The British Invasion of the U.S. took on a wider scope tonight in 1965, as bands invading the U.S. moved beyond the usual London and Liverpool as Manchester’s Hermans Hermits and The Zombies from St. Albans in Hertfordshire began their first American tour.
The Rolling Stones 4th album Aftermath went to #1 in England today in 1966, their 3rd #1 there. The version that came out in the U.S. in June was actually the 6th Stones album here, as Decca found more profit in more, shorter records. It was the first Stones record consisting exclusively of Jagger/Richards compositions, and features multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones playing guitar, keyboards, sitar, Appalachian dulcimer, marimbas, Japanese Kota, bells, and saxophone.
Boise Idaho/ Portland Oregon band Paul Revere and The Raiders played CBS’s Ed Sullivan Show tonight in 1967. The band played the northwest circuit repeatedly in the early 60’s, and a young Jimi Hendrix had been impressed watching guitarist Drake Levin play his guitar behind his back when he saw them at The Spanish Castle nightclub near SeaTac airport.
Former Liverpool Cavern Club cloakroom attendant Cilla Black became the BBC’s first female performer to have her own TV show with tonight’s 1968 premier of The Cilla Black Show. She’d started guest-singing there with Cavern Club staples like Rory Storm and the Hurricanes and Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes, and caught the attention of John Lennon, who told his manager Brian Epstein he should audition her. He did, with The Beatles as her backing band. Born Priscilla White, she adopted Black as a stage name after a reviewer in the Liverpool magazine Mersey Beat got it wrong, but she liked it. The show’s theme song Step Inside Love was written for her by Paul McCartney. Cilla would continue as a singer and actress on the BBC well into the 21st century, and eventually become a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).
The Allman Brothers Band’s road manager Twiggs Lyndon was arrested and charged with murder tonight in 1970 after stabbing a club manager during an argument over a contract. He was acquitted at trial after his lawyers pleaded “temporary insanity”, claiming that touring with The Allman Brothers would drive anyone insane.
The Who’s mild mannered drummer Keith Moon, in a rare thoughtful moment, paid $100 each to 9 New York City cab drivers to block off both ends of the street his hotel was on tonight in 1976 so that no one would be injured as he threw the entire contents of his room onto the street below.
Led Zeppelin set a new world record for concert attendance tonight in 1977, with 76,229 fans showing up for their gig at the Pontiac Silverdome outside of Detroit, breaking by 262 the previous record set at the same venue by The Who two years earlier. Zeppelin would play the slightly smaller Seattle Kingdome on that tour, which would turn out to be their last, on July 17th.
The film McVicar premiered in London tonight in 1980, based on the experiences of real-life 60’s armed robber and former Scotland Yard “Public enemy #1” turned prison author John McVicar, who had escaped numerous times. He was portrayed by The Who’s singer Roger Daltrey, who had a minor hit with Free Me from the film’s soundtrack.
Influential rock journalist and critic Lester Bangs, who wrote for Rolling Stone, Creem, Playboy, Penthouse, The Village Voice, and New Musical Express magazines, died of an accidental overdose of Valium, Darvon, and Nyquil tonight in 1982 at age 33. In Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous, Bangs is portrayed giving advice to the aspiring rock writer by actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Legendary blues guitarist McKinley Morganfield, better known by his stage name Muddy Waters, died of a heart attack in his sleep tonight in 1983 at age 70. The Rolling Stones named themselves after one of his songs, and he was a huge influence on most rock and roll bands of the 60’s.
Nirvana left Seattle’s Sub Pop record label for Hollywood’s Geffen Records today in 1991, signing for a reported $290,000. Sub Pop’s Jon Poneman and Bruce Pavitt managed to get a small piece of the deal, which took them out of their legendary “What Part Of We Have No Money Don’t You Understand” phase.
Nazareth’s founding drummer Darrell Sweet died of a heart attack just before going on stage in Indiana tonight in 1999. He was only 52.
The usually environmentally-conscious and exceedingly philanthropic Dave Matthews Band agreed to pay $200,000 today in 2005 after their tour bus, empty at the time except for driver Stefan Wohl (who was fined $10,000), dumped it’s holding tanks of the band’s collected excrement through the grating of the Kinzie Street Bridge into the Chicago River. Unfortunately under the bridge at the time was a boat carrying 109 architectural tourists. The band also donated $100,000 to two groups trying to protect the river, and offered apologies to the splattered.
A giant inflatable pig that had broken loose of it’s moorings at a Roger Waters performance at the Coachella Festival the night before was recovered in tatters in the yards of two families in nearby La Quinta California today in 2008. They agreed to share four lifetime passes to Coachella as a reward. It wasn’t the first time: During the photo shoot for Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals, the pig suspended between two of the smokestacks of London’s Battersea Power Station had broken loose and interrupted flights at Heathrow Airport.
Beatles fan Gail Renard, who had been handed the hand-written lyrics to Give Peace A Chance by John Lennon in 1969 with a bit of advice (“Hang on to this, it’ll be worth something someday”), sold them at a Christie’s Auction today in 2008 for $790,000.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
“Outlaw” country singer, guitarist, marijuana advocate, and one-time Vancouver WA disc jockey Willie Nelson is 80.
MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer is 65.