The musical guests on ABC TV’s Shindig! tonight in 1965 were the Dave Clark 5 and a band from Portland Oregon called The Kingsmen, who played their hit Louie Louie.
Elvis Presley’s bass player Bill Black died today in 1965, four months after surgery for a brain tumor. So influential to rock and roll bass playing, the stand-up bass “fiddle” he played in Elvis’ early combo with guitarist Scotty Moore (the two were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as sidemen in 2009), is now owned by Paul McCartney, bought for him as a gift by wife Linda in the 70’s.
Mick Jagger became a father for the second time today in 1971 with the birth of Jade Sheena Jezebel Jagger. As he and the child’s mother Bianca were married, this was Mick’s first “legitimate” kid. He has 5 altogether, from 4 different mothers, four grandchildren, and Mick became a great-grandfather when Jade’s daughter gave birth in 2014.
Chuck Berry started a two week run at #1 in the U.S. and England today in 1972 with a song about his penis, My Ding-A-Ling. It was 17 years after his first hit, and the only time he’s ever topped the charts, though there’s still time: Chuck turned 90 on Tuesday, and announced that his first new studio album since 1979, Chuck, would be coming out in 2017.
Drummer Keith Moon played his last public show with The Who tonight in 1976 at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, at the end of a tour that had sorely tried the rest of the band’s patience. There would be an invite-only show a year later for the release of the film The Kids Are Allright, where Keith had gained weight and couldn’t play well, and Pete Townshend refused to play live again until he cleaned himself up. In 1978 he moved into a London flat owned by American Harry Nilsson, who was concerned about renting it to him as Cass Elliott had died there four years earlier, but Pete had reassured him, saying “lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice”. Keith was found dead there on September 7th of the same year after taking 32 Heminevrin tablets, which he’d been given by his doctor to combat his alcoholism with the instructions “take one whenever you feel a craving for alcohol, but not more than three a day”.
Showing that we hadn’t really become any more enlightened or tolerant as a society since Jim Morrison of The Doors was arrested in Miami for showing “little Jim” to the audience (which drummer John Densmore later said he never actually did), Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong was arrested today in 1995 for “mooning” the audience at a show in Milwaukee. He was fined $141, and has made showing his buttocks to the crowd a regular part of their shows, which may or may not be why Green Day were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
Alice Cooper filed a lawsuit against KISS frontman Paul Stanley today in 1998, claiming that the riff from the song Dreamin’ was nearly identical to the one in his song Eighteen. They settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
It was announced today in 2001 that the Paul McCartney organized Concert For New York at Madison Square Garden the night before with David Bowie, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, The Who (it would be bass player John Entwhistle’s last show with them), Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, John Mellencamp, Elton John, and Paul McCartney (and many more musicians, filmmakers, politicians, and comedians) had raised some $36 million for families and survivors of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Sandy West, drummer for the The Runaways died of lung cancer today in 2006 at the way too young age of 47. Runaways rhythm guitarist, singer, and songwriter Joan Jett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 for her work with her band The Blackhearts, though many in this business feel The Runaways were more important as rock’s first successful instrument-playing all female band.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Manfred Mann and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band keyboard playing frontman Manfred Mann (born in South Africa as Manfred Sepse Lubowitz) is 76.
Stax Records House Band, Booker T. and the M.G.’s, and Blues Brothers guitarist Steve Cropper is 75.
Guitarist Elvin Bishop is 74.
Chicago’s trumpet player Lee Loughnane is 70.
Tetsu Yamauchi is 70. Having struck up a friendship with Cream drummer Ginger Baker (no easy feat), the Japanese bass player found himself in London in the early 70’s where he played on the last album from Free, then replaced Ronnie Lane in the Faces, but moved back to Japan when they broke up and has refused to be part of their occasional reunions, considering it “juvenile and vain to be performing rock and roll at his age”.
Influential punk, rockabilly, and garage-rock revivalist Lux Interior (real name Erick Purkheiser) of The Cramps would be 69. He died of a heart attack at 62.
John “Rabbit” Bundrick is 68. The Texan keyboardist and songwriter played with The Who, Eric Burdon, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Roger Waters, and Free, and is listed as the principal musician on the soundtrack to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The Grateful Dead’s fourth keyboard player, and the one with the band the longest, Brent Mydland would be 64. He overdosed on “speedballs” (cocaine and heroin) at age 37.
Charlotte Caffey, guitarist, keyboard player, songwriter, and singer with the most successful all-female band of all time The Go Go’s is 63.
Julian Cope, influential lead singer and occasional guitarist with Liverpool band The Teardrop Explodes, later a solo artist, and now a renowned British expert on the many Stonehenge-like stone circles all over England, Scotland, and Wales, is 59.