Bob Dylan got to cross an item off his “bucket list” today in 1961 when he met his idol, folksinger Woodie Guthrie. Unfortunately Woodie wasn’t well, on a weekend release from a hospital where he was being treated for Huntington’s disease, but he managed to maintain a sense of humor. Bob told him he’d started out being “A Woodie Guthrie jukebox”, and Guthrie, who couldn’t talk because of his affliction, handed Bob a note that read, “Well I ain’t dead yet.”
The Beatles recorded in a studio outside of England for the first and only time today in 1964. At the urging of EMI’s German division, they rerecorded She Loves You (Sie Liebt Dich) and I Want To Hold Your Hand (Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand) in German, oddly enough at a studio in Paris. Brian Epstein hired a language coach to help them change the lyrics, but John, Paul, and George were somewhat familiar with the Deutcher having spent so much time in Hamburg.
The Doors played a show at the Pussy Cat A Go Go in Las Vegas tonight in 1968, and afterward Jim Morrison amused himself by taunting security guards in the parking lot by pretending to smoke a joint, which resulted in a fight, and for the second night in a row, Jim’s arrest under charges of public intoxication.
Fleetwood Mac were at #1 in England today in 1969 with the Peter Green instrumental Albatross, which George Harrison later admitted was the inspiration for The Beatles Abbey Road song Sun King, saying “It never really sounded like Fleetwood Mac, but that was the starting point”. It didn’t? You be the judge:
16 year old Brenda Spencer took the .22 caliber rifle her father had given her for Christmas and opened fire on the entrance to Grover Cleveland Elementary School across the street from her house today in 1979, killing two and wounding 9 others. When asked why she did it, she replied “I don’t like Mondays”, which inspired Irish singer Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats to write a hit song of the same name.
Blues guitarist and prolific songwriter Willie Dixon died of a heart attack at age 76 today in 1992. His songs were covered by and a major influence on Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Doors, and Led Zeppelin to name but a few.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
James Jamerson, bass player in the Funk Brothers band of studio musicians at Berry Gordy’s Motown-Tamla “Hitsville U.S.A.” studio in Detroit would be 81 if he’d made it past age 47. He played on more #1 hits than any other person in music history, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame posthumously in 2000.
The Rolling Stones first manager (’63-’67) Andrew Loog Oldham is 73, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
Uriah Heep singer David Byron would be 70 if he’d made it past 38.
The Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone (real name Thomas Erdelyi) would be 68, he was the last surviving member of the band’s original lineup, but he died of cancer in 2014. He was supposed to be their manager when the band first started in 1974, but Joey Ramone had trouble playing drums and singing at the same time, so he took over, but his musical career went back further as a recording engineer who served as an assistant on Jimi Hendix’s Band of Gypsies.
Queensrÿche bass player Eddie Jackson is 55.