Beatlemania wouldn’t hit the U.S. until February, but at home in England today in 1963 The Beatles scored their second #1 hit with She Loves You. It would be the biggest selling record of the year, and the biggest selling Beatles single there ever.
The Monkees first episode aired on NBC tonight in 1966. Loosely based on and inspired by The Beatles first movie A Hard Days Night, the show was sponsored in alternate weeks by Kellogg’s cereal and Yardley of London, and run for two seasons of 58 episodes. The show was shot on sound stages using many of the same props used in The Three Stooges, and alternately at “The Monkees Pad”, a beachfront house in Malibu that struggling musicians couldn’t possibly afford, which misguidedly gave legions of future rock musicians the idea that’s how they would live.
The Beatles were in the second day of shooting for their TV Special Magical Mystery Tour today in 1967. The futuristic Bedford VAL Panorama bus they used headed for Widecombe in the Moor West of London where a local fair was going on, but heavy traffic made the driver try a shortcut and ended up stuck on a bridge and having to drive in reverse for a half mile before it could turn around. Then they headed Southwest for Plymouth, followed by a 20+ long caravan of cars filled with photographers, journalists, and Beatlemaniacs. The original bus was bought by London’s Hard Rock Cafe in 1988 and fully restored, but several just like it ply the streets of Liverpool on Beatles tours every day.
Creedence Clearwater Revival had their first #1 hit album in England with Cosmo’s Factory today in 1970. Named for their rehearsal space in Berkley California, which drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford had nicknamed “The Factory” because of leader John Fogerty’s grueling every-day rehearsal schedule, it was already well into it’s 9-week run at the top spot in the U.S., where it would sell over 3 million copies.
East L.A. band Los Lobos started a two-week run at #1 on the U.S. album charts today in 1987 with the soundtrack to La Bamba, a bio-pic of Ritchie Valenz, who’d died at 17 in 1959 in the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper “the day the music died”, starring Lou Diamond Phillips.
Aerosmith released their 10th studio album Pump today in 1989. They didn’t know it at the time, but they’d find themselves in law school textbooks after an unknown British electronic band called Pump sued them for copyright infringement, a case Aerosmith won.
Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, having broken up with their Fleetwood Mac love interests John McVie and Lindsey Buckingham, announced they were leaving the band at the end of their current tour today in 1990. Buckingham had quit three years earlier, but that heyday lineup would reunite three years later at the request of President Bill Clinton for his inaugural ball, and that lineup played one more time at the Tacoma Dome last November.
Johnny Cash died at age 71 today in 2003. His career had started in the mid 50’s at rockabilly label Sun Records in Memphis, he had gone on to be one of country music’s biggest stars, but had recently enjoyed a revival after recording covers of songs by the likes of Seattle’s Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails with uber-producer Rick Rubin.
The surviving members of Led Zeppelin announced today in 2007 that they would play with the son of their deceased drummer Jason Bonham at a tribute concert for Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun in November at the 02 arena in London. Jimmy Page ended up breaking a finger and the show was postponed until December, but with opening acts Paul Rodgers, Foreigner, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, and a prog-rock supergroup made up of ELP’s Keith Emerson, Yes’s Chris Squire and Alan White, and Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke, the show would set a Guinness Book of World Records mark for highest-ever concert ticket demand, and Led Zeppelin’s performance would later be released as the concert film Celebration Day.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Rush drummer and lyricist and avid motorcycle enthusiast Neil “The Professor” Peart is 63.