Ringo Starr got a little help from his friends Art Carney, Angie Dickenson, Mike Douglas, Vincent Price, John Ritter, and Carrie Fisher (who sang You’re Sixteen with the Beatles drummer right when Star Wars‘ Princess Leia was the most popular woman in America) in his ABC TV special Ringo tonight in 1978. The plot lifted directly from Mark Twain’s Prince and the Pauper featured Ringo playing both lead characters: Ringo and his poor lookalike Ognir Rrats (look at it in a mirror) as narrated by George Harrison. The special was sponsored by Craig Car Stereo, makers of the hot-selling PowerPlay 8-track and cassette tape decks.
Blondie were at #1 on the U.S. charts with the song Call Me today in 1980, mostly on account of it had been featured in the Richard Gere movie American Gigolo. The producer had originally wanted Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks to provide music for the film, but she blew it off.
Rod Stewart was out shopping on Hollywood Boulevard today in 1982 when a man with a gun decided what he really wanted was Rod’s $50,000 Porsche 911, which Rod gave him and was not shot.
Mick Jagger was in Federal court in White Plains NY today in 1988 for a copyright infringement case brought by Reggae singer Patrick Alley, who was seeking $7 million because Mick’s solo hit Just Another Night was a plagiarized version of his own song of the same name. Mick called to testify Reggae drummer Sly Dunbar, who brought in a drum kit and showed how the beats were different in each song, and Mick sand and played demo tapes to show he’d developed the tune. He won, but it took him a week.
Nirvana, still with drummer Chad Channing were in New York tonight in 1990 playing at the Pyramid Club, and their Seattle record label “What Part Of We Have No Money Don’t You Understand?” Sub Pop shelled out for a film crew. Some of the footage was used by the major label that snatched them away, Geffen records first attempt at a video for their hit In Bloom. When the song took off they made a more expensive but decidedly more entertaining one with new drummer Dave Grohl that became one of the MTV standards of the time.
The Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick was in court today in 1994 where she plead guilty to pointing an unloaded shotgun at an uniformed police officer who had come on to her property, as she claimed without explanation…but she also admitted she’d been arrested at least 10 times over the years for “TUI”, or talking under the influence, and “Drunk Mouth”. She was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and 4 AA meetings a week for 3 months.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Influential Hall Of Fame inducted early rock and roll guitarist Duane Eddy is still with us at 79.
Nashville’s Maurice Williams, who in 1960 had the shortest (1:36) #1 hit single ever, is still with us at 79. Stay was later covered by The Beatles in Hamburg (they never recorded it), The Hollies (who went to #8 in England with it), The Dave Clark 5, The Four Seasons, Jan and Dean, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, Cyndi Lauper, and Jackson Browne, who tacked it on the end of his show-ending ode to the road crew (Really Jackson? You’re an almost Seattle-lefty and you pay them minimum wage?) The Load-Out, turning Billboard’s shortest-ever into an almost 9 minute jam that got to #20.
Early 60’s teen heartthrob Bobby Rydell is still with us at 75.
Spooky Tooth and solo keyboard player Gary Wright, late of Ringo’s All Starr Band, is 74.