Candix Records of Los Angeles released The Pendletones first single today in 1961. They’d taken their name from a popular wool shirt made in Pendleton Oregon, and 18 year old singing bass player Brian Wilson had written Surfin’ after his brother Dennis had come home from the beach and said “Hey, surfing is getting really big, you should write a song about it”. The song would launch their careers and make even kids in England pine for the California lifestyle of beaches, cars, and chicks, but the band were shocked when they opened the box of records and found that Candix had changed their name to The Beach Boys without asking. Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson’s Dad Murray angrily called label head Hite Morgan, who explained that he’d intended to change their name to The Surfers, but the name was already being used. He offered no apology, and the band did okay with the name he’d cooked up.
The Hollies co-founding singer and guitarist Graham Nash quit the band today in 1968. He’d written the song Marrakesh Express on a train trip from Casablanca to Marrakesh Morroco, starting the journey in the first class section, then becoming fascinated with the other parts of the train after finding the well-heeled part “f***ing boring”,but The Hollies had rejected the song finding it “not commercial enough”. So Graham traveled to America and hooked up with Stephen Stills of The Buffalo Springfield and David Crosby of The Byrds, who he’d met when The Hollies had played there two years earlier, and started Crosby Stills and Nash, Marrakesh Express found a happy home on their first album, and CSN would become bigger than The Hollies had ever dreamed of.
The Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger said in an interview today in 1969, “I really don’t like singing very much. I enjoy playing the guitar more than I enjoy singing…and I can’t play the guitar either”.
Jimi Hendrix was in court in Toronto, Ontario today in 1969, on trial after being caught with heroin and hashish in his luggage back in May. Jimi testified that he had only smoked pot four times in his life, snorted cocaine twice, taken LSD no more than 5 times, and had now outgrown drugs. He also said a fan had given him a small vial of what they’d said was a legal vitamin supplement, and Experience members Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding were there to testify that they’d been warned of a planned drug bust when the landed in Toronto, and were sure the drugs had been planted by someone. Jimi was acquitted of all charges, and the $10,000 bail he’d paid back in May was returned.
Over 1000 Australian fans waited patiently outside a club in Brisbane tonight in 1977, eagerly hoping to see up-and-coming New York band Blondie, but singer Debbie Harry wasn’t feeling well and when the crowd was told the show was cancelled after they’d been waiting for over an hour, they rioted, but there were only 4 arrests.
Nutter Mark David Chapman was an angry 25 year old who’d decided he needed to kill someone to make his “mark” in the world, and considered murdering Johnny Carson, Marlon Brando, Walter Cronkite, Elizabeth Taylor, George C. Scott, and Jacqueline Kennedy, but settled on John Lennon as the easiest to find. He’d been a Beatles fan offended by John’s comments about The Beatles being more popular than Jesus when he’d become a ‘born again Christian”, and was upset that John “had told us to imagine no possessions, and there he was with millions of dollars and yachts and farms and country estates, laughing at people like me who believed the lies and bought the records and built a big part of their lives around his music”. So tonight in 1980 was the culmination of 3 months of stalking and planning. He’d hung out outside The Dakota apartment building across the street from New York’s Central Park, and as John and Yoko left for a recording studio in a Limousine, got him to sign his copy of Double Fantasy, then waited there until they returned at 10:58pm, and as the two exited the limo and made their way inside, shot Lennon 4 times in the back with a .38 Special, killing him. A huge hunk of the American population heard the news from Howard Cosell as they watched a Monday Night Football game between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. After a feeble insanity defense was turned down he was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, and while he was first eligible for parole in 2000, he has since been denied 9 times, most recently in 2016 with the parole board citing the lobbying efforts of thousands of Lennon fans, Chapman’s many interviews given behind prison walls “which represent an interest in maintaining your notoriety”, and Yoko Ono, who has said she fears Mark would be killed.
Having been in possession of a Fender Stratocaster that had been left on a plane for some 48 years, the New Jersey family that had somehow come to own it cashed in today in 2013, selling it auction for $965,000 after discovering it had been played by Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival when he ‘went electric” in 1965.
Metallica played a one-off gig put together and promoted by a soft drink company, under a dome at Argentina’s Carlini base in Antarctica today in 2013, making them the only rock and roll band ever to have played on all 7 continents.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Hollies drummer Bobby Elliott is 75.
The Doors singer Jim Morrison would be 73 if he hadn’t joined the “27 Club” in 1971.
The Allman Brothers Band singer,songwriter, and organist Gregg Allman is 69.
Blues Magoos drummer Geoff Daking is 69. Their hit (We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet came from their 1966 album Psychedelic Lollipop, believed to be the first time the word that would come to represent an entire genre of music that culminated with The Beatles Sgt. Pepper album was used in music.
Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen is 59.