The Beatles In Seattle, Ringo Quits, And The Police Reunite: This Day In Classic Rock [Videos]

The Beatles awoke this morning in 1964 at Seattle’s Edgewater Inn, having played here for the first time the night before. Seattle auctioneer Dick Friel (father of Chris and Rick Friel, who would later start Seattle metal band Shadow featuring future Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready, all from Seattle’s Roosevelt Rock and Roll High School),  was backstage with his friend Pat O’Day, and as the band and their management were trying to figure out how to get them out of the Seattle Center Coliseum, the former Washington State Pavilion at the ’62 World’s Fair that had just seen it’s first rock concert, and past the legions of fans waiting outside. He came up with the idea of sending an empty limousine off as a decoy, and having the band lie down in the back of an ambulance and head to the hotel, where they would famously fish from their window. The room they stayed in is now decorated with Beatles memorabilia and known as the “Beatles Suite“. The Seattle Times was less than impressed with the concert, and ran a front page article by a prominent local psychologist, who called their influence over Seattle teens as “truly frightening”.

The Beatles were on their second U.S. tour tonight in 1965, and back in the Pacific Northwest, though this time around they skipped Seattle in favor of Portland’s Memorial Coliseum. Between the two shows they played there tonight they were visited in their dressing room by Carl Wilson and Mike Love of The Beach Boys.

Ringo Starr quit The Beatles today in 1968, finally fed up with their constant bickering during sessions for The White Album. The band soldiered on, laying down Back in the U.S.S.R. with Paul McCartney on drums and John Lennon on bass. Ringo headed off for the Mediterranean for a cruise on the yacht of his friend actor Peter Sellers, where he came up with the lyrics to Octopuses Garden, and would return to the band on September 3rd, to find his drum kit at Abbey Road covered in flowers and “welcome back” messages from the other three.

Creedence Clearwater Revival started a 9-week run at #1 on the U.S. album charts with Cosmo’s Factory today in 1970. The title referred to drummer Doug Clifford’s nickname “Cosmo” and the fact that he’d started to call their rehearsal space in Berkley California  “The Factory”, as John Fogerty had insisted on the band practicing nearly every day.

Led Zeppelin released their 8th studio album In Through The Out Door today in 1979. It would be their last record of entirely new material, and their last with drummer John Bonham. The title refers to the band’s struggles over the previous two years, following the cancellation of the rest of their 1977 tour after the death of Robert Plant’s son Karac, and the band’s “tax exile” from England: Trying to get back in the public mind was like trying to “get in through the out door”.

The Police, who had broken up in 1986, got back together for the first time today in 1992 at the wedding of bass playing frontman Sting and his actress girlfriend Trudie Styler. They only played a few songs, borrowing instruments from the band they’d hired to play the reception, The Troggs.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Bluesman John Lee Hooker would be 99 if he’d made it past age 83. A huge influence on rock musicians, his songs have been covered by AC/DC. The Animals, Cream, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, The Doors, George Thorogood, The J. Geils Band, Van Morrison, and ZZ Top, to name but a few.

Living Color guitarist Vernon Reid is 58.

KZOK disc jockey, Room Nine, Young Pioneers, Chemistry Set, Down With People, The Green Pajamas, and The King County Queens drummer, and your This Day In Classic Rock scribe Scott Vanderpool is 57.

Ellensburg’s most famous band ever The Screaming Trees guitarist Gary Lee Conner is 54.

Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley would be 49 if he hadn’t let heroin take his life at age 34.

8/22

 

 

 

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