Elvis Presley was in a recording studio today in 1960 for the first time since being discharged from the U.S. Army. Elvis had insisted on serving in an armored battalion in Germany when he was drafted, even though he could have had a cushy “entertainment division” job, and wanted to be treated like “any other solider”, albeit one that could afford to live off-base in a luxury hotel and buy stuff for the fellow members of his platoon. Joining him in the studio were guitarist Scotty Moore and bass player Bill Black, who hadn’t played with him since 1957, and were inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame just last year.
The Beatles performed “live” on the BBC’s Ready Steady Go! tonight in 1964, though they prerecorded the audio tracks and lip-synced to it on TV. Their guitars are not plugged in, and Ringo, who sings lead on I Wanna Be Your Man, doesn’t have a microphone.
British Mods went crazy for the package tour playing London tonight in 1965 at the Finsbury Park Astoria. Stevie Wonder, The Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, and The Temptations were way more popular with white kids in the U.K. than in America.
Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Richie Furray, and Jim Messina were arrested today in 1968 in Los Angeles, and charged with “being at a place where it was suspected that marijuana was being used”. Clapton was found innocent, the rest paid small fines.
John Lennon married Yoko Ono today in 1969, at a small ceremony at the British Consulate at the Rock of Gibraltar (a British colony and military outpost since the days of the sailing Royal Navy). They used their honeymoon as political protest, staging the first “Bed-In for Peace” at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam. They planned on a second event in New York, but were denied entry into the U.S., so moved it to Toronto, all as documented in John’s song The Ballad of John and Yoko.
The Rolling Stones placed “adverts” in all British music publications today in 1971 at considerable expense, to publicly state their displeasure with Decca records compilation of songs previously released only as singles in the U.K., or on American albums called Stone Age. It read, “We didn’t know this record was going to be released. It is, in our opinion, below the standard we try to keep up, both in choice of content and cover design.”
T-Rex played their last live show ever tonight in 1977 in Portsmouth, England. Frontman Marc Bolan, who was deathly afraid of cars and did not drive, would be killed in a car crash in September.
An armed 28 year old Joseph Riviera showed up at the offices of Asylum Records today in 1980, demanding to see either Jackson Browne or The Eagles. He wanted them to finance his trucking operation, but when told that the artists were not in the office, gave himself up to police.
Former Runaway Joan Jett and her new band The Blackhearts started a 7 week run at #1 on the U.S. charts today in 1982, with a cover of a song originally performed in the 60’s by British David Cassidy lookalikes The Arrows called I Love Rock and Roll.
Eric Clapton was in New York after taking his 4 year old son Connor to the circus today in 1991 when the boy fell from a 53rd story apartment window. Eric was staying at a hotel a few blocks away, while Connor was back with his mother, Italian actress Lori Del Santo, visiting a friend who’d left a window open. The tragedy inspired Eric’s song Tears In Heaven.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Drummer Carl Palmer, of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster, Asia, and most famously Emerson Lake and Palmer is 63.
Former Fabulous Thunderbirds guitarist Jimmy Vaughn is 62. He’s the two-year-older brother of another pretty good guitarist, the late Stevie Ray.
Rockabilly revivalists The Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom is 52. He married Swedish actress Britt Eklund, 20 years his senior, after she broke up with Rod Stewart.