While Cheap Trick, Bob Dylan, Ozzy Osbourne, and Deep Purple would all later record albums there, The Beatles became the first rock and roll band to play at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan arena today in 1966, wearing black suits for the first show, then changing to white suits for the second. Japanese authorities were taking no chances, and called in 3000 police officers for each show to 10,000 audience members, partially to keep the kids in line but also to protect them from Martial Arts fans who were pissed their home (the name translated to English means “Martial Arts Hall”), was being used by a dirtbag rock and roll band.
Paul McCartney and Wings were at #1 on the U.S. charts today in 1973 with My Love when they were knocked from that spot by Paul’s old Beatle-mate George Harrison with his second #1, Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth).
Gregg Allman married Cher today in 1975, just four days after she’d divorced Sonny Bono. The two would split up after 10 days, with Cher citing Gregg’s heavy drinking and heroin use, but they’d get back together off-and-on until ’79. The union produced one son, Elijah Blue Allman, and one record, Two the Hard Way by Allman and Woman, widely considered the low point of both of their careers.
Influential British punk band The Buzzcocks released Love You More as a single today in 1979 on United Artists. Clocking in at just 1 minute and 29 seconds, it was the second shortest song ever, behind Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs 1960 single Stay, which was exactly one second shorter.
Pearl Jam took the stage at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark today in 2000, when the crowd surged forward. After numerous ignored requests from Eddie Vedder for them to move back, the band stopped playing, but it was too late. 9 fans had been crushed and/or suffocated to death at the front of the mob. They cancelled the remaining two dates of their European tour, went home, and considered retiring, but while the Danish media initially blamed them, they were later cleared of responsibility and their handling of the tragedy actually prevented more deaths. A sympathetic Pete Townsend of The Who had been through something similar in Cincinnati in 1979, and phoned Vedder to offer his condolences.
The Beach Boys singer and guitarist Al Jardine took the rest of the band to court today in 2001, seeking some $4 million in unpaid royalties since he’d quit touring with them following the death of Carl Wilson in 1998. The case wouldn’t be resolved until 2008, and Al lost, but he would rejoin for their 50th anniversary tour in 2011.
The Kinks lead guitarist Dave Davies was promoting a solo album in England today in 2004 when he collapsed having suffered a stroke. The 57 year old was partially paralyzed on the right side of his body, but has since recovered to the point where he, brother Ray, and drummer Mick Avory, with whom Dave had famously fought, are rumored to be warming to the idea of a reunion.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Iron Maiden drummer Doug Sampson is 59.
Peter “Cammy” Cammell, guitarist with cult favorite and influential late 80’s and early 90’s Liverpool band The La’s is 49.