Floyd’s Debut Album, Lennon Ends Retirement, And The Guy Who Played Danny’s Bass: This Day In Classic Rock [Videos]

The British music magazine New Musical Express reported today in 1963 that The Beatles were on the verge of having their first hit in the U.S. with From Me To You. Meanwhile, the band were playing a show at the Queen’s Theatre in Blackpool, and so many fans had crowded around the building they couldn’t get in, so they went through a construction area next door, climbed some scaffolding onto the roof, and had to be lowered into the arena through a trap door.

A young fan of The Monkees managed to stow away on their plane between shows on a flight from Minneapolis to St. Louis today in 1967. The girl’s father was quite angry, and threatened to turn them into the F.B.I. for transporting a minor across state lines.

Pink Floyd released their debut album Piper at the Gates of Dawn today in 1967. It had been recorded at Abbey Road Studios down the hall while The Beatles were recording Sgt. Pepper’s, but while Floyd were the darlings of London’s psychedelic scene, and the album would hit #6 on the U.K. charts, it went virtually unnoticed here in the U.S.

Robert Plant and his wife Maureen were in a rental car on the Greek island of Rhodes when Robert lost control and crashed today in 1975. Both were badly injured, Robert broke an ankle and an elbow,  Led Zeppelin were forced to cancel the rest of the year’s tour dates, recording on their Presence album was delayed, and Plant would take the better part of two years to fully recover.

John Lennon officially gave up on retirement today in 1980 when he began recording what would be his Double Fantasy album at The Hit Factory in New York City today in 1980. He’d written many of the songs on a sailboat trip in the Caribbean when he’d heard Athens Georgia “new wave” band The B-52’s hit Rock Lobster and noted how similar the two female singer’s vocal stylings were to Yoko Ono’s. The album would be largely dismissed in the music press as “boring” when it came out in October, but with John’s murder in December it would go to the top of the charts.

The Eagles singing drummer Don Henley agreed to an undisclosed sum of cash, a full cease-and-desist order, and a public apology as he settled out of court today in 2010 in his lawsuit against California Republican Chuck Devore, who hadn’t asked permission when he parodied two of his songs for his campaign to unseat U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. His campaign had distributed a parody of All She Wants To Do Is Dance (“All she wants to do is tax”) and The Boys of Summer (After the Hope of November is Gone). Devore didn’t even make it out of the Republican primary, finishing third, Boxer easily won reelection in a landslide, and Chuck has since moved to Texas where he feels much more at home, which ironically is the birthplace of Don Henley.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Larry Knechtel would be 76 if he hadn’t passed at age 69 in his adopted home of Yakima. He played keyboards and bass in the famous group of Southern California studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew, playing on a remarkable string of hits, but most notable here at KZOK as the guy who played Danny Bonaduce’s bass parts in The Partridge Family.

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