The Beatles were outside the Scala Theater in the Tottenham district of London today in 1964, filming scenes for their first movie. A loose portrayal of what was very much their lives at the height of Beatlemania, the film would be hugely successful, making Time magazine’s list of the 100 greatest films ever. At the time the movie was still using Beatlemania as a working title, but at the end of the day’s activities, Ringo Starr quipped, “Well, that was a hard days night!” John Lennon immediately began scribbling lyrics to what would become the movie’s theme song on the back of an old greeting card. At one point a United Artists Pictures executive asked director Richard Lester to “loop”, or overdub, the Beatles voices with more posh “mid-Atlantic” accents, to which Paul McCartney angrily replied, “Look, if we can understand a f***ing cowboy talking Texan, they can understand us talking Liverpool”. Lester would also direct the Beatles second movie Help! in 1965.
If you lived in Blackpool England tonight in 1967 and had an extra 5 to 10 schillings in your pocket, you could have seen Englebert Humperdinck, Cat Stevens, The Walker Brothers, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Odeon.
Crooner Frank Sinatra and his only-sort-of-rocking-but-highly-shagadelic daughter Nancy scored the only father-daughter #1 single in history today in 1967, with a not-very-rocking song called Something Stupid.
Billy Joel joined a select group of good songwriters and musicians who aren’t very good at riding motorcycles ( Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison) today in 1982 when he crashed his bike into a car on Long Island in New York. He broke his left wrist, but recovered fairly quickly, delaying a tour for his new album The Nylon Curtain by a few weeks. He still rides and collects motorcycles, and hasn’t crashed since.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were Born in the USA, but they were playing in Japan tonight in 1985, their 4th consecutive sell-out at the Yoyogi Olympic Pool in Tokyo.
The rest of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia’s ashes were poured into San Francisco Bay from the Golden Gate Bridge today in 1996. According to his last wishes, half of the ashes had been dumped by bandmate Bob Weir and 3rd wife Deborah Koons into the Ganges River in India near the holy city of Rishikesh 10 days earlier.
The Ramones lead singer Joey Ramone (born Jeffery Hyman) died today in 2001 after a 7 year battle with Lymphoma. He had been listening to U2’s In A Little while when he died, and when singer Bono Vox found out, they started doing the song live with Bono introducing it as “A song about a lovestruck hangover that Joey turned into a gospel song”. A Manhattan block near the CBGB nightclub where Joey and Dee Dee once lived was renamed Joey Ramone Place two years later, but after the signs were stolen a number of times, the city moved them some 15 feet up the poles.
The Fabulous Wailers from Tacoma singer and keyboard player Kent Morrill died of cancer at age 70 today in 2011.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Highly influential country guitarist and former Hee Haw host Roy Clark is 80.
Welch guitarist Dave Edmunds of the band Rockpile and a solo artist is 68.
Guitarist Ed O’Brien of British band Radiohead, considered by many in the Classic Rock biz to be “The Pink Floyd of the 90’s”, is 45.