The concert film Teenage Command Performance premiered in London tonight in 1964. Shot by a crew from The Steve Allen Show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in October the film was called The T.A.M.I Show (Teen Age Music International) in the U.S. and it’s racially integrated lineup was revolutionary for the time. The Rolling Stones agreed to be the finale, almost immediately regretted the decision, and when James Brown and The Famous Flames nailed one of their best performances ever filmed, thought they had committed career suicide. They shared a bill with their idol Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, Leslie Gore, The other Brian Epstein managed George Martin recorded bands from Liverpool Gerry and the Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, singing hosts Jan and Dean, and Massachusetts garage rock band The Barbarians, who shockingly had a drummer with a stick taped to the stump where his hand used to be and all of them had hair much longer than The Stones, who’d been depressed that London would desert them after their tail-between-the-legs act following the Godfather of Soul, but tonight the Mod kids loved it.
Capitol Records released The Beatles’ Ticket to Ride single today in 1965. The labels from this original run mentioned the song would be in the upcoming second Beatles movie Eight Arms to Hold You, which had not yet been changed to Help!, so copies are highly collectible.
John and Cynthia Lennon and George and Patti Harrison (she was responsible for turning them on to him in the first place) left the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram in Rishikesh India two weeks before their study was complete today in 1968. Paul and Jane Asher had already left, and Ringo and wife Maureen hadn’t stayed long at all, finding Indian food wreaked havoc on his digestive system. The women had complained that the Ma-Ha was hitting on them, and John went home and wrote Sexy Sadie, which had started out more blatantly as Maharishi.
The Pink Floyd released their 4th single today in 1968, a Rick Wright song called It Would Be So Nice.
A band called Smile played at the Revolution Club in London tonight in 1969. Smile toiled in total obscurity for another couple of years, until they changed their name to Queen.
Completely uninterested in hearing the hundreds of excellent auditions compiled here in Seattle by Gary Crow and Mike West from members of their listening audience, AC/DC announced today in 1980 they had chosen 32 year old Brit singer Brian Johnson to replace the late Bon Scott. Scott had seen Johnson with his band Geordie, and Angus Young remembered him saying “…there’s a guy who knows what rock and roll is all about”. Brian stayed with the band until just after 2016’s Tacoma Dome show on their “Rock or Bust“, when his doctor told him to stop playing live or lose his hearing altogether. AC/DC finished the tour with Guns-N-Roses singer Axl Rose, and since they’ve likely retired, as rhythm guitarist and leader Malcolm Young already has.
R.E.M. played their first ever show tonight in 1980 to 150 or so partiers at the 11:11 Koffee Klub in the college town of Athens Georgia. The show ended when the cops showed up to shut the place down for not having a liquor license.
A comedy sketch on the BBC Comedy French and Saunders Show sported a pretty good lineup of rock guitarists tonight in 1990: David Gilmore, Mark Knopfler, Gary Moore of Thin Lizzy, Lemmy Kilmeister of Mötorhead, and some dude from Level 42.
For the first time Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. advertised the late King’s home Graceland as a tourist destination today in 2005, with two nationally aired 30 second commercials encouraging tourists to “come see the real Elvis”. We imagine they’ve cleaned out the medicine cabinets, replaced the shot-out TV sets, and cleaned up the half-eaten peanut butter banana bacon sandwiches by now.
One week after the Vatican’s newspaper L’Observatore Romano published an op-ed praising the music of The Beatles and forgiving the late John Lennon for his “bigger than Jesus” remarks, Ringo Starr commented today in 2010, “Didn’t the Vatican say we were Satanic or possibly Satanic? And they’ve still forgiven us? I think the Vatican, they’ve got more to talk about than the Beatles.”
Singing drummer and multi-instrumentalist Levon Helm of The Band died of throat cancer one year ago today.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
British Guitarist Alexis Korner would be 89. His band Blues Incorporated included as members Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, and Graham Bond, and as fans who would occasionally join in on stage Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Jimmy Page, John Mayall, and Rod Stewart. Legend has it that in the early 60’s Korner had an agreement with bands touring England that they could crash at his house, so long as they crawled in the back window and didn’t wake him up if he’d gone to bed already. One night after a show The Rolling Stones crawled in only to fall on top of Muddy Waters’ band who were sleeping on the kitchen floor. Korner died at 55.
The Animals founding keyboard player Alan Price is 75.
Parliament/Funkadelic keyboard player Bernie Worrell would be 73 if he hadn’t passed away in June.
Mark Volman is 70. In the 60’s he was a founding guitarist, singer, and songwriter of The Turtles, and in the 70’s the “Flo” of Flo and Eddie from Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. “Eddie” his longtime partner in both bands is one Howard Kaylan, who now lives among us in the Seattle area.