The Rolling Stones played the first night of a “residency” at The Station Hotel in Surrey England tonight in 1963. They had not yet written a song of their own they were willing to play in public, but had developed enough of a following they were paid £24 per gig (about $300 in today’s dough), which was pretty good considering all of 66 people showed up.
It was the first full day of filming for The Beatles second movie Help! today in 1965. The band spent most of the day with a camera crew recording them riding bicycles around Heathrow Airport in London.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience played in England for the last time tonight in 1969 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Noel Redding was unhappy with Jimi’s dominant control over the band, occasional lack of work ethic, and their increasingly nasty fights, and Jimi would soon replace him with his old Army buddy Billy Cox, but The Experience had one more show coming in June, at the Denver Pop Festival in that city’s Mile High Stadium, where police would hose the unruly crowd down with tear gas.
The final incarnation of The Byrds played their final show tonight in 1973 at the Capitol Theater in Passaic New Jersey. By this time Roger McGuinn was the only original member, and his backing band had been a bit of a revolving door, so they were sloppy and unrehearsed, and afterward Roger cancelled the rest of the tour, sent the rest of the band packing, and decided to reunite the original band for a new album with the encouragement of Asylum Records honcho David Geffen, but it was panned by critics and didn’t sell well.
Led Zeppelin released their 6th studio album Physical Graffiti today in 1975. It had been two years since Houses of the Holy, and they’d been back at the 18th century poorhouse turned recording studio Headley Grange (also used by Genesis, Bad Company, Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton, and The Pretty Things) and used Ronnie Lane’s mobile studio to record 8 new songs, which sent the running time over LP length, so they decided to make it a double album and included tracks they’d recorded but left off their previous three albums. Bass player John Paul Jones quit the band at one point, saying he was taking a job as choir director at Winchester Cathedral, but manager Peter Grant urged the others not to replace him, suggesting he was tired and frustrated from all the non-stop touring, and sure enough Jonesy came back three weeks later. Headley Grange is still standing, lived in by the granddaughter of the woman who’d rented it to Page, and he returned for the first time in a scene from the 2009 documentary film It Might Get Loud.
The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) became the first record to be certified “Platinum” by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today in 1976. It would go on to sell over 29 million copies, making it the best-selling record of all time in America, and third worldwide behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
Their equivalent to America’s Grammy Awards, the first-ever Brit Awards ceremony took place in London tonight in 1982, with The Police winning the “best group” award, Adam and The Ants getting “best album” for their Kings of the Wild Frontier, and the late John Lennon getting an award for his “outstanding contributions” to music.
Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain married Hole frontwoman Courtney Love on the beach in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii today in 1992. Kurt wore Green Pajamas (probably not in honor of the long-running Seattle band of the same name), while Courtney wore a dress once owned by “The Bad Girl of West Seattle High“, actress Frances Farmer, who’d been movie star in the 30’s through the 50’s, but tired of fame and Hollywood and quit, which as depicted in the 1982 movie Frances (starring Jessica Lange in the title role), led her mother to have her committed to an asylum, where she was supposedly lobotomized. Courtney was already pregnant, and when she gave birth to their only child in September, they named her Frances, and Kurt would include the song Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle on Nirvana’s last album In Utero.
Natavia Lowery was convicted of bludgeoning her former boss to death three years earlier today in 2010. She’d been the personal assistant to Linda Stein, a former teacher who’d quit that career to manage The Ramones, married Sire Records president Seymour Stein, then later used her Manhattan nightclub connections to become New York’s self-proclaimed Real Estate Agent To The Stars, finding multimillion dollar apartments for the likes of Steven Spielberg, Elton John, Michael Douglas, Angelina Jolie, Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley, and Sting and Paul Simon next door to each other, which led to the tour they did together which stopped at Seattle’s Key Arena last year.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Paul Jones is 75. He was a singer and harmonica player with Manfred Mann who went on to be a prominent British actor, radio personality, and TV host.
Nicky Hopkins would be 73. He was one of England’s most-used session keyboard players who played with The Beatles (and all four members subsequent solo albums), The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, Donovan, Screaming Lord Sutch, The Who, Badfinger, The Easybeats, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Jefferson Airplane, and many more, including The Kinks, whose Ray Davies wrote and dedicated the song Session Man to him after his death at age 50 from complications during surgery for Chrone’s disease.
Steve Miller Band bass player Lonnie Turner is 70.