Already stars at home in England, The Beatles cracked the American charts with I Want To Hold Your Hand today in 1964. It entered at #45, just ten days after it’s release, and would go to #1 and stay there for a remarkable 7 weeks, driven by their arrival in New York in early February and appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
The Rolling Stones were at RCA studios in Hollywood today in 1965, recording Play With Fire with producer Phil Spector, who played the song’s bass line on a tuned-down electric guitar. Unusual for a Stones song, the harpsichord wasn’t played by multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones, but film score writer Jack Nitzsche. They next day the band was off on their first ever trip to Australia.
Former Free members Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke, Mott the Hoople’s Mick Ralphs, and King Crimson member Boz Burrell announced the formation of a new band today in 1974, named after an “acid western” movie starring Jeff Bridges, Bad Company.
Wendy O. Williams, singer of punk band The Plasmatics, was arrested on stage tonight in 1981 for simulating sex with a sledgehammer. He filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department, claiming the had beat and sexually assaulted her during the arrest , but the case was denied by a jury.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held it’s annual induction ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York tonight in 1989, this year including The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, Otis Redding, Dion, producer Phil Spector, and…at the time the youngest living inductee, then 38 year old “little” Stevie Wonder.
Elton John resigned as director of the Watford Football Club today in 1993. He’d bought the team he’d grown up a fan of in 1976, taking ,it to the first division of the English Premier League.
Spencer Goodman apparently wasn’t. He was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville Texas today in 2000 for the kidnapping and murder of the wife of ZZ Top manager Bill Ham in 1991. As is the custom in Texas, Bill was allowed to attend the execution.
The Islington Green School in North London was fighting plans to give it “academy” status, which would allow corporate sponsorship today in 2007. The school gained fame in 1979 when it’s students were herded into a recording studio to sing on Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in The Wall (Pt. II), and today a group of them gathered outside Islington Town Hall to sing a new set of lyrics: “We don’t need no business control”, and “Hey! Bankers! Leave our school alone!” The school became an academy the following year.
The Eagles guitarist, singer, and songwriter Glenn Frey died at age 67 today in 2016 after a long battle with rheumatoid arthritis and nasty side effects from the medication he’d been taking for it.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Temptations singer David Ruffin would be 76 if he hadn’t overdosed in 1991.
Larry “Legs” Smith is 73. He was the drummer for the only band not The Beatles to appear in Magical Mystery Tour, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, and toured with Eric Clapton and Elton John.
Crispian Mills is 44, leader of British psychedelic band Kula Shaker, and the son of Parent Trap actress Haley Mills.