The Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and biz partner Tony Calder started Immediate Records today in 1965. Their first release was by an American band from Union City Indiana, The McCoys, featuring a young Rick Zehringer (he later changed the last name to “Derringer“) on guitar and his brother Randy on drums. Their song Hang On Sloopy would go to #1 in the U.S. and eventually be made the “official state rock song” of Ohio. They’d also score some royalty money when their song Sorrow was covered by The Merseys and then David Bowie. Tonight’s launch party was attended by Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, and German fashion model and singer Nico (later of New York’s Velvet Underground). The label’s roster would eventually include The Small Faces, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, The Turtles, Rod Stewart, The Nice (featuring Keith Emerson), Fleetwood Mac, Humble Pie, and a young guitarist/producer by the name of Jimmy Page.
If you wanted to play pile-on and come up with a list of the reasons The Beatles soured on touring, tonight’s show in Cincinnati in 1966 would certainly make the list. They were scheduled to play their typical half-hour set of 11 songs, but heavy rain all but guaranteed electrocution on the uncovered stage set up on second base at Crosley Field, but promoters were urging them on anyway. The show was eventually postponed to the next night. “Conservatives” protesting the shows the night before in Memphis over John Lennon’s retracted “bigger than Jesus” comments had frightened them, and they were even more frightened when someone threw a firecracker on stage (for a second they all thought John had been shot). They would play just 6 more shows (including two in the Seattle Center Coliseum), and never tour again.
Dr. David Lipscomb, director of the University of Tennessee’s audio lab reported his findings today in 1968 that a Guinea Pig subjected over a three-month period to listening to some 88 hours of 120 decibel rock music had suffered acute damage to it’s inner ears. Steve Paul, owner of New York City nightclub The Scene (where Jimi Hendrix and The Doors had first played NYC) sent out a press release that read, “Should a major increase in guinea pig attendance occur at The Scene, we’ll certainly bear their comfort in mind.”
John Lennon began work on what would be his final album, Double Fantasy, today in 1980. He’d wanted to work with musicians he hadn’t before, and producer Jack Douglas was charged with assembling a band that wouldn’t be told who they were playing for until the last minute. Two of these would be Bun E. Carlos and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, who Douglas was also working with, though the demos they recorded would eventually be re-done by studio musicians. John was enthusiastic that the recent popularity of The B-52’s Rock Lobster would encourage fans to revisit the work of his wife Yoko. Three weeks after the album came out, John would be shot by a fan who really really liked him.
Def Leppard played The Monsters Of Rock tour at England’s Castle Donnington tonight in 1986. The show marked the return of their drummer Rick Allen, who had lost his left arm when he crashed his Corvette two years earlier, but was now able to play thanks to a special electronic kit of trigger-pads and sequencers.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Pedal-steel guitarist “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow would be 79. He died at 73 of complications from Alzheimer’s, but not before being an original member of the Flying Burrito Brothers, and playing recording sessions with The Byrds, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Joe Cocker, the Steve Miller Band, The Rolling Stones, Spencer Davis, Linda Ronstadt, and many others.
Influential British “space rock” band Hawkwind’s guitar and synthesizer playing singer Dave Brock, the one consistent member in the band with a seeming revolving door of players, is 72.
Soul singer and songwritter Issac Hayes and more recently the voice of “Chef” on South Park would be 71, he died of a stroke at 65.
Chicago’s trombone player James Pankow is 66.
Led Zeppelin’s mild-mannered frontman Robert Plant is 65.
Phil Lynott, the bass playing singer of Thin Lizzy would be 64. he died at 36 from complications of a drug overdose.
The Knack’s guitar playing singer Doug Fieger would be 61, he died of cancer in 2010.