The Greatest Protest Song Ever, And Joe Strummer Learns His Lesson: This Day In Classic Rock [Videos]

The Beatles were in London at the Playhouse Theater today in 1963, recording 11 songs for two separate BBC Radio Programmes; Saturday Club, hosted by Brian Matthew, was Britain’s first “pop music” show (the Beatles would play it 10 times), and the other was the short-lived Steppin’ Out, the title of which was revived by the BBC recently as the name of a Dancing With The Stars-like celebrity show.

Freehold Regional High School junior class members The Castilles played a dance at their New Jersey high school for the first time tonight in 1966, which would otherwise be unremarkable if their frontman hadn’t been Bruce Springsteen.

Seattle-born Jimi Hendrix, who’d gone to England and become quite famous, signed a deal today in 1967 that would release his music in the U.S. on the record label started by Frank Sinatra, Reprise.

The Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones was at the Great Marlborough Street Magistrate’s Court in London today in 1968, answering to charges of possession of cannabis. He of course said he was very sorry and promised never to take any nasty drugs again, and was set free after posting £200 bail.

The Crosby Stills Nash and Young song Ohio, written by Neil Young after seeing news reports of the National Guard shooting unarmed Vietnam war protesters and uninvolved students at Kent State University on May 4th, taught to the band, recorded, and pressed into vinyl in “record” time, hit stores today in 1970, just 17 days later.

Two would-be American concert promoters were arrested today in 1974 on fraud charges for selling mail-order tickets to an Elten John concert. They tried to argue that the show they were promoting was for a totally different performer who spelled his name entirely differently from the British piano player Elton John and they weren’t attempting to deceive anyone, but the cops weren’t buying it, and seized and returned over $12,000 in checks.

A thief broke into Electric Lady Studios tonight in 1980 and stole 5 Jimi Hendrix gold record sales award from the wall. They were never recovered. Hendrix had spent several arms and legs recording his Electric Ladyland album, and having already purchased a nightclub in New York’s Greenwich Village, decided it would be more cost-effective to turn the place into his own recording studio, which he did at considerable expense, but only got to use it for four weeks (much of it while construction was still going on) before he died on a trip back to England to play at the Isle of Wight Festival. It’s still a working studio, and has made famous albums from the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Kiss, AC/DC, The Clash, going all the way to Weezer and Seattle’s own Soundgarden.

The Clash frontman Joe Strummer was arrested in the early hours of today in 1980 after beaning a violently-moshing audience member over the head with his guitar at a show in Hamburg Germany. After learning that the man may well have deserved what he got, Joe was released but he deeply regretted losing his temper, later saying “I nearly murdered somebody and it made me realize you can’t face violence with violence. It doesn’t work”.

Really only known in America for their psychedelic gem from the 60’s Pictures of Matchstick Men, British band Status Quo have the distinction in their own country of having more hit singles than any other band including The Beatles, but many of those songs had little or no appeal for Yanks. Case in point was a song that hit #1 today in 1994, Come On You Reds, which they’d performed with members of the team the song was meant to cheer on, Manchester United of the English Premier League.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

British crooner Tony Sheridan, largely famous for recording in Hamburg Germany in the early 60’s with The Beatles as his backing band, would be 75 if he hadn’t passed in 2013.

The third of the 6 Isley Brothers and the band’s leader and lead singer, Ronald Isley is 75. In the mid 60’s they’d hired a young unknown guitarist from Seattle, fresh out of the Army, named Jimi Hendrix.

The Animals guitarist Hilton Valentine is 73.

John Dalton, who replaced original bass player Pete Quaife in The Kinks in 1969, is 73, and unlike Quaife is still with us.

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster keyboard player Vincent Crane would be 73 if he hadn’t overdosed on painkillers at 45.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch is 61.

5/21

 

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