The Doors started in on recording their first album today in 1966, at a studio on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood not far from where they’d let the songs develop playing them every night as the house band at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go.
A 17 year old Bruce Springsteen joined a band called Earth today in 1967, not to be confused with a band called Earth that was about to form in Birmingham England that would later be called Black Sabbath, or a 90’s band from Seattle called Earth fronted by Dylan Carlson who happened to be best friends with Kurt Cobain.
John Lennon was in the studio today in 1969 with Ringo Starr and Klaus Voorman working on a song he’d written about his experience with Heroin withdrawal: Cold Turkey made it into the U.S. Top 30 and British Top 20 despite being banned by the BBC. Later that year John would famously send his M.B.E. medal (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) back to Queen Elizabeth with a note of protest against Britain’s colonial activities in Africa, it’s support of America’s involvement in Vietnam, and “against Cold Turkey slipping down in the charts”.
Queen were in Wales today in 1975, starting work on a song that was already completed in singer Freddie Mercury’s head. Bohemian Rhapsody sports over 180 vocal overdubs, and at one point Freddie, Brian May, and Roger Taylor were singing pretty much non-stop for 10 hours a day.
Mark David Chapman was sentenced to prison for the second degree (not first degree, as he was bull-goose looney) murder of John Lennon today in 1981. He would not be eligible for parole for 20 years, which he has applied for numerous times only to be denied. Chapman has stated that he has been beaten up many times in prison, and that some inmates have tried to kill him. Imagine!
Judas Priest were exonerated in a lawsuit against them today in 1990 claiming that two fans had been driven to suicide by listening to the song Better By You, Better Than Me from their album Stained Class (which was actually written by Gary Wright for his band Spooky Tooth). The plaintiffs attorneys claimed there were subliminal messages on the record, but none were found because there weren’t any.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Airplane/Starship bass player and singer David Freeberg is 78.
Quicksilver Messenger Service lead guitarist John Cipollina would be 73, he died of emphysema at 45.
Traffic’s singing-songwriting drummer Jim Capaldi would be 72, he died in 2005 of stomach cancer.
James Gang drummer, founder, sometimes organist, and namesake James “Jim” Fox is 69.
Heart’s heyday drummer Michael DeRosier is 65, and will still teach the occasional drum lesson through Donn Bennett’s Drum Shoppe in Bellevue.