John Lennon’s arrival in the United States got a much different reception today in 1968 than he had four years earlier, when the entire shipment of he and Yoko’s record, Unfinished Music Volume One: Two Virgins, was seized by authorities in New Jersey because of the cover art…a fully naked photograph of John and Yoko standing facing the camera, with Little John fully exposed. It was a strange, avant garde collection of tape loops and noises, all recorded at such low level that what you’d hear when you put it on was mostly vinyl noise. They took the entire shipment back to the record pressing plant and wrapped it plain brown paper. It didn’t sell very well, especially in England, where they only pressed 5000 copies.
Led Zeppelin played the first of four nights at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood tonight in 1969, with the opening act the Alice Cooper Band. They’d stay at the Hyatt House hotel, which they loved almost as much as the Edgewater Inn in Seattle, eventually earning the place the nickname the Riott House….just down the street on the Sunset Strip is the infamous Rainbow Bar and Grill, where there is still a plaque on the table where the world’s most famous drummer club of John Bonham, Keith Moon, and Ringo Starr used to drink heavily.
George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass started a 7 week run at number one on the U.S. album charts today in 1971, making George the first Beatle to have a number one solo album.
The Sex Pistols not very good bass player Sid Vicious went on trial in New York today in 1979 for the murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen three months earlier. Sid would OD on heroin before anything came of that, but evidence later uncovered suggests she may have actually been murdered by their pusher man. Sid and Nancy’s story was made into a movie in the mid 80’s, and Kurt Cobain’s wife Courtney Love lobbied hard for the role of Nancy Spungen, which went to Chloe Webb, Gary Oldman played a very convincing Sid, and Courtney did get a bit part as one of Nancy’s punk rock friends.
Ronnie Wood, then of the Rolling Stones, married his second wife Jo today in 1985, with most of the Stones and his old band The Faces in attendance. He’d divorced his first wife Krissy in 1978, and while married to her carried on an affair with Patti Boyd, the former Mrs. George Harrison and Eric Clapton, and left Jo in 2008 for an 18 year old supermodel named Ekaterina Ivanova. Not exactly Mr. Faithful.
Spirit guitarist Randy California, who got that nickname from Jimi Hendrix when he was playing in Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, died in Hawaii today in 1997 when he was rescuing his 12-year-old son while they were surfing. He did save his son, but he got sucked out to sea in a riptide and drowned.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
10 Years After’s keyboard player Chick Churchill is 71.