The Beatles held a press conference at University College in Bangor, Wales today in 1967 to announce that Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was now their official spiritual adviser, they were becoming members of his “Spiritual Regeneration Movement”, and that they were renouncing the use of LSD. The Maharishi had been traveling to world preaching the benefits of Transcendental Meditation since 1958, and earlier that year George Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd attended one of his lectures in London and turned them on to him. In February they would famously travel to Rishkesh India to “devote themselves fully to his instruction” at his “Ashram”, but became disillusioned. Ringo Starr and his wife Maureen would leave after 10 days, Paul McCartney and Jane Asher were gone after 5 weeks, and John and George would split 16 days later after hearing that the Maharishi had been hitting on actress Mia Farrow…but a whole gaggle of great Beatles songs would come out of it, including Lennon’s Sexy Sadie, which had originally been called “Maharishi“, but the title was changed at George’s insistence.
The third Isle of Wight Festival started today in 1970 on the Isle of Wight…duh..just off the southern coast of England. Attendees paid £3 each to see Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Donovan, Jethro Tull, Miles Davis, Cactus, Family, Taste, Mungo Jerry, Emerson Lake and Palmer, The Chicago Transit Authority, The Doors, Spirit, The Moody Blues, Procul Harum, Sly and the Family Stone, Free, The Who, and Jimi Hendrix, who didn’t know it but was playing his last UK show ever as he would be dead by September 18th.
10cc played their first live show ever tonight in 1973. The band took their name from the amount of semen ejaculated by the average male: 10cc’s was slightly more than average, which spoke to their prowess. The reference had been used already in the mid 60’s by the band The Lovin’ Spoonful, and would be again in a more general sense in the early 90’s by Seattle band Pearl Jam.
Cheap Trick bass player Tom Petersson quit the band today in 1980 to pursue a solo career.Considering how many Tom Petersson solo songs made it to the radio, it’s no surprise he returned to the band in ’88 and has remained with them ever since.
Fans showing up to see Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble tonight in 1990 at the Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy Wisconsin had both good and bad surprises coming their way at the end of the show. The good came first, when Stevie was joined on an encore rendition of Sweet Home Chicago by his brother Jimmie and blues guitarists Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, and Eric Clapton. The bad came from news reports the next morning that one of four helicopters hired to take the entourage to Chicago had crashed into a ski hill, instantly killing Vaughan, the pilot, and three members of Clapton’s road crew.
Rolling Stone magazine published it’s first list of The Top 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time today in 2003, with Jimi Hendrix in the top spot with a brief write-up by Pete Townsend of The Who (himself #50 on the list). Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, and Chuck Berry rounded out the top 5, and at number 100 was Kim Thayill of Seattle’s Soundgarden. The list was updated in 2011, with Chuck Berry bumped from the top 5 in favor of Jeff Beck, and the delightful Thayill was bumped from the list completely.
The Rolling Stones played the last show of their 2 year A Bigger Bang tour at the O2 arena in London tonight in 2007. It was the longest of their careers, and set a new world record grossing $558,255,524, but that record would be broken by U2 and their 360 Tour that started two years later.