Pink Floyd were a late addition to a “package tour” of England that started tonight in 1967 at London’s Royal Albert Hall, with just one show as opposed to the rest of the dates where all the bands played two. Headliners were The Jimi Hendrix Experience, who got 40 minutes on stage. They were preceded by The Move (who later evolved into The Electric Light Orchestra), who got a half-hour set, and The Nice (featuring Keith Emerson later of E.L.P.), Amen Corner, Pink Floyd, The Outer Limits, and The Eire Apparent, who all got no more than 15-20 minutes each.
The Dave Clark Five, the second “British Invasion” band to play CBS’s The Ed Sullivan Show after The Beatles, made their second appearance on the show tonight in 1965. Their song Glad All Over had knocked I Want To Hold Your Hand from the #1 spot on the charts, and after the success of A Hard Day’s Night the DC5 had just released their own movie, Catch Us If You Can.
The Archies were at #1 in England today in 1969 with Sugar Sugar. It would stay there for 8 weeks, the longest running one-hit-wonder in British chart history and the only #1 by a band that was actually a cartoon (although Blur frontman Damon Albarn and Tank Girl creator Jamie Hewlett’s 1998 “virtual” band Gorillaz would sell millions of records). The song’s writers Andy Kim and Jeff Barry have denied it, but producer Don Kirshner (later of Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert fame), who assembled the studio musicians who recorded it, said he’d first offered the song to his other project The Monkees, and guitarist Michael Nesmith had been so angry being expected to record such a blatantly commercial song he put his fist through the drywall of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Santana released a cover of Black Magic Woman, first written and recorded by the Peter Green led Fleetwood Mac two years earlier, today in 1970, with lead vocals by Seattle-born keyboard player Greg Rolie.The Santana version would go on to sell far more copies than Fleetwood Mac’s.
The issue of Newsweek magazine that came out today in 1990 contained an interview with The Who’s guitarist and songwriter Pete Townsend that included the apparent news that he was bisexual, though in a later interview he said that he’d been talking about how his solo song Rough Boys was about his many gay friends, and that the interviewer had come to the conclusion on his own, that he really didn’t care if people thought he was gay or not, and joked that he had at one point been sexually attracted to Mick Jagger.
The trial of one Michael Abram began in London today in 2000. He’d been in custody for almost a year, after being arrested for breaking into the Henley-On-Thames “Friar Park” mansion of George Harrison and stabbing him with a kitchen knife before being subdued by his fire-poker wielding wife Olivia. George had released a statement questioning the mental health of his assailant, saying he “Wasn’t a burglar, and he certainly wasn’t auditioning for The Travelling Wilburys“, but in follow-up treatments for the some 40 stab wounds he’d received it was discovered that he had the lung cancer that killed him a little over a year later.
A high court judge in London ruled today in 2004 that The Rolling Stones would not be allowed to sue their 60’s record company Decca for unpaid royalties from the 2002 compilation 40 Licks, the first Stones retrospective to cover their entire career. Instead the judge sent the dispute to arbitration, and the band settled there for much less than they’d hoped.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Freddie and The Dreamers singer Freddie Garrity would be 80. He died in 2006.
The Coasters singer Cornell Gunter would be 78 if he hadn’t been shot to death in his car in Las Vegas in 1990.
Styx guitarist James Young is 67.