Long Haired Stones Feel For Barbers, Hendrix Writes Purple Haze Backstage, and Phil Spector’s Birthday In Prison: This Day In Classic Rock [Videos]

The then shockingly long-haired Rolling Stones bought a full-page advertisement that came out in today’s 1964 edition of British music magazine New Musical Express, wishing a happy Christmas to starving barbers and their families.

John Lennon played a small comic role tonight in 1966 as a doorman at a private London club in the Dudley Moore and Peter Cook’s BBC TV show Not Only…But Also.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience played a show at the Uppercut Club in London tonight in 1966, billed as a “Top American soul singer”. Making good use of his time waiting in the dressing room, he wrote the lyrics to Purple Haze.

The BBC broadcast The Beatles short movie Magical Mystery Tour tonight in 1967. It was shown in black-and-white, as most Brits did not yet own color TV’s. The project had started with Paul McCartney drawing a circle on a blank piece of paper, saying “stuff happens in here”, and was so disorganized that fans and critics complained so loudly that a planned American broadcast was cancelled.

Led Zeppelin played their first show on American soil tonight in 1968 in Denver Colorado, opening for Vanilla Fudge. Both bands would hop on a plane after to head for Seattle, where they would play the next night. Their first album hadn’t been released yet, and very few people knew who they were, but those who saw them were mightily impressed.

The Sex Pistols recorded the song that would certainly get them noticed, but also beat up and eventually dumped from their recording contract at a studio in London today in 1976. When God Save The Queen was released in February to coincide with Queen Elizabeth’s silver jubilee, manager Malcolm McLaren rented a barge so the band could play it live toward the houses of Parliament from the Thames river, to the outrage of many conservative Britons.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Record producer Phil Spector is 77, and still locked up in a California prison for the murder of girlfriend Lana Clarkson. He’s remarked “I used to have The Beatles coming to me to record their albums…now I have Charles Manson”.

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich is 53. He was born in Denmark, the son and grandson of professional tennis players, and moved to Los Angeles at age 16 to train to follow in their footsteps, but his father had taken him to see Deep Purple in Copenhagen, who’s Ian Paice inspired him to start playing drums, and eventually he would answer an ad looking for a drummer place by James Hetfield.

12/26

Happy Boxing Day!

More from Scott Vanderpool
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