Bowie’s First Flops, Wyman Robs The Cradle: This Day In Classic Rock [Videos]

The Rolling Stones were anything but famous, and while the lineup we now know them by had been solid since January, they were essentially a blues and R&B cover band today in 1963, but they were working hard, playing two shows in one day. The first was their usual hour-and-a half set at Studio 51 in London’s Soho neighborhood, then it was off to the soon-to-be prestigious Crawdaddy Club in Surrey, near Heathrow Airport where they would soon do the “residency” that would make them famous in England.

David Bowie released his first album David Bowie today in 1967 to nothing but crickets. His manager at the time, Ken Pitt, wanted David to be seen less as a “rock star” and more as an all-around entertainer, and the album showed it, with roots as much in the Vaudeville and Music Hall styles as Rock and Roll. “I didn’t know if I was Max Miller (famous British singing comedian during the two World Wars) or Elvis Presley“, he said later. The reception was so dismal he didn’t release another album for two years, and listening to the first gives no clues toward his later material.

Paul McCartney and Wings were one month into their Wings Over America tour tonight in 1976, doing the third of three nights at the home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks, Chicago Stadium, “The Madhouse on Madison” (demolished in ’95). 8 days and two shows later, they would hit Seattle’s Kingdome and set a new world record for indoor rock show attendance with 67,100 of us there.

52 year old Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman got married today in 1989 to 18 year old Mandy Smith, though they had been “dating” since she was 13 (Mandy later said the relationship wasn’t sexually consummated until she was 14). Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, and a fair amount of Britain’s rock royalty attended, as did his 28 year old son from his first marriage Stephen, who toward the end of Bill and Mandy’s 17 month marriage married Mandy’s mother.

Paul McCartney and fiancé Heather Mills were staying at the posh Turnberry Isle Resort in Miami today in 2002 when they got in a fight and Paul threw her engagement ring out the window. As they made up, they called resort management, who equipped the grounds crew with metal detectors and found the ring, valued at $25,000, but their marriage would last only four more years, and after a two-year divorce in court she would walk with £25 million.

79 year old Ellas Otha Bates died of heart failure at home in Florida today in 2008, better known by his stage name Bo Diddley.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts is 75.

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