It was today in 1964 that The Rolling Stones were greeted at JFK Airport in New York by some 500 fans. They gave a short press conference, answered the usual tedious questions about their hair being longer than The Beatles, then were whisked off to appear on the “Murray the K” radio show. The first show of their first American tour was 4 days later in San Bernadino, California, but aside from today’s auspicious start, they mostly considered it a disaster. “We didn’t have a hit record or anything going for us”, Bill Wyman said later. They’d be back later that year.
The Beatles were back at Abbey Road today in 1966 for a long 12 hour session with George Martin directing overdubs on the song they’d started a few days ago with Geoff Emerick, Yellow Submarine. Highlights included John blowing bubbles into a bucket of water and shouting “Full Speed Ahead Mister Captain!” and roadie Mal Evans strapping on a marching bass drum while the band and anyone else they could find marched behind around the room singing “We All Live In A Yellow Submarine!”. Written mostly by Paul McCartney with lyrical help from John and Donovan, Beatle lyric-deciphers have struggled with their true meaning for years, but there is none. Paul simply wanted a happy children’s song for Ringo to sing, but it has had one lasting bit of influence. Since that song, almost all non-Navy submarines have been painted yellow, including the one on Paul Allen’s megayacht The Octopus.
It was today in 1969, toward the end of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Bed-In For Peace” at the Hotel La Reine Elizabeth II in Montreal (John wanted to do it in New York City, but the Nixon administration was using his London pot bust the year before to keep him out), that they were joined by Alan Ginsberg, Dick Gregory, Timothy Leary, Murray the K, Norman Mailer and Tommy Smothers on acoustic guitar as they all sang the song John had written over the last few days, Give Peace A Chance. It was recorded on a 4-track tape deck rented from a local studio and released in early July as the first single from the Plastic Ono Band.
It was today in 1981 that the heavy metal magazine Kerrang was first published, an insert to the weekly British music weekly Sounds. AC/DC graced the cover, and there were articles on Motorhead, Girlschool, and Saxon. West Seattle’s recently closed yet beloved Feedback Lounge proprietor, former KZOK employee, leader of Almost Live’s “Lame List”, and freak flag flyin’ metal dude about town Jeff Gilbert is an occasional contributor.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Pat Boone is 83. He became a star in the 50’s, remaking incredibly white versions of the R&B records that African-American and British kids were listening to. In 1997 he poked fun at his own squeaky clean cut image by releasing an album of classic rock covers called In A Metal Mood: No More Mister Nice Guy. His cover of Ozzy’s Crazy Train from that album would later be used as the theme song to The Osbournes.
Jim McCarty is 72, Detroit guitarist with Mitch Ryder’s Detroit Wheels, Bob Seger, Cactus, and more.
Ronnie Wood is 70, previously of the Creation, Faces, and Jeff Beck Group, it was his riff for “Stay With Me” that caught the ear of Keith Richards and got him the lucrative job Mick Taylor quit in the Rolling Stones. Woodie is an accomplished painter who mostly paints pictures of The Faces and Rolling Stones playing live.