Drummer Tommy Moore quit The Silver Beetles today in 1960. He saw little future with the band, and went full-time with his part-time job as a forklift driver at the Garston Bottle Works in Liverpool. He was replaced ever so briefly by Norman Chapman, who was conscripted into the British Army after just three shows, the band would go drummerless (and mostly showless) until August, when they hired Pete Best just before leaving for their first trip to Hamburg Germany. Moore would slog away as a forklift driver until 1981 when he died of a brain hemorrhage.
By now called The Beatles, the band played for the BBC’s Here We Go programme at the Playhouse Theater in Manchester tonight in 1962 for an audience of Cavern Club regulars who had made their way south from Liverpool. This would be their last recorded appearance with Pete Best on drums.
Radio stations all over Europe were reporting that The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey was dead today in 1966. While this came as a bit of a surprise to Roger, his guitar player Pete Townsend had been injured in a car crash a few days earlier, no doubt the source of the erroneous rumors.
An ad in today’s 1967 edition of British Melody Maker magazine read, “Freaky lead guitarist, bass and drummer wanted for Marc Bolan’s new group. Also any other astral flyers like with car’s amplification and that which never grows in window boxes, phone Wimbledon 0697″. The musicians who answered and made the cut started Tyrannosaurus Rex released 4 “psychedelic folk” albums before morphing into the glam-metal T Rex.
AC/DC started their first European tour tonight in 1976 in Glasgow, Scotland, where singer Bon Scott and the guitar playing Young brothers had been born before their families moved to Australia. Sponsored by the British Sounds magazine, the Lock Up Your Daughters tour included dates where they opened for Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Kiss, Styx, UFO, and Blue Öyster Cult, as well as a co-headlining gig with Cheap Trick.
One day after being fined £5 each for spray painting The Clash on a London wall, the band’s Joe Strummer and Nicky “Topper” Headon were arrested today in 1977 for skipping a May 21st court date in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne where they were charged with stealing a pillow case from a Holiday Inn. After spending the night in jail, both were fined £100, which could have bought the Holiday Inn many more pillow cases.
Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen married his girlfriend of two years, Valeri Kendall, today in 1983 with his guitar-playing brother Eddie Van Halen as best man. They would divorce just two months later. Alex would marry two more times, and also become an ordained minister of the mail-order Universal Life Church (Danny Bonaduce and Mike Jones are also ordained ministers of the ULC), and preside at the weddings of his brother in 2009 and his brother’s ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli in 2011.
Four years after his wife Linda had died of breast cancer, Paul McCartney married Heather Mills today in 2002 in an elaborate ceremony held at Castle Leslie in County Monaghan, Ireland. After having a daughter, Beatrice, the two would separate in 2006 and finally divorce two years later after a lengthy court battle that awarded her almost £25 million.
Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page was made an officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II today in 2005, while another guitarist, Brian May of Queen was made a Commander (CBE), one rank ahead. Though Led Zep certainly brought more tax money into the royal coffers, one can only assume The Queen liked Brian’s band name better.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Uriah Heep singer John Lawton is 70.
Richard Palmer-James is 67. He wrote most of the lyrics for King Crimson before going on to play guitar and sing on Supertramp’s first album, but didn’t work with them again until 2002.
ZZ Top drummer and the band member most often seen without one, Frank Beard is 67.
Donnie Van Zant is 64, lead singer for 38 Special. He’s the middle of the three Van Zant brothers, older brother Ronnie of Lynyrd Skynyrd was killed in a plane crash in 1977, younger brother Johnny is that band’s front man now.