Rock and Roll came to the masses tonight in 1956 when Elvis Presley appeared on ABC’s Milton Berle Show, playing 3 songs live from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hancock at anchor at the Navy base in San Diego. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 Americans saw the show, a record that would stand until The Beatles played Ed Sullivan.
Much is made of the “British Invasion” happening at the time, but Bob Dylan appeared on the British charts for the first time today in 1964 with The Times They Are A-Changin’.
The focus was on George Harrison at Abbey Road studios today in 1967 while they were working on the Sgt. Pepper album. George recorded his vocal for Within You, Without You, laid down some acoustic guitar, and played sitar. George had been taking lessons on the Indian instrument from master Ravi Shankar, as opposed to The Rolling Stones versatile Brian Jones, who had sat down with the thing and figured out how to play it well enough by himself, as he did with many instruments.
Acting on the advice of his lawyers, The Doors frontman Jim Morrison turned himself in to the F.B.I. in Los Angeles today in 1969. He’d had a warrant for his arrest issued by Dade County in Florida a month earlier for indecent exposure, public profanity, and trying to incite a riot at a March 1st Doors show in Miami, but since he’d gone back to California, the added charge of interstate flight was a possibility. Jim promised to return to Florida for his trial, and would sit silently in September of the following year when he was sentenced to six months in prison and a $500 fine, but his lawyers appealed, he would remain free on a $50,000 bond, but died in Paris before that court date. Drummer John Densmore maintained that Jim had never exposed himself to the crowd at that show, and Jim would be pardoned posthumously in 2011 by then Florida Governor and Doors fan Charlie Crist.
Police arrived at the home of the normally mild-mannered Steve Miller tonight in 1975 when they found his girlfriend putting out flames on her clothing which Steve had apparently set on fire. He was also charged with resisting arrest after getting a fight with the cops.
Several thousand fans tried to gate-crash a Grateful Dead show in Pittsburgh tonight in 1989, but after 23 of them were arrested, the rest backed off.
Keith Richards‘ manager Jane Rose told MTV News today in 2007 that he had been joking when he’d let on in an interview with Britain’s New Musical Express that he’d snorted his father’s ashes. “He was cremated, and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow”, he’d told NME interviewer Mark Beaumont, who later said “He did seem to be quite honest about it. There were too many details for him to be making it up”.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Jan Berry, of the surf-duo Jan and Dean, would be 75. He died in 2004 having suffered for many years from brain damage and partial paralysis after crashing his Corvette in Hollywood in ’66, just blocks from the famous Dead Man’s Curve they sang about in their song of two years earlier.
Richard Manuel would be 73. The Band’s singing multi-instrumentalist took his own life in 1986.
Fairport Convention’s brilliant guitarist Richard Thompson is 67.
Grand Funk Railroad bass player Mel Schacher is 65.