Fitting that we start the KZOK Kalander month of Zeptember with an artist Jimmy Page grew up on, the blind African American pianist who turned jazz into something more rockin’, Mr. Ray Charles. He’d been on the road a lot lately, and signed with Los Angeles record company Swing Time, but he lived here in Seattle, where he’d moved to get as far away from his native Florida as possible, and played local nightclubs with a 14 year old Quincy Jones. Swing Time folded and he’d move to New York and then Beverly Hills after signing with the guy who would sign Led Zeppelin 16 years later, Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic records today in 1952.
A couple of guitar players auditioned for an open Sunday time slot on Lubbock Texas radio station KDAV today in 1953. They passed, and Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery would start The Bob and Buddy Show the next week.
A 19 year old Jerry Lee Lewis showed up at the Memphis studio of Sun Records for a scheduled audition with owner-engineer Sam Phillips today in 1956, only to find him on vacation in Florida. He’d arranged for a friend to record a demo, which Phillips heard when he got back and signed him immediately.
The Who had their second #2 hit in England today in 1966 with a song Pete Townsend had come up with intending it to be part of a “rock opera” called Quads, about a dystopian future in which parents can choose the sex of their children. I’m a Boy is the lament of a lad who was the mistake delivered to a family that ordered four girls.
All four Beatles gathered at Paul McCartney’s house in London today in 1967 for a meeting to decide what to do following the death of Brian Epstein 6 days earlier, which they’d heard about while in Wales at a Transcendental Meditation workshop being led by The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who they’d been turned on to by George Harrison’s wife Patti Boyd. The Maharishi had told them that in the spiritual world the loss of their manager meant nothing, but as John Lennon said later, “I really didn’t have any misconceptions about my ability to do anything other than play music. I was scared. I thought ‘we’re ****ed now”. They decided to blow off their planned trip to the Maharishi’s Ashram in India and concentrate on the back-burner plan for a TV Special based on Paul’s song Magical Mystery Tour.
A CBGB born band formed by New York singer, waitress, go-go dancer, and Playboy bunny Deborah Harry and her guitar playing boyfriend Chris Stein signed to Chrysalis Records today in 1977. Blondie were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
U2 released their first record today in 1979, an “EP” called U2-3, pressing 1000 copies they hand-signed and sold themselves in Dublin. Those copies are worth quite a lot today.
Lead guitarist Mick Jones was fired from The Clash by the others members today in 1983, who said he’d “drifted apart from the original idea”, but he and the band’s other singer-songwriter-guitarist Joe Strummer had been fighting since they started the previous year’s tour with The Who.
51 year old Barry Cowsill, bass player for the family-band The Cowsills that inspired The Partridge Family, died from injuries suffered in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans today in 2005. His body wouldn’t be recovered until December 28th.
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong was booted from a Southwest Airlines flight today in 2011 by an attendant who demanded he pull up his low-hanging underwear showing pants or get off the plane. He did, then called lawyers who settled out of court with Southwest.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Singing guitarist Barry Gibb (OBE) of pop-rock and later disco band The Bee Gees is 70.
Sly and the Family Stone drummer Greg Errico is 68.
Bruce Foxton, bass player of Who-influenced mod revivalists The Jam, is 61.