The Beatles were working on The White Album today in 1968, and had chosen the technologically superior Trident Studios over Abbey Road (they had a new Ampex 8-Track tape deck, and brand new Dolby noise reduction, while EMI’s studio still only had four tracks and lots of tape hiss) to lay down George Harrison’s song Savoy Truffle. Unlike most of the songs on the album it wasn’t written during and/or about their visit to the Maharishi’s Ashram in India, but about one of his friend Eric Clapton’s many addictions: To the Scots chocolatier MacKintosh’s Good News assortment. He, Paul, and Ringo got the song’s basic track down in one take, but the band would soon head back to Abbey Road when George Martin called to tell them the Ampex 8 track deck they’d had sitting in a storeroom for months had finally been installed.
Some 30 fans were arrested and jailed for smoking the dreaded gateway drug “marijuana” at an Aeromith concert in Fort Wayne Indiana tonight in 1978, but they were released fairly quickly and were all quite pleasantly surprised when they found that it had been Aerosmith that paid their bail.
Texas governor Ann Richards proclaimed that today in 1991 and all following October 3rds would be official Texas State Stevie Ray Vaughan Day, to be marked with an organized motorcycle ride followed by a blues-rock concert in Dallas. It would have been his 36th birthday.
Irish singer Sinéad O’Conner was the musical guest on NBC’s Saturday Night Live tonight in 1992. She did an acapella cover of Bob Marley’s song War, and during rehearsals had produced a photo of a refugee child she held up to the camera, but when the show went live as she held a note while singing the word “evil” produced a photograph of Pope John Paul II, which she proceeded to tear into pieces, then stopped and said “Fight the real enemy” while throwing the pieces into the camera. Producer Lorne Michaels was in the booth and told the operator of the “applause” sign to lay off, but the audience sat in stunned silence anyway. NBC and it’s afilliates got thousands of calls from outraged Catholics, but contrary to urban myth, was not fined $2.5 million by the Federal Communications Commision, who reserve the right to fine broadcasters exclusively for TV networks that show Janet Jackson’s boobs during the Super Bowl and rock radio stations that play songs with a stray naughty word on occasion. NBC apologized in next week’s SNL, with host Joe Pesci displaying Sinéad’s photo, now repaired with scotch tape, and his line about how if it was his show “I would have gave her such a smack!”
The Cars singing bass player Ben Orr died at home in Atlanta today in 2000. He was just 53, killed by pancreatic cancer.
John Lennon’s murderer Mark David Chapman had served 20 years of his sentence and was at the parole hearing he’d first been eligble to request today in 2000. At the 50 minute hearing he told the board he was very sorry for what he’d done and was no longer a threat to society, but they ruled that releasing him would “depricate the seriousness of the crime and serve to undermine respect for the law”. They also noted that his “granting of media interviews represents a decided interest in maintaining your notariety”. Chapman has since been denied parole every time he’s applied, urged by thousands of petioners including Yoko Ono, who worte the board that while she was not ready to forgive him, she feared for his safety as well. His next eligble hearing is in August of 2016.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Rockabilly pioneer Eddie Cochran would be 76 if he hadn’t been killed in a car crash at 21 in England, where he was influencing a whole generation of rockers like Paul McCartney, who John Lennon invited into The Beatles because he knew all the words to Cochran’s Twenty Flight Rock.
Ernest Evans is 73, better known by the stage name he used to teach America how to Twist, Chubby Checker.
Antonio Martinez, guitarist for Los Bravos, the only rock and roll band from Spain to have a major hit in the U.S. and England, would be 69 if he hadn’t met the same fate as Duane Allman at 24.
Fleetwood Mac guitaristsingersongwriter Lindsey Buckingham is 64.
Stevie Ray Vaughan would be 60 except for impatience and helicopters.
Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee is 52 and once did this in the Tacoma Dome.