The Beatles played a show in Aldershot, southwest of London tonight in 1961, but local paper The Aldershot News decided it didn’t like the looks of the check from the promoter and didn’t run their ad, and only 18 people showed up, mostly their friends who’d come down from Liverpool with them. The Fab Four and posse tried to have fun anyway and got liquored up and a bit rowdy after the show, and were ordered out of town by the local constabulary.
Cream released their debut album Fresh Cream today in 1966. They’d dropped “The” from their name, which referred to Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Eric Clapton being considered “the cream of the crop” as far as musicianship went, and though Clapton was widely considered a guitar god at home in England, he was mostly unknown in America, as he’d quit The Yardbirds before they had any hits here. Bruce and Baker already had a reputation for fighting in The Graham Bond Organization, and the supergroup would last only two years, sell well over 15 million albums worldwide, and make Clapton a household name in the States.
The Doors played a show in New Haven Connecticut tonight in 1967, and before the show a police officer found singer Jim Morrison making out with an 18 year old groupie in a backstage shower, and when he tried to separate them an argument ensued resulting in Jim getting maced. When he got on stage Morrison told the crowd the story and began drunkenly taunting the cops, who dragged him off stage and took him to jail. The crowd was not pleased and began rioting, resulting in multiple arrests, and when over 100 of them showed up outside the police station to protest, even more were arrested.
Free graced the stage at London’s prestigious Marquee Club tonight in 1968. At the time bass player Andy Fraser was just 15 years old, guitarist Paul Kossoff was 17, and singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke were 18.
U2 were the featured musical guests on NBC’s Saturday Night Live tonight in 2000, the first time they’d appeared on the show.
Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne crashed the Quad-All Terrain Vehicle he was riding at his Berkshire estate today in 2003, breaking his collarbone, eight ribs, and a vertebrae in his neck. When news of the accident reached the British House of Commons, they sent an official get-well-card to the hospital where he was recuperating.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Legendary Blues Harp player and singer Junior Wells would be 82 if he’d made it past 63.
Neil Innes is 71, guitarist and singer with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band who appeared in The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, a good friend of the Monty Python comedy troupe who wrote most of their songs including The Lumberjack Song and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life with his friend Eric Idle, and played Ron Nasty (John Lennon) in their Beatles-parody The Rutles.
The Alice Cooper Group bass player Dennis Dunaway is 70.
Dire Straits “other guitarist” Jack Sonni is 61.
The Osmonds singer Donny Osmond is 59, and still a little bit rock and roll.
Brian Bell is 48, rhythm guitarist singer and songwriter with Weezer.
The Wallflowers guitarist, songwriter,and frontman Jakob Dylan is 47. He is also the youngest of Bob Dylan’s 5 kids, who decided on a career in music not so much because of his famous father, but was smitten by his older brother Jesse’s record collection of late 70’s and early 80’s “punk rock” bands popular in England but all but banned from American radio at the time: The Buzzcocks, The Jam, and especially The Clash, though his own band doesn’t sound anything like them.
Frank Edwin Wright III is 44, and known best by his stage name Tré Cool, drummer for Green Day.