of New Orleans’ famous Neville Brothers and the keyboard player with The Meters (who were nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, but didn’t make it…but Donna Summer did). He was also a coveted session player who’s performed with Paul McCartney and Dr. John, to name but a few.
Temptations singer Eddie Kendricks would be 73, he died of cancer at 52.
Paul Butterfield, singer and harmonica player with the blues band that beared his name, would be 70. He died at 44 from internal complications of heavy drinking and opiate use (he was also nominated to the rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, but didn’t make it…but Donna Summer did.)
Free, Bad Company, and The Firm singer Paul Rodgers is 62, and living quite happily as a new Canadian citizen in the Okanogan with his former Miss Canada wife.
REM’s bass player Mike Mills is 54.
Replacements guitarist Bob Stinson would be 53. He died at 35 of drug and alcohol related organ failure. His younger brother Tommy joined Guns and Roses on bass after the Replacements broke up, and is now that band’s longest tenured bass player, though he hasn’t played on anywhere near as many of their albums as Duff McKagen.