The Dave Clark Five’s movie Catch Us If You Can premiered in London tonight in 1965. Hard to believe that they were almost as popular as The Beatles at the time, let alone having their own movie, but the film didn’t focus on the band as A Hard Day’s Night had. Instead, Dave Clark, who had worked as a stuntman before the band took off, played the lead character who steals a Jaguar “E” and the leading lady from the set of a commercial they were filming, and adventure and hilarity ensues. The rest of the band are featured as “extras” or “stuntmen”, and the only one who didn’t get a speaking line was guitarist Lenny Davidson. The film was released in the U.S. under a different name, Having A Wild Weekend.
Having been set up by the more conservative elements of the British Press, both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had been given lengthy prison sentences (Keith for allowing cannabis resin to be smoked on his property, Mick for possession of three Benzedrine tablets without a proper prescription), but public opinion had begun to turn in their favor when the music weekly Melody Maker published a rare front page editorial today in 1967 condemning the “witch hunt”. Others soon chimed in, and both were released after serving only one day of their sentences, Mick in London’s Brixton prison, and Keith in the more notorious Wormwood Scrubs.
Pink Floyd started their first North American tour tonight in 1968 at Chicago’s influential Kinetic Playground nightclub, which also saw the likes of The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Byrds, Janis Joplin, The Mothers of Invention, The Grateful Dead, MC5, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly, Fleetwood, Vanilla Fudge, Muddy Waters and Jefferson Airplane grace it’s stage.
Marianne Faithful collapsed on the set of the movie Ned Kelly today in 1969, and was rushed to a Sydney hospital. She had come to Australia with boyfriend Mick Jagger to star opposite him as the female lead, but the two were in the midst of breaking up, and she’d taken an overdose of sleeping pills. Marianne was replaced by an Australian actress, and Mick, amid public protest that a dirtbag rock and roller was playing one of Australia’s most beloved folk-heros, was widely panned….along with the film…when it was released the next year.
A small riot broke out at a Mott The Hoople show at London’s Royal Albert Hall tonight in 1971. The band ponied up £1,467 to cover damages to the facility, but the then-hundred-year-old British landmark banned rock shows for quite a while after that.
Athens Georgia “new-wave” band The B-52’s made their British debut at the Lyceum Ballroom in London tonight in 1979. John Lennon was both bewildered and excited by the group’s success, encouraged that with the squeaking and shrieking noises made by singers Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson on their hit Rock Lobster, the public might be ready for more of the same from Yoko Ono (he never understood why her work hadn’t been more popular). The B-52’s are still together, and playing the Snoqualmie Casino Saturday August 5th.
Queen guitarist Brian May made a donation of an undisclosed but “substantial” sum today in 2006 to stop the slaughter of Hedgehogs in the outer Hebrides Islands in Scotland.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Allman Brothers Band’s first drummer (Butch Trucks was added later for their famous two-drummer lineup) Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson is 73.