The British music show Ready Steady Go! was shown on ITV in London for the first time tonight in 1963, presented by disc jockey Keith Fordyce and “The Queen of the Mods”, 19 year old Cathy McGowan. Eric Burdon called her “the girl of the day”, and supermodel Lesley Hornby aka Twiggy idolized her, saying “I’d sit and drool over her clothes. She was a heroine to us because she was one of us”. She was also ridiculed by one of the who’s who (Including The Who) list of British rock who appeared on the show while it ran until December of ’66: The Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night in the character Susan Campy, who famous British actor Kenneth Haigh in his brief cameo as a high powered advertising executive tells George Harrison, “She’s a trendsetter, it’s her profession”, and George says “Oh you mean that posh bird who gets everything wrong….She’s a drag, and a well known drag…me and the lads turn the sound down and say rude things about her.” Billy Idol would have a hit in 1978 with his band Generation X’s Ready Steady Go!, in which he professes his undying love for Cathy.
The Rolling Stones show tonight in 1964 at Manchester’s New Elizabeth Ballroom was hard on the local police, Two of them passed out and a third was taken to the hospital with broken ribs trying to control 3000 screaming teenagers.
A singer and songwriter from the surprisingly musical town of Jacksonville Florida by the name of Phillip Wallach Blondheim had his one hit today in 1967 with the dreamy anthem of The Summer of Love, San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair). It was written by Phillip’s childhood friend from Virginia, John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, and released under the pseudonym Scott McKenzie. It went to #1 in England, where young people dreamed of a sunny and psychedelic California holiday. One who could afford to go there did: George Harrison hung out in the Haight district and played guitar in Golden Gate Park, and was kind of freaked out by the whole thing. He met some motorcycle riding friends of The Grateful Dead who called themselves The Hell’s Angels, and trying to be polite, told them they had a place to stay if they ever came to London. To his surprise a couple did, and while there started chapters of their club in England that exist to this day.
Fans of singer and multi-instrumentalist Gary Numan picketed BBC Radio 1 today in 1986, demanding that they play more of him. He had a new-wave hit on both sides of the pond with Cars, but is still at it, as he played Bumbershoot three years ago.
Jerry Garcia, the main man of the Grateful Dead died today in 1995 of a heart attack at the Serenity Knolls rehab clinic in San Francisco. His signature noodle guitar stylings got him to #13 on the Rolling Stone magazine Top 100 of All Time list.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Pretty Things drummer Viv Prince is 72.
Golden Earring bass player Rinus Gerritsen is 70.
Elvis Costello and The Attractions bass player Bruce Thomas is 68.