Rock And Roll Goes Down Under, Canada Honors It’s Best Band, And The King’s Birthday: This Day In Classic Rock [Videos]

Bill Haley and his Comets began Australia’s first rock and roll tour tonight in 1957 in Sydney. Hard to say that it had much of an effect on those down under, as AC/DC’s Angus Young was only 3, his older brother and bandmate Malcolm was 4, and their even-older bro, future producer, and member of The Easybeats, George Young was 11, and the family wouldn’t move there from Scotland for another 6 years.

The Beatles started a six-week run at #1 on the U.S. album charts today in 1966 with Rubber Soul. It was already the 7th time they’d topped the album charts.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were staying at the posh Hotel Crillen in Lima Peru today in 1969, when they were approached by the management and asked to change into more appropriate clothing: They were both wearing “Op-Art” pants, and nothing else. They refused, and were asked to leave the hotel immediately.

Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart of Rush were in Ottawa today in 1979 where they were named Canada’s Official Ambassadors of Music for being that country’s most popular rock band ever. By 1996 they would be named members of The Order of Canada, the closest thing to a Knighthood in the Great White North.

Guitarist Steve Clark, who’d landed a spot in Def Leppard by way of an audition where he played all of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird note-for-note unaccompanied , was found dead in his London flat by his girlfriend today in 1991. An autopsy revealed he’d overdosed on a combination of Codeine, Valium, Morphine, and Alcohol at age 30.

Los Angeles Police arrested Karen McNeil today in 2001 when she was spotted loitering outside the house of Guns-N-Roses frontman Axl Rose. It was her second arrest for stalking Rose, who she said communicated with her telepathically.

The estate of the late George Harrison filed a $10 million lawsuit against Dr. Gilbert Lederman of the Staten Island University Hospital today in 2004. He had attended George while he was sick with cancer, and the estate claimed that he had coerced George into signing guitars and other souvenirs, which he later sold for profit.

Jimmy Page was at the offices of the Royal Mail in London today in 2010 to launch a new series of stamps based on great British album covers of the last 40 years, including Led Zeppelin IV, Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed, The Clash’s London Calling, David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, and Blur’s Parklife.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Aaron Presley would be 81 if he hadn’t died in 1977 at age 42.

Welch singer Shirley Bassey is 80, most famous for being the first to have a hit in America with a cover of a Beatles song (George Harrison’s Something) as well as singing the theme songs to the James Bond films Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, and Moonraker.

Lee Jackson, bass player, singer, and songwriter for Keith Emerson’s The Nice, is 73.

The Doors guitarist Robby Krieger is 70.

Terry Sylvester, singer and guitarist with The Hollies and The Swingin’ Blue Jeans, is 69.

David Robert Jones would be 70. In the mid 60’s he adopted the stage name David Bowie to avoid confusion with the British member of The Monkees. He died two days after his 69th birthday last year of cancer that he had not told anyone but his closest confidants about.

Paul King, who sang and played guitar, banjo, jug, harmonica, and kazoo with Mungo Jerry, is 68.

Andy “Landrew The Love Child” Wood, frontman with Seattle bands Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone, and a longtime KZOK listener, would be 50. He overdosed on heroin on the eve of Mother Love Bone’s major label debut album, forcing the band to regroup with a new singer and eventually change their name to Pearl Jam.

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