Bill Haley and his Comets were greeted by some 5000 fans when they arrived at the dock in Southampton England aboard the Queen Elizabeth today in 1957 in a bit of reverse pre-Beatlemania. Haley was the first American rock and roll act to tour Britain.
The Beatles played two shows today in 1962, a lunchtime gig at the Cavern Club, and again in the evening at the Kingsway Club in Southport, Liverpool. Their drummer Pete Best was sick, so they used the drummer from Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Ringo Starr, marking the first time he played live with them.
British tabloid The News of the World reported today in 1967 that Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger had taken LSD at the home of a member of the Moody Blues. Jagger sued them for libel, the paper would respond by setting both Mick and Keith Richards up for pot busts by London police.
The Move from Birmingham England were at #1 on the British charts today in 1969 with Blackberry Way, their only chart topping hit, though Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne from the band would later be far more successful as The Electric Light Orchestra.
David Bowie recorded a “Peel Session” today in 1970 at the BBC’s Paris Cinema in London. It was the first performance of Bowie’s new guitarist Mick Ronson, who would stay with him through the “Ziggy Stardust” era before leaving to join Mott the Hoople. DJ John Peel, who started 3 years earlier on a “pirate” radio ship in The Channel, would continue to get live performances from his interview guests until his death in 2004, be instrumental in making Seattle bands like Nirvana and Mudhoney popular there before they were here, and was conferred O.B.E. status by the Queen in ’98.
Black Sabbath started recording their third album Master of Reality today in 1971. Guitarist Tony Iommi had lost the tips of two fingers in an accident at his sheet metal job, and played with rubber thimbles over them, but for this record he’d discovered that it was easier to play if he slackened the strings a few steps, which also lent a sludgier, heavier sound. Geezer Butler tuned his bass to match, and what we now refer to as “stoner rock” was born. Indeed, singer Ozzy Osbourne had given his guitarist a large joint to smoke while he recorded an acoustic part, but his coughing from it was caught on tape and used as the intro to Sweet Leaf. The album would be a huge influence on Seattle bands like Soundgarden, who covered Into The Void, and The Fartz, who did Children of the Grave, also covered later by White Zombie.
T Rex were at #1 in England today in 1972 with Telegram Sam, their third chart topper and the first known use of the phrase “You’re my main man”.
Bill Haley and His Comets saxophone player Rudy Pompilli died of lung cancer today in 1976, although he had never been a cigarette smoker, the rest of the band had been, leading to his death from second-hand smoke at age 52.
The widow Cobain, Courtney Love, was released from jail in London today in 2003, and admitted to reporters her arrest the day before for disrupting a British airways flight from Los Angeles was largely due to foul language. “I cussed at a lady. My daughter always said I had a potty mouth”. When asked about her experience inside the police station, she said “It was fine. they were wonderful in there. It was like being on Prime Suspect”.
The Rolling Stones played three songs at halftime at Super Bowl XL at Ford Field in Detroit today in 2006. They were said to be quite pissed off that Mick Jagger’s microphone had been turned down during the Start Me Up line “You make a dead man come” and the word “cocks” (used in barnyard double-entendre in Rough Justice), though apparently their management had agreed to the censorship beforehand. Detroit “Motown” music fans were quite pissed off at the choice of an English band as the halftime show. Ford employees were quite pissed off that several thousand of them had just been laid off though the company was somehow still able to come up with $50 million for the naming rights to the new stadium. Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Craig Terrill, a guitar player who was very excited by the chance to meet Keith Richards, was quite pissed off that he was not allowed to meet any of them, and the Seattle Seahawks and their fans were quite pissed off at the piss-poor officiating from referee Bill Leavy’s crew that cost them game as they ended up losing their first Super Bowl appearance to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Session drummer Hal Blaine of the L.A. based “Wrecking Crew” who played at least 50 #1 hits and over 150 to make the top 10, is 87.
Three Dog Night singer Cory Wells would be 75 .if he hadn’t passed back in Rocktober
Steve Miller Band other guitarist David Denny is 68.
Spinal Tap lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel is 68. and oddly so is the actor, director, writer, and producer who portrayed him, Christopher Guest.
The Fastbacks, 10 Minute Warning, and Guns-N-Roses bass player and occasional drummer Duff McKagen is 52. One of Seattle’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members, Duff went to Roosevelt High School, which really should be called Rock and Roll High School considering how many musicians have gone there.