The feud between The Beatles and Bruno Koschmider, owner of the Kaiserkeller Club in Hamburg Germany ended today in 1960. He’d had them playing in the former strip club since October, but when he found out they’d also been playing his rival Peter Eckhorn’s Top Ten Club he told them they were in breach of contract, gave them a one-month termination notice, and went so far as to tell German immigration officials lead guitarist George Harrison’s real age, and they’d deported him in late November. Paul McCartney and Pete Best retaliated by pinning a condom to a tapestry in the room they shared upstairs at the Kaiserkeller, and lit it on fire. Bruno had them deported as well. John Lennon dejectedly followed them back to Liverpool, but bass player Stu Suttcliffe stayed behind with his German girlfriend Astrid Kirchhirr, managed to patch things up with Koschmider, and they would be back several more times.
Lorne Greene, star of TV’s Bonanza, was at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with Ringo today in 1964. The mostly spoken story of a western gunfighter had nothing to do with The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, but the mis-name recognition alone at the height of Beatlemania was enough to make Greene only the second Canadian (after Paul Anka) to have a #1 hit south of the border.
The Beatles played in their hometown of Liverpool for the last time ever tonight in 1965. The Liverpool Empire only held 5100 people, but there were well over 40,000 applications for tickets.
Tonight in 1967 was the final date of the 16-stop “Package” tour in Glasgow, Scotland with The Pink Floyd, The Move, The Nice Eire Apparent, The Outer Limits, and Amen Corner doing short opening sets for The Jimi Hendrix Experience, who had the curtains closed on them halfway through their set by the promoter, who thought Jimi’s movements with his guitar to be “obscene”.
The Rolling Stones marked the release of their new album Beggars Banquet with a party in London tonight in 1968. Keith Richards wasn’t feeling well and stayed home, but the rest of the band managed to have a pretty good time as the party degenerated into a food fight with custard pies, which may or may not have been the inspiration for a later song by Led Zeppelin.
The British equivalent of our own Rolling Stone magazine, New Musical Express, printed a review of The Sex Pistols new single Anarchy in the UK today in 1976, which had caused a brief strike the day before at EMI records when workers refused to package it: “Johnny Rotten sings flat, the song is laughably naive, and the overall feeling is of a third-rate Who imitation.”
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen bought another used Fender Stratocaster that had once belonged to Jimi Hendrix today in 2006 at auction at Christie’s in London for $168,000, and it, like others is now on display at the EMP here in Seattle, but Paul passed on other items that day: Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics to Maxwell’s Silver Hammer ($192,000), a notebook full of handwritten lyrics by Bob Marley ($72,000), and a poem written in the hand of The Doors frontman Jim Morrison ($49,000).
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The second of two legendary blues harmonica players to use the name Sonny Boy Williamson (Alex Miller), would be 104 if he hadn’t died of a heart attack at age 53. His songs have been covered by Led Zeppelin, 10 Years After, The Doobie Brothers, The Allman Brothers Band, Canned Heat, The New York Dolls, Van Morrison, and most notably The Who, who made his Eyesight To The Blind the only part of Tommy Pete Townsend didn’t write.
Richard “Little Richard” Penniman is 84.
Guitarist, singer, and songwriter John “J.J.” Cale would be 78 if he hadn’t died of heart failure three summers ago. He started using “J.J” to avoid confusion between him and Velvet Underground guitarist John Cale in the 60’s.
? and the Mysterians drummer Eduardo Serrato would 71 if he hadn’t died of a heart attack 2001. They were the first Hispanic-American band (from Detroit) to have a hit (96 Tears), their bass player Mel Schacher would go on to form Grand Funk Railroad, and a Creem magazine article on singer ? (Rudy Martinez) by critic Dave Marsh is the first recorded use of the phrase “Punk Rock”.
Buffalo Springfield, Poco, and Loggins and Messina guitarist Jim Messina is 69.