Jimmy Page released his only solo single today in 1965. He played all the instruments except the drums, sang, and produced She Just Satisfies calling on his work as one of England’s two most sought-after session guitarists. The other was known as “Big Jim” Sullivan, so Jimmy was known as “‘Lil Jim Pea”. Page became the favored session guitarist of producer Shel Talmy, which led to him playing on early songs by The Who (Pete Townsend famously left his tracks off their first single I Can’t Explain), The Kinks, The Rolling Stones (Heart of Stone), Donovan (Sunshine Superman), and many many more. He later said, “My session work was invaluable. At one point I was playing at least three sessions a day, six days a week! And I rarely ever knew in advance what I was going to be playing. But I learned things even on my worst sessions – and believe me, I played on some horrendous things. I finally called it quits after I started getting calls to do Muzak. I decided I couldn’t live that life any more; it was getting too silly. I guess it was destiny that a week after I quit doing sessions Paul Samwell-Smith left the Yardbirds and I was able to take his place. But being a session musician was good fun in the beginning – the studio discipline was great. They’d just count the song off and you couldn’t make any mistakes.”
The Beatles were at number one on the U.S. album charts for the 7th time today in 1966 with their latest, Rubber Soul. Produced by George Martin and recorded over four weeks just in time to be released just before Christmas , it was the first time they dedicated a specific time to recording, without rushing off to play concerts or make movies. The American version of the album had been reconfigured to appeal to the emerging “Folk Rock” market by the removal of some tracks (Drive My Car, Nowhere Man, What Goes On, and If I Needed Someone), and the addition of some from the U.K. release of Help! (I’ve Just Seen A Face, and It’s Only Love).
Davie Jones was on-stage tonight in 1966 with his 5th band, The Buzz, in an old Corn Exchange in Chelmsford, North East of London. The Buzz would release his 5th unsuccessful single, Do Anything You Say. The next year he would become dissatisfied being associated with The Monkees singer Davy Jones, and change his stage last-name to that of the 19th century American frontier legend and the knife he popularized, to become David Bowie.
After seeing U2 play for almost 2500 people at Dublin’s National Boxing Stadium tonight in 1980, two executives from Britain’s Island Records offered them a contract on the spot.
Michael Jackson’s 6th studio album Thriller went to #1 on the U.S. Charts today in 1983. Produced by Seattle’s Quincy Jones, and featuring among others, Eddie Van Halen on guitar, it would go on to be the best selling record of all time, knocking Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon from that spot.
Rush became the first rock band inducted into The Order Of Canada today in 1997.
Electric Flag and Hendrix’s Band Of Gypsies drummer, singer, and songwriter Buddy Miles died of heart disease today in 2008 at age 60.
A 10 minute version of The Beatles Revolution 1 was leaked to the interwebs today in 2009, offering rare insight into their White Album sessions. Only two copies of that take were known to exist, and one of them left the studio with John Lennon the day it was recorded. No one knows how the other got to the public.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Antoine Dominique “Fats” Domino Jr. is 85.
John R. “Johnny” Cash would be 81. Mostly thought of as a “country” singer, Johnny was turned down after auditioning some gospel songs for pioneering rockabilly label Sun Records producer Sam Phillips, who was rumored to have told him, “go home and sin, then come back with a song I can sell”. Johnny ten years ago, after somewhat of a career revival at the direction of uber-producer Rick Rubin, who had him sing songs by current rock artists, including Seattle’s Soundgarden.
Canned Heat founder, guitarist, singer, and harmonica player Bob “The Bear” Hite would be 70. He died of a heart attack at age 38.
Jonathan Cain, who replaced Journey keyboard player and singer Greg Rolie when he became disillusioned with the band’s increasing move toward hyper-commercial music and presided over their most lucrative albums, is 63.