The Beatles spent most of today in 1967 at Knole Park in Kent making a promotional film clip (they’d later be called”music videos” with the advent of MTV, and George Harrison would later note that they’d invented them) for Strawberry Fields Forever. It was shot in color as they expected it to be shown on American television, but the BBC was still black-and-white. During a break, John Lennon wandered into an antique shop, and found a circus poster from 1843 which he bought and used almost all the printed matter as the lyrics for the song Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite.
Led Zeppelin had already been to Seattle for the first time when they hit the Big Apple tonight in 1969, playing the first of two shows at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East. Members of the opening act, Porter’s Popular Preachers, and the headliner Iron Butterfly stood at the sides of the stage with their jaws gaping open, and Iron Butterfly considered feigning illness as they didn’t want to follow Zeppelin, who would be back in Seattle in May to destroy the Green Lake Aqua Theater.
Louisiana bluesman Slim Harpo died of a heart attack today in 1970 at the way-too-young age of 46. Among bands that would later become famous who covered his songs and/or borrowed heavily from them are The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Them, The Kinks, The Who, The Pretty Things, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Pink Floyd, and ZZ Top. Interestingly Slim was never able to make a living with his music, and had a day job with his own trucking company through the 60’s.
The Disco era was at it’s zenith today in 1976 when ABBA knocked Queen out of the #1 spot on the British charts. Oddly the ABBA song was Mama Mia, and the Queen song it replaced was Bohemian Rhapsody, which includes considerable Mama Mia-ing.
Over 35 years after his death, The Doors frontman Jim Morrison was doing his part to fight global warming today in 2007 when a sort-of-sung poem he’d recorded, Woman in the Window, was set to music and used in the Global Cooling campaign.
Buffalo Springfield drummer Dewey Martin died of “natural causes” today in 2009 at age 68.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Chicago guitarist Terry Kath would be 71, and presumably his band wouldn’t have gone on to suck, if he’d been as good with firearms as he was with a Telecaster. He was at a party in 1978, one week shy of his 32nd birthday when he accidentally shot himself in the head with the famous last words, “Don’t worry, it’s not loaded.”
Roxy Music guitarist and record producer Phil Manzanera is 66.
The Sex Pistols and Public Image Limited singer John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon is 61.
Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman would be 53, he died in 2014 of Necrotising Fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease he is believed to have contracted from a spider bite.
Chad Channing, the drummer on Nirvana’s first album Bleach and most of the band’s early van tours who was booted in 1990 and replaced with Dave Grohl despite being a super nice guy, is 50.