John And George Buy A Grocery Store, Ringo Makes Movies, And Cal Jam II: This Day In Classic Rock [Videos]

The Rolling Stones had finished playing a show in Essex and were on the way back to London tonight in 1965 when they asked their driver to pull off at a gas station so they could drain off some of the evening’s beers. The proprietor saw their long hair and refused to let them use his bathroom, so they wandered around to the side of the building and began doing what they had to do when a policeman spotted them and wrote them up for public urination. It was only a £5 fine, but manager Andrew Loog Oldham made sure every outlet of the British press got the story, and it helped cement their image as the bad-boy anti-Beatles.

John Lennon and George Harrison bought a grocery store on Hayling Island near Portsmouth southwest of London today in 1965. They made themselves partners with the man they expected to run it, former Quarrymen washboard player Pete Shotton. Pete was one of John’s earliest childhood friends in Liverpool, and the two had gotten in so much trouble in school together teachers and the headmaster had started to refer to them as “Shennon and Lotton”. He was with John’s first band right up until they started getting serious and added Paul McCartney to their lineup. When Pete confided that he really didn’t like playing music that much, John hit him over the head with his washboard and fired him, but they remained close friends up until John left Pete’s dear friend Cynthia for Yoko Ono. In the 70’s Shotton started Fatty Arbuckle’s, an American-themed restaurant chain focusing on large portions of American diner cuisine, which he sold for an undisclosed but presumably very large sum in the 80’s, as he’s lived as a tax-exile in Dublin ever since.

The British music magazine New Musical Express reported today in 1967 that Steve Winwood of The Spencer Davis Group had quit and formed a new band with Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi, and Chris Wood to be called Traffic.

T-Rex played the first of two sold-out nights at the Empire Pool near Wembley in London tonight in 1972. Both shows were filmed as part of Ringo Starr’s directorial debut for his Born to Boogie concert film, which also had clips of T-Rex, Elton John, and Ringo playing at Apple Studios. Ringo would produce one more film for the ill-fated Apple Films Ltd., the 1974 comedy Son of Dracula starring himself and Harry Nilsson, who also did the movie’s soundtrack.

The Clash released their first single White Riot today in 1977.

The Ontario Motor Speedway had been built in the late 60’s and had hosted drag races, eight California 500’s, an Evel Knievel jump, and one California Jam rock concert four years earlier when the second…Cal Jam II, took place today in 1978 with Aerosmith, Foreigner, Seattle’s own Heart, Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush, Dave Mason, Santana, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch (who was joined by former bandmates Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks), and Ted Nugent, who unbeknownst to fans was playing his last-ever show with his heyday “solo” band of Derek St. Holmes, Rob Grange, and Cliff Davies, and had already recorded the last good album of his musical career, Cat Scratch Fever, the year before. The  speedway east of Orange County was foreclosed on by landowner Chevron Oil Inc. and demolished in 1980.

A California radio station hired a steamroller to run over all of it’s Cat Stevens records today in 1989 in a politically-motivated publicity stunt. The singer-songwriter had famously converted to Islam after nearly drowning off Malibu in ’76, changed his name to Yusuf Islam, and most recently made statements in support of Iran’s spiritual and political leader the Ayatollah Khomeini.

U2 were fined £500 today in 1991 for illegally distributing condoms at an appearance at the Virgin Records Megastore in still very-Catholic Dublin, Ireland.

Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder was at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City tonight in 2002 to give a speech inducting The Ramones into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The widow Cobain Courtney Love exposed her surgically-augmented breasts to David Letterman (her back was toward the cameras and the audience at CBS’s Ed Sullivan Theater) on national television tonight in 2004. After the taping she played an unannounced show at a Manhattan nightclub where she was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment for hitting a man with a microphone stand she’d thrown into the crowd.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Motown singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Wilson Pickett would be 75 if he hadn’t died of a heart attack at 64.

Procul Harum drummer Barry “B.J” Wilson would be 69 if he hadn’t died at 43 in his adopted home of Eugene, Oregon.

The Doobie Brothers original drummer John Hartman is 66.

Alice In Chains guitarist and principal songwriter Jerry Cantrell is 50.

3/18

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