The Beatles made their second appearance on Granada TV today in 1962. With studios in Manchester, the TV channel known as “Granada From The North” brought the band to a much wider audience than the nightclubs of Liverpool, but did not yet reach into the lucrative London market.
The Rolling Stones began their 2nd tour of North America tonight in 1965 at the Forum in Montreal Canada. They were supporting Out of Our Heads, their 4th American album, which unlike it’s Brit counterpart included their first major original hit, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. The first time they’d been here was, according to bass player Bill Wyman, “A disaster. When we arrived, we didn’t have a hit record or anything going for us”. This time it was nothing but sellouts, including a stop at the Seattle Center Coliseum on December 2nd.
Michigan band ? and the Mysterians were at #1 on the U.S. charts today in 1966 with their only hit, 96 Tears. Taking part of their name from a late 50’s Japanese sci-fi movie, and presenting lead singer Rudy Martinez with the “question mark” symbol allowed them to detract attention from the fact that they were one of the first Mexican-American rock bands ever, and many consider them to be the very first “punk” rock band as well.
Allman Brothers Band lead guitarist Duane Allman was out for a ride on his new Harley-Davidson Sportster today in 1971 in Macon Georgia, which he’d bought with money rolling in from his band’s hit At Fillmore East album. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, and when a lumber delivery truck turned left in front of him (the cause of most motorcycle accidents), he swerved hard but hit either the back of the truck or the ball-and-hook from the crane mounted on the flatbed, throwing him from the bike. Though doctors tried to save him at the hospital, he died of massive head and internal injuries. The band’s bass player Berry Oakley would die in a similar bike crash a year and change later, just 3 blocks from the site of Duane’s crash. The two are buried side-by-side at Macon’s Rose Hill Cemetery.
Belgium’s official tourism ministry filed a lawsuit against The Sex Pistols today in 1977, claiming that the cover art for their single Holidays In The Sun was lifted directly from one of their brochures, which it had, but the short-lived band fizzled out completely before the suit made it to court.
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon became the longest charting album in music history today in 1983 when it hit 491 weeks, eclipsing Billboard’s previous record holder, Johnny Mathis’ Greatest Hits. It would stay there until October of 1988 after 741 weeks, selling some 45 million copies, but eventually losing the top spot to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Rolling Stones and Faces guitarist Ronnie Wood showed his paintings in public for the first time today in 1987 at a London gallery. Ron is a talented painter, but his subject matter is usually portraits of famous friends and rock bands in action, especially The Rolling Stones.
Keyboard player Billy Preston, who’d gained fame as a session player with Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and The Beatles, was convicted today in 1991 of insurance fraud after setting fire to his house in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to a year in jail, 5 on probation, $60,000 in restitution to the insurance company, and was ordered into rehab after spending the money on cocaine. He recovered and toured with Eric Clapton and Ringo’s All-Starr Band before dying of kidney failure in 2006.
Roger Daltrey, Pete Townsend, and John Entwhistle of The Who reunited for a show at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas tonight in 1999. The show was shown on pay-per-view TV, broadcast on the interwebs, and released as a DVD called The Vegas Job. Entwhistle would be found dead at age 57 in a room at that hotel after an evening of hookers and blow on the eve of another reunion tour in 2002.
U2 performed for the first time on Late Night With David Letterman tonight in 2001.
The four wax heads of The Beatles used in the photo shoot for the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover were discovered in a back room at Madame Tussaud’s museum in London, and auctioned off today in 2005 for £81,500 (about $131,000 U.S.).
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Moody Blues and Wings guitarist Denny Laine is 72.
Fleetwood Mac founding guitarist Peter Green is 70. He quit the band in 1970 and ran off to a hippie commune in Germany where he consumed massive amounts of LSD and swore off all things material and money-related, and in 1977 was arrested for threatening an accountant trying to deliver a royalty check with a shotgun. After spending some time in psychiatric hospitals, returned to playing the blues in 1979, and contributed to Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk album and a solo album from Mick Fleetwood, who had failed in his attempt to get Green to leave the commune.
Black Oak Arkansas guitarist Ricky Lee Reynolds is 68.