The Rolling Stones followed up their first Top 20 single I Wanna Be Your Man John Lennon and Paul McCartney had given them, with their debut Extended-Play The Rolling Stones today in 1964. Just four covers of Black American songs, Chuck Berry’s Bye Bye Johnny, The Barrett Strong hit Money written by Tamla Records founder Berry Gordy, You Better Move On by Arthur Alexander, and The Coasters’ Poison Ivy, from the Leiber/Stoller writing team. While The Beatles had grown covering the same kind of American records, by this point they were writing hit after hit, and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had been invited in to see how they did it, made mental notes, and were already working on bigger things of their own.
The champagne corks were popping in the office of Raybert Productions today in 1966, as NBC bought the TV series Bob Rafelson and Bert Schnieder had invented inspired by The Beatles A Hard Day’s Night, The Monkees, and was set to start airing an episode a week in September. The network had shown a quickly-shot shoestring budget pilot to a test audience that didn’t respond much, but tried again two days later showing parts of the screen-tests of Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith, and the audience loved them.
The London Daily Mail ran a story today in 1967 about a local survey finding some 4000 potholes in roads in Britain’s northwest county of Lancashire, which inspired John Lennon to put it into his lyrics for A Day In The Life. Interestingly, though today the English pay gas taxes we would consider quite high in America, there is not a pothole in the entire United Kingdom, as any American who has driven there can tell you.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience were in Luxembourg today in 1967, recording a show for Radio Luxembourg’s pop music show Ready Steady Radio, and while they were there they ran up the outrageous bar tab of about $6.25, which they were unable to pay.
Atlantic Records released the first album from Led Zeppelin today in 1969. The band had already been touring in America opening for Vanilla Fudge, and had already stopped in Seattle to play at what is now the “Mercer Arena” at Seattle Center, and spent the night at the Edgewater Inn where members of both bands did strange things with groupies and fish they caught from their window. They’d be back twice more that year, destroying the Green Lake Aqua Theater in May, and with an almost better-than-Woodstock lineup (It didn’t have Hendrix or The Who, but did have The Doors and The Chicago Transit Authority) at the Seattle Pop Festival at Gold Creek Park in Woodinville a full month before the historic upstate New York festival.
The “Little Bit Rock and Roll” part of the Donnie and Marie team, Donny Osmond got his ass kicked by Danny Bonaduce of Partridge Family fame in a charity boxing match in Chicago today in 1994. Sadly this video isn’t on the interwebs, so you’ll have to settle for Danny wailing on Greg Brady.
A recording of a funkified old blues song Too Many Cooks from 1974 with Mick Jagger on vocals and John Lennon on guitar was auctioned off in London today in 2003. The recording had never been released or heard by many people at all because both artists worked for competing record companies, and there is precious little information on who bought it on the interwebs, but it didn’t work out well for them financially, because you can now listen to it for free on YouTube.
Songwriter, record and TV producer, publisher, and manager Don Kirshner died of a heart attack today in 2011. He’d helped launch the careers of Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin, Neil Sedaka, and Kansas, he was the musical co-coordinator of The Monkees and The Archies TV shows, helped one of The Monkees main songwriters Carole King become a star in her own right, and brought live rock and roll to American TV in the 70’s with Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Mick Taylor, the brilliant and very young blues guitarist who took over for Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones in 1969 and played through their heyday before quitting to be replaced by Ron Wood, is 66.
Steve Earle, the Texan singer, songwriter, guitarist, author, and actor who had a big rock hit with Copperhead Road in 1989, is 59.
Susana Hoffs, guitarist and frontgal with the all female band The Bangles, is 55.