The Beatles were “Down Under” today in 1964, arriving in Melbourne from Adelaide, where they’d got the biggest welcome of their careers when some 350,000 fans turned out to cheer them from the airport to downtown. Things were more subdued in Melbourne, with only 5000 showing up at the airport and another 20,000 lining their route to the hotel, kept in check by units of the Australian Royal Army and Navy brought in to keep order. Nonetheless, several cars were crushed, hundreds of screaming girls fainted, and 50+ people were taken to the hospital with broken bones. Ringo arrived, sans tonsils, on a separate flight, and replacement drummer Jimmy Nichol headed back to England.
The Doors played at the Steve Paul’s Scene nightclub in New York City tonight in 1967. Jimi Hendrix was in the audience, and speculation is that it was after this show was when the jam session that became the infamous Hendrix High Live and Dirty bootleg album took place, featuring an extremely inebriated jam session with Jimi on guitar and Jim Morrison slurring obscenities into the microphone. (Anyone remember the song F.H.I.T.A. ? It has bad words in it sorry, look it up yourself.)
Eric Clapton played his first show with a new band made up of musicians who’d joined him on the Delaney, Bonnie, and Friends tour tonight in 1970 at the Lyceum theater in London. The show was billed as “Eric Clapton and Friends”, but they’d all decided against another “…and Friends” moniker, and tonight settled on a new name. There are several conflicting stories around it’s selection, but the most credible seems to be that Derek and The Dominoes was a drunken mispronunciation of Eric and The Dynamos that amused them greatly and stuck. This is the only show where Dave Mason played with them.
American country-pop-novelty singer Ray Stevens was at #1 in England today in 1974 with his song The Streak, which reflected the then-current fad, apparently also popular in Britain, of running naked through public places.
Led Zeppelin played the last of 6 sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden tonight in 1977, on what would be their 11th and final North American tour. They would play Seattle’s Kingdome on July 17th, then three more shows before learning of the death of Robert Plant’s son Karac, and cancelling the rest.
Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof was made a full Knight (KBE) of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire today in 1986, honored not as so many other musicians have for their “services to music” (bringing piles of gold into the royal tax coffers), but for his tireless service to charities like Band Aid, Live Aid, USA for Africa, Live Aid, and Live 8.
Three Ozzy Osbourne fans were killed tonight in 1986, when they fell from a balcony at the Long Beach Arena in California.
Pink Floyd hired 30 strong-backed men to move some 800 rented steel British National Health Service beds onto a North Devonshire beach today in 1987, so that photographer Storm Thorgerson could shoot the cover of their new album A Momentary Lapse of Reason, but it started raining heavily during the shoot, and they had to repeat the whole process two weeks later.
The extremely talented drummer of influential Liverpool band Echo and the Bunnymen, Pete Defritas, was killed in a motorcycle accident today in 1989, joining what Kurt Cobain’s mom would later call “that stupid club” of rock and rollers dead at age 27.
Irish guitarist Rory Ghallager, #57 on the Rolling Stone Magazine Top 100 Of All Time list, died today in 1995 of complications from his recent liver transplant. He was 47.
Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger was made a full Knight (KBE) of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire today in 2002, for his “services to music” (bringing piles of money into the royal coffers despite having lived outside the U.K. as tax exiles through most of the 70’s). While the Queen may have been amused, the rest of the Stones were not. Keith Richards famously said “It’s a paltry honour” and quipped that “sharing the stage with someone sporting the old ermine…it’s not what the Stones are about”. The notoriously faithful husband of Shirley, Charlie Watts added, “Anybody else would be lynched: 18 wives and 20 children and he’s knighted, fantastic!”
A run-down three bedroom Victorian-era townhouse in Liverpool slated for demolition was saved from the wrecking ball today in 2012 on account of Ringo Starr had been born there.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Zombies and Argent keyboard player Rod Argent is 71. The Zombies are cashing in on the popularity of The Walking Dead, and still do live shows occasionally.
Yes and Plastic Ono Band drummer Alan White is 67, and still living among us in the Puget Sound area.
Slade bass player and multi-instrumentalist Jim Lea is 67.
Chris DeGarmo is 53. Born in Wenatchee, he moved to Bellevue where he formed Queensrÿche with classmates at Interlake High. He quit in 1996 and became a charter pilot.