Bob Dylan played Carnegie Hall in New York tonight in 1965, introducing his new backup musicians Rick Danko on bass, singing drummer Levon Helm, keyboard player Garth Hudson, multi-instrumentalist Richard Manuel, and guitarist Robbie Robertson, the former backup band for Canadian rockabilly star Ronnie Hawkins. Didn’t seem right that he should continue calling them The Hawks, so Bob introduced them simply as The Band, a name that would stick when they went off on their own a few years later.
Having arrived a week and a half ago from New York, Jimi Hendrix made his first public appearance in London tonight in 1966 when he got up on stage with Cream at their London Polytechnic show. Introduced by Hendrix’s new manager Chas Chandler, the former bass player for The Animals, Jimi and Eric Clapton formed an instant mutual guitar player admiration society. The debut show of The Jimi Hendrix Experience was still almost two months away.
The BBC had mostly avoided rock and roll music, relegating it to short “specialty” shows, and that niche had been filled by Radio Luxembourg and “Pirate” stations operating from ships in the English Channel when they debuted Top Gear tonight in 1967. It would popularize up and coming bands like Pink Floyd, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Kinks, The Who, and Led Zeppelin, but while hosts Brian Matthew and John Peel would continue to present the devil’s music on other shows, Top Gear would be cancelled in 1975, and the name…taken for it’s automotive connection but also because The Beatles had popularized use of the word “Gear” to mean “Good”, would be revived for use by a car show that remained the biggest in the world until last year when host Jeremy Clarkson was sacked for mistreating a producer. He now works for Jeff Bezos, with a similar new show The Grand Tour starting on Amazon this fall.
Having been found dead in London on September 18th in London, the body of Jimi Hendrix was buried today in 1970. Services began at 1 pm at the Dunlop Baptist Church on Rainier Avenue, attended by some 200 people, though his family had asked that the service be limited to friends and family, so Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman showed up with a large contingent of Seattle Police, but they weren’t necessary as the fans who showed up were respectful and stayed behind barriers set up. A 24 limousine procession headed for Greenwood Cemetery in the Renton Highlands were he was buried near his mother, then a wake was held at the Seattle Center’s “Food Circus” where a “jam session” included his former Experience bandmates Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, Band of Gypsys drummer Buddy Miles, jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, and blues guitarist Johnny Winter. One of Jimi’s friends, The Animals singer Eric Burdon, made a public point of not attending, saying that Jimi hated Seattle, burying him there was inappropriate, and in any case he’d been murdered and why wasn’t anyone investigating that?
39 year old Booker T. and the MG’s drummer Al Jackson was shot to death in a home-invasion robbery in Memphis today in 1975. An immediate suspect questioned by police was his wife Barbara, who had shot him in July during an argument, but he’d recovered and hadn’t pressed charges, and though the two were in the process of divorcing, she was cleared and a manhunt began for the real perpetrator that wouldn’t end until mid-July when the killer died in a gun battle with police in Seattle.
The Pretenders had to cancel the last leg of their current U.S. Tour today in 1981 after their drummer, Martin Chambers, apparently pissed off about something, put his fist through a plate glass window, cutting arteries and tendons.
Sony made the world’s first Digital Compact Disc player available today in 1982 with a press event in Japan. The CDP-101 could be yours for ¥168,000 (about $730), but the only CD your could buy was 52nd Street by Billy Joel, but unlike many CD Players made later, these often still work.
Buffalo Springfield and later Crosby Stills and Nash bass player Bruce Palmer died of a heart attack at age 58 today in 2004.
Also today in 2004, the Hong Kong born Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia John So took Rocktober 1st as an opportunity to rename “Corporation Lane” in the heart of his city’s business district for Australia’s biggest export, AC/DC. “As the song says, there is a highway to hell, but this is a laneway to heaven. Let us rock!” he said to thunderous applause, then bagpipers played It’s A Long Way to The Top. Australia was started as a British penal colony after all, and the city was ready with extra AC/DC Lane signs at the ready when the first lot were stolen. Fittingly the lane is home to a rock and roll nightclub, The Cherry Bar, opened by Cosmic Psychos drummer Bill Walsh.
A recording of The Beatles doing Some Other Guy at Liverpool’s Cavern Club in 1962 was found in the desk drawer it’d been sitting in for the last 50 years today in 2015.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Shocking Blue singer Mariska Veres would be 69 if she hadn’t died of a heart attack at 58 in her native The Hague, Holland.
Brownsville Station guitarist and songwriter Michael “Cub” Koda would be 68 if kidney disease hadn’t killed him at 51.