The Beatles released She Loves You as a single in America today in 1963. The song was already at #1 at home in England, but on it’s release in the states it did nothing, much to the puzzlement of manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin. Disc jockey Murray The K pimped it heavily on his show in New York, but it sold only 1000 copies until they released I Want To Hold Your Hand in January, and it went straight to #1, and by the time they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in February She Loves You was at #2, and by April the top 5 spots on the Billboard charts were all Beatles, and even the German version of the song, Sie Liebt Dich, was at #97.
Member of British Parliament Tom Driberg introduced a measure today in 1966 asking the House of Commons to officially “deplore” the action of a magistrate who’d called The Rolling Stones “Complete morons who wear their hair down to their shoulders, wear filthy clothes, and act like clowns”.
Jimi Hendrix was at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London’s Soho neighborhood tonight in 1970, when he got up and jammed with Eric Burdon and War. It would be his last public appearance, as he would die in less than 48 hours at age 27.
T-Rex frontman Marc Bolan, who had sung of Jeepsters and a white Rolls Royce that he owned, but was terrified of cars and never learned to drive, was riding home from a restaurant in London tonight in 1977 in a purple Mini-Cooper driven by his American girlfriend, singer Gloria Jones, when she lost control and crashed into a sycamore tree. Bolan was killed instantly, Jones broke her arm and jaw, and spent time in a hospital where she was told of his death on the day of his funeral. While some fans looted his nearby flat on learning of his death, others turned the site of the crash into a memorial, and it was officially recognized by the British government as “Bolan’s Rock Shrine” with a bronze bust of him in 2007.
Filming began today in 1978 for Monty Python’s Life of Brian, the story of a child born in a manger next to the one Jesus Christ was born in, who is mistaken for the Messiah. Their second film was entirely financed by their friend George Harrison, who put up £3 million to start Handmade Films because “he wanted to see the movie”, leading Python’s Terry Jones to call George’s investment “the world’s most expensive cinema ticket.”
Blues guitarist B.B. King spent his 64th birthday tonight in 1989 jamming with Irish band U2 on a boat they’d rented for the occasion in the harbor in Sydney Australia. They recorded a version of When Love Comes To Town together, which introduced a whole new generation to his music on their Rattle and Hum album.
Pearl Jam kicked off a short tour for their new album No Code at Seattle’s Key Arena tonight in 1996, ending their boycott of arenas controlled by Ticketmaster, who they’d sued under antitrust law, starting a U.S. Department of Justice investigation that saw band members Stoney Gossard and Jeff Ament testifying before a congressional hearing in ’94, but the case was eventually dropped and Ticketmaster’s monopoly continues to this day.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Blues guitarist (He’s #6 on the Rolling Stone Magazine Top 100 of all time list) B.B. King is 88.
The Hollies bass player Bernie Calvert is 71.
The Small Faces, The Faces, and later The Who’s drummer Kenny Jones is 65.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers bass player Ron Blair is 65.