David Bowie, still Davie Jones at the time, made his television debut tonight in 1965 on a British programme called Gadzooks! It’s All Happening! He and his band The Mannish Boys (named for the Muddy Waters song) played their single I Pity The Fool. Meanwhile in Chicago, Laurence “Mr. T” Tureaud had not yet popularized that phrase, he was only 13 years old.
Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues was released as a single in the U.S. today in 1965. The now famous promotional film he made for the song behind the Savoy Hotel in London, where he flipped through “cue cards” with the song’s lyrics, was one of the first of what would later be known as “music videos”. The cards were drawn up by Bob, Donovan, and Alan Ginsberg, who can be seen chatting to Bob’s left.
Cream played the first of two nights at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco tonight in 1968. The show was recorded, and some of the songs made it on to their Wheels of Fire double album.
Small Faces guitarist and frontman Steve Marriott announced he was leaving the band today in 1969. He went on to start Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, while remaining Small Faces Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagen, and Kenny Jones hooked up with the slightly larger Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart and removed the “Small” part of their band name.
Grateful Dead keyboard player Ron “Pigpen” McKernan died today in 1973 of alcohol related liver failure, joining what Kurt Cobain’s Mom would later call “that stupid club” of rock stars dead at age 27.
Paul McCartney was fined £100 for allegedly growing cannabis on his farm in Scotland today in 1973. Paul claimed at the time some fans had given him some seeds to plant there, and he had no idea what they would grow. Paul much later admitted the Beatles song Got To Get You Into My Life was about how he’d fallen in love with the wacky tobbacky. “It opened my eyes… [and] made me a better, more honest, more tolerant member of society”, he said. He claims to have quit smoking it daily when second wife Heather Mills made him. “He smokes it as casually as others have a cup of tea” she’d said.
Bad Company, a “supergroup” made up of members of already-famous bands (Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke of Free, Mick Ralphs of Mott The Hoople, and Boz Burrell of King Crimson), started their first UK tour tonight at the Newcastle City Hall in 1974.
Former Dire Straits guitarist, frontman, and longtime motorsports enthusiast Mark Knopfler crashed his Honda motorcycle into a Fiat in London morning traffic today in 2003. Mark was wearing a helmet, and suffered a broken collarbone and six painful broken ribs, but was otherwise fine.
A blue British Heritage Foundation plaque was placed on the site of London’s Marquee Club today in 2009, in honor of The Who’s drummer Keith Moon playing there some 29 times starting in 1964. Dozens of fans showed up for the ceremony on the vintage Vespa and Lambretta scooters favored by the Mods in the mid sixties and again in the late 70’s after The Jam revived the trend.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Liverpool band The Swinging Blue Jeans guitarist Ralph Ellis is 75.
The Monkees singer and later (he figured out how to play them after he’d been cast in the show) drummer Mickey Dolenz is 72.
The Eagles and Poco singer and guitarist Randy Meisner is 71.
Three Dog Night guitarist Michael Allsup is 70.
Iron Maiden’s drummer Clive Burr is 59.