A Rock And Roll Guinea Pig, Geffen Gets Lennon Through Yoko: This Day In Classic Rock [Videos]

The Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham threw a little party tonight in 1965 to mark the launch of his new company, Immediate Records, attended by Eric Clapton, German model Nico (who would later move to New York and work with Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground), and Mick Jagger and the rest of the Stones. The label would temporarily be home to Rod Stewart, John Mayall, Savoy Brown, The Nice, Fleetwood Mac,  Humble Pie, a young producer and session guitarist named Jimmy Page, and The Small Faces (who would later have to sue having been paid no royalties) before it fell apart in 1970. Interestingly the Rolling Stones never released anything on the label, and their first release was the hit Hang On Sloopy by Union City Indiana band The McCoys, featuring guitarist Rick Derringer.

The Beatles, already souring on playing live because of right-wing-Christian protests and death-threats after John Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” comments, were forced to cancel their show in Cincinnati tonight in 1966 as heavy rain at the Reds’ ballpark made electrocution inevitable. There were just six more shows on that tour, including two at the Seattle Center Coliseum on the 25th, and after the last on the 29th at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, they would never play a public concert again.

Dr. David Lipscomb of the University of Tennessee released a study today in 1968 in which he had subjected a guinea pig to 88 hours of continuous exposure to recorded rock and roll music played at 120 decibels, and concluded that the animal had suffered severe hearing damage. Commenting in the press, New York nightclub owner Steve Paul quipped, “Should a major increase in Guinea Pig attendance occur at The Scene, we’ll certainly bear their comfort in mind”.

John Lennon was at work at The Hit Factory recording studio in New York today in 1980 working on his retirement-ending Double Fantasy album, joined by guitarist Rick Neilsen and drummer Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick on the song I’m Losing You, which would later be re-recorded by studio musicians. John was being courted by virtually all major record labels to release the album, but decided to go with former Asylum records honcho David Geffen’s brand new Geffen Records, because he had asked Yoko Ono instead of contacting Lennon directly.

Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen played his first public concert with the band since losing his left arm in a car crash tonight in 1986. Where most bands would have sought a replacement drummer, Leppard had told Allen something along the lines of “way to go dumbass, you’d better figure out how you’re gonna play drums now”, and the Simmons electronic drum company jumped on the opportunity to design a special kit for him.

The “Monsters of Rock” show at Castle Donnington in England tonight in 1988 with Iron Maiden, Kiss, David Lee Roth, Megadeth, and Guns-N-Roses turned tragic when two fans were killed “slam dancing” during G&R’s set.

Aerosmith played London’s famous Marquee Club tonight in 1990 when they were joined by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Soul singer Issac Hayes, who later experienced a career revival as the voice of the “Chef” character on South Park, would be 74 if he hadn’t passed in 2008.

Chicago’s trombone player James Pankow is 69.

Former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Anthony Plant (CBE) is 68.

Thin Lizzy bass-playing frontman Phil Lynott would be 67 if he hadn’t overdosed at 36.

Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott would be 50 if he hadn’t been shot to death on stage by a deranged fan in 2004.

8/20

 

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