Johnny and the Moondogs were in Manchester today in 1959, playing the final heat of the TV Star Search at the Hippodrome Theater. Each performer was judged by the volume of applause they generated, and if they generated enough, were called back to the stage, but Johnny and the Moondogs played late, and as they had no money to stay overnight in Manchester, had to drive back to Liverpool and come back the next day. They didn’t win the grand prize, but shortly after retuning to Liverpool again, their bass player Stu Suttcliffe would suggest a name change in honor of one of their favourite bands, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, to the Beatals, which would change to the Silver Beetles, and by August it would change again to the name they used to conquer the world.
The Rolling Stones made their second American TV appearance today in 1965 (they’d appeared on The Hollywood Palace, and been openly mocked by host Dean Martin while on their first tour), playing Get Off of My Cloud on NBC’s Hullabaloo, a variety show in the vein of CBS’s far more popular Ed Sullivan Show that lasted only one year, but Ed was watching and decided to have them on, a decision he would later regret when crazed fans trashed the Ed Sullivan Theater.
The Doors signed on the dotted line with Elektra Records today in 1966, a deal for seven albums. They also reluctantly agreed to release Break On Through as a single, changing the lyric “She gets high” to “She gets” in order to remain radio-friendly.
Janis Joplin was playing a show in Tampa Florida tonight in 1969, and became enraged when police moved into the hall and forced fans back into their seats. As she left the stage, she confronted the plainclothes detective who’d ordered the uniforms in, calling him a “son of a bitch” and telling him she was going to “kick his face in”. She was arrested for using vulgar language, and taken to jail, where she was released after posting $504 bail.
Ozzy Osbourne announced his retirement today in 1992 after an exhausting show in California, saying “Who wants to be touring at 46?” His wife Sharon had other plans, and Ozzy is still touring at age 64.
Michael Abram, the deranged man who had broken into George Harrison’s house and attacked him with a kitchen knife, was found not guilty of premeditated attempted murder by an Oxford court today in 2000, but he was found to be quite out of his mind and was sent to a mental hospital.
In a fundraiser for the BBC’s Children in Need charity, Ken Donnell of Glasgow Scotland paid £83,000 today in 2007 for two tickets to see Led Zeppelin reunite at London’s O2 Arena at the Concert for Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. He also got to attend a rehearsal with the band, and was “well chuffed” to be helping out.
A piece of cardboard with the words “Bed Peace” scrawled on it by John Lennon for his 1969 protest performance-art piece at a hotel in Montreal sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for $155,600 today in 2011.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Frida Lyngstad, 1/4 of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted disco-queens ABBA, is 68.
Steve Fossen, original bass player for Seattle’s own Heart, and one of the nicest guys you’d ever hope to meet, is 64.