The Quarry Men played at the Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time tonight in 1957 without their most recent member, 15 year old Paul McCartney, who’d joined in July but was away at Boy Scout camp. The Cavern, an old WWII air-raid shelter, had opened as a jazz club in January, tolerated “skiffle” bands, but rock and roll songs were not permitted. The band members argued among themselves about the set list, and when John Lennon wanted to include a cover of Elvis Presley’s Don’t Be Cruel, guitarist Rod Davis warned him the audience “would eat him alive”, but John led them into covers of Hound Dog and Carl Perkins‘ Blue Suede Shoes anyway. The audience did not resort to cannibalism, but angry owner Alan Synter sent a note to John on stage that read “Cut out the bloody rock!” Synter sold the club in ’59, and it’s stage would be graced with the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, and The Yardbirds, before closing in ’73 with Dutch group Focus being the last to play at the original club, but it was reopened on 75% of the original spot, using the original bricks, in ’84 financed by Liverpool F.C. star Tommy Smith, and remains open to this day with about 40 live bands each week. Paul McCartney opened his ’99 tour there.
The 4th Richmond Jazz Festival, held in Richmond England today in 1964, further blurred the lines between jazz and rock with The Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, The Yardbirds, and Mississippi blues pianist Mose Allison, whose song Young Man Blues would later be covered devastatingly by The Who at Leeds University on the Greatest Live Record of All time, Live At Leeds.
Time magazine reviewed The Beatles new movie A Hard Day’s Night today in 1964, telling readers to “avoid this film at all costs”. The Los Angeles Herald Examiner, however, found it “Amusing and Engaging”.
Manchester England band Herman’s Hermits were at #1 on the American singles chart with I’m Henry The Eighth, I Am, today in 1965, an old British pub sing-along that singer Peter Noone’s Grandfather had sung to him as a child. Noone exaggerated his Manchester accent for the American audience, but the band didn’t much care for the song, and didn’t bother to release it at home.
The three-day Goose Lake International Music Festival started today in 1970 in Leoni, Michigan, with Jethro Tull, 10 Years After, Mountain, Chicago, Bob Seger, John Sebastian, The James Gang, Iggy and The Stooges, The MC5, Brownsville Station, Rod Stewart, and The Flying Burrito Brothers playing for over 200,000 fans.
Singer, songwriter, and keyboard player Anne Christine Perfect, newly married to Fleetwood Mac bass player John McVie, dumped “Anne” and “Perfect” from her name, took her husband’s, and became his band’s first female member today in 1970.
A band from England by way of Australia called The Bee Gees, led by three brothers named Gibb were at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with a song they’d originally offered to crooner Andy Williams, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, today in 1971. Barry, Robin, and Maurice would rise to even greater fame with their disco songs later in the decade, only being outsold in the history of popular music by Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks, and Paul McCartney.
J. Geils Band singer Peter Wolf married actress Faye Dunaway in Beverly Hills today in 1974. They would divorce 5 years later.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Iron Maiden lead singer and airline pilot Bruce Dickinson is 55. His 10 year younger cousin Rob Dickinson also fronts an English band named for a medieval torture device, The Catherine Wheel.