The Beatles Love Me Do hit #1 in America today in 1964, and it would stay there for a remarkable 14 weeks. It’s one of John and Paul’s earliest songs, going back to when they skipped high school to play guitars, writing lyrics and chords down in a school notebook labeling the pages “Another Lennon-McCartney Original”. John had learned to play the harmonica his Uncle George had given him when he was a kid, but the one he used on the recording he shoplifted from a music store in Holland during the “Hamburg Days”. A prestigious company like EMI Records was not accustomed to letting musicians record their own compositions in those days, but George Martin took a chance and recorded versions with Pete Best on drums (which finally appeared on the Beatles Anthology), then Ringo Starr (the version released in Britain and Canada), and another with studio drummer Andy White, as was the normal practice at EMI studios. It was the Andy White version that was released as the American single b/w P.S. I Love You through licensing deals with Vee Jay Records, but American kids bought far more of the Ringo version imported through Canada. Andy White passed at age 85 last year.
It was day 3 in 1983, (“Rock Day”, which followed Van Halen led “Metal Day” and Clash led “New Wave Day”) at Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak’s 2nd and final “Us” Festival at the outdoor amphitheater he had built outside of San Bernadino (now the San Manuel Amphitheater, the largest in the U.S.). Todays lineup: Los Lobos, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, Berlin, Quarterflash, U2, Missing Persons, The Pretenders, Joe Walsh, Stevie Nicks, and David Bowie. Woz never opened his books, but was estimated to have spent $40 million putting the Labor Day ’82 and Memorial Day ’83 festivals on, and made back a little less than half.
British Music producer Mickie Most died today in 2003 at 64. He had a string of hits in the 60’s and 70’s with The Animals, The Arrows, Herman’s Hermits, LuLu, The Jeff Beck Group, Hot Chocolate, Suzi Quattro, and especially Donovan, who did all of his psychedelic hits with Most.
Ozzy Osbourne sued his old mate Tony Iommi today in 2009, over royalty money earned under the Black Sabbath name, which Ozzy had relinquished when he got himself booted out of the band. Ozzy was trying to convince the court that all four original members of the band should share the money equally, as they’d agreed at the beginning. Interestingly original drummer Bill Ward asking manager Sharon Osbourne for a full fourth of the proceeds from the last Black Sabbath reunion tour is why he didn’t play it.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
British guitarist Lenny Davidson is 72, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 with The Dave Clark Five.
The Clash’s excellent drummer Nicky “Topper” Headon is 61. The band used the “exhaustion” excuse when he didn’t make the U.S. Combat Rock tour in 1982, but they’d booted him out of the band over his heroin use, which he stopped not long after.