Rockabilly guitarist Eddie Cochran was in Hollywood today in 1958, recording his song Summertime Blues, which would later be something of a hit for The Who and Blue Cheer.
Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London, to this point filled with the likenesses of historical figures and film stars, unveiled it’s first musicians today in 1964. The wax John, Paul George, and Ringo became their biggest attraction instantly.
Radio Caroline became the first of several British “pirate” radio stations to broadcast from ships off the coast today in 1964. Started by Ronan O’Rahilly because of the BBC’s total monopoly over airplay for musical artists which was limited to England’s major record labels EMI, Decca, Pye, and Philips. O’Rahilly named the station after Caroline Kennedy, daughter of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, after seeing a Life magazine photograph of JFK and his children in the Oval Office. Caroline was playing and “disrupting the business of government”, and that was the image he wanted for his station. Broadcasting from the North Sea between the U.K and the Netherlands, it became the focus of much legal wrangling with the Dutch and British governments, but continues to broadcast an Album Oriented Rock (AOR) format on satellite to all of Europe to this day.
The Beatles were working diligently on their new album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band today in 1967 at Abbey Road. John Lennon recorded his vocal part for Good Morning Good Morning, and Paul McCartney played the lead guitar track. John decided that since he had used a rooster at the song’s start, inspired by a breakfast cereal commercial, he would end the song with the rest of a barnyard of animal noises, and specified that each subsequent animal was capable of eating, or at least scaring, the preceding one.
Pink Floyd were at Barnes Common in London, recording a television appearance on BBC 2 for the show The Sound Of Change today in 1968. The special wouldn’t be aired until September, and included performances by The Who, Cream, and Jimi Hendrix.
Led Zeppelin released their 5th studio album today in 1973. Houses of the Holy was a reference not to any church, but to the concert halls the band had been touring relentlessly since 1968. Interestingly they didn’t feel the song Houses Of The Holy was good enough at the time, but included it on the subsequent Physical Graffiti. The album’s cover is a collage of several photographs taken at a natural feature called The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland taken by Aubrey Powell of the design firm Hipgnosis, most famous for it’s work with Pink Floyd. It was nominated for a “best package” Grammy the following year.
Genesis were in Buffalo New York tonight in 1976, starting their first North American tour since the departure of lead singer Peter Gabriel, with drummer Phil Collins taking over vocal duty after auditioning hundreds of potential replacements.
David Crosby crashed his car on the San Diego Freeway today in 1982. He was unhurt, but responding police found him to be in possession of cocaine and a revolver. When the officer asked him why he had a gun, he replied in two words: “John Lennon.”
The Doobie Brothers cancelled an upcoming concert in Phoenix and moved it to Las Vegas today in 1987, after learning that Arizona governor Evan Meacham refused to let his state honor the newly designated national holiday Martin Luther King Day.
Ozzy Osbourne was playing at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in California tonight in 1992, when he thought it might be fun to invite the first two rows of the audience up on stage. Several other rows joined in the fun, and the band had to flee for their lives as they proceeded to do some $100,000 worth of damage to the stage, lighting, and sound equipment.
Jimmy Page settled out of court with the 7th Day Adventist Ministry magazine today in 2000, winning an unreported but quite substantial sum over the publication of an article the previous year that claimed he had caused or contributed to the death of his Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, more concerned with keeping vomit off his bed than saving his friend’s life, and that he had stood over him wearing Satanist robes and performing a useless spell.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Turtles original bass player Chuck Portz is 72.
Jethro Tull’s heyday keyboard player John Evan is 69.
Steve Turner, lead guitarist for Seattle’s Mudhoney and Green River, is 52.