It was tonight in 1964 that a small riot broke out at a Rolling Stones show in Hamilton, Scotland as some 4000 fans with forged tickets who were being denied entry crashed the gate at their show at the Chantingall Hotel.
It was today in 1967 that John Lennon and Paul McCartney stopped by the Olympic Studios in London and sang background vocals on the Rolling Stones song “We Love You”. The song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in appreciation of their fans who stood by them during their witch hunt drug trial that year that saw each of them spend exactly one night in prison.
While John and Paul were singing with the Stones, at the BBC offices in London The Beatles were selected to represent England in the first-ever worldwide satellite TV broadcast today in 1967. The band agreed to perform live in a studio and write a new song for the occasion. Because the broadcast would reach many countries that don’t speak English, they were asked to “keep it simple”. John wrote All You Need Is Love for the show that would be broadcast June 25th.
Meanwhile across London in Chelsea, The Pink Floyd were recording See Emily Play today in 1967, which Syd Barrett wrote about an early Floyd fan Emily Young, who hung around London rock clubs with her school friend Angelica Huston. Emily is today one of Britain’s most renowned sculptors. During the session Pink Floyd were visited by one of their own school friends who had just come back from Paris where he was playing with his own band: David Gilmore.
It was today in 1974 that Ray Stevens started a 3 week run at number one on the charts with The Streak, an ode to the fad of running naked, often at public events, that had started the previous year. At one point a Seattle area top-40 AM station promoted a streaking race across the East Channel bridge from Mercer Island to Bellevue. Though it was a short-lived craze in the early 70’s, the earliest known incident of “streaking” was in 1799, when a man in London was arrested for running naked through town to win a bet of 10 Guineas (about $1100 in today’s currency).
It was today in 1980 that the lead singer of the highly influential British band Joy Division, Ian Curtis, hung himself in his kitchen on the eve of their debut North American tour.
It was also today in 1980 that a large mountain in Southwest Washington blew up, which has nothing to do with rock and roll, except that it spewed some very big rocks.
It was today in 2011 that John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics to Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds sold at auction for $237,132. Many people thought the title was an expansion of the acronym L.S.D., but John said they came from a drawing his son Julian had made of a classmate, Lucy Vodden, who died of Lupus in 2009. The sheet also included the opening lyrics of She’s Leaving Home.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Bluesman and rock and roll pioneer Big Joe Turner would be 105 today. He died at 74, long after his songs Shake Rattle and Roll and Sweet Sixteen had become standards.
Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman is 67. Rick bought his first electronic keyboard at age 12, and went on to study piano, clarinet, orchestration, and modern music at the royal College of Music in London. Though Rick does not tour with Yes these days, the keyboard duties are often handled by his son Oliver. Rick also played in the studio on songs by Ozzy Osbourne, David Bowie, T Rex, Elton John, and Cat Stevens to name a few.
Guess Who bass player Bill Wallace is 67.