The Who started their first full North American tour tonight in 1967 at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland Oregon. Though they’d electrified San Francisco’s Summer of Love crowd…and the American music press…with their performance at the Monterrey Pop Festival a few weeks earlier, on this tour they were the opening act for Herman’s Hermits, who usually had to wait for roadies to clear the bits of smashed guitars and destroyed drum sets off stage.
Pioneering country-rock guitarist Clarence White of The Byrds, who’d done session work for Joe Cocker, The Monkees, Linda Ronstadt, The Everly Brothers, Arlo Guthrie, and Jackson Browne, was loading guitars and amps into his car after a club gig in Palmdale, California tonight in 1973 when a drunk driver plowed into him, killing him instantly at age 29.
The Everly Brothers were playing a show at the John Wayne Theater in Hollywood tonight in 1973, when Phil Everly smashed his acoustic guitar in a very un-Townsendlike manner and stormed off stage, leaving brother Don to finish the show by himself and announce to the crowd what they’d probably already figured out: The Everly Brothers had broken up.
Elvis Costello and The Attractions played their first ever live gig tonight in 1977 in Cornwall England.
Allen Klein, ex manager of The Rolling Stones and 3/4 of The Beatles (Paul stuck with wife Linda’s lawyer dad and brother John and Lee Eastman), began serving a two-month prison sentence today in 1980 for falsifying tax returns.
The movie version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall premiered tonight in 1982 at the Empire Theater in London’s Leicester Square. Roger Waters’ screenplay tells the hallucinogen-soaked story of a hypothetical rock star named Pink, played by Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof, who seems to be equal parts Roger Waters and Syd Barrett.
Van Halen started a 105-date tour to promote their new album Diver Down in Augusta, Georgia tonight in 1982, but rather than call it the “Diver Down” tour they played off the name of AC/DC’s “Hide Your Daughters” string of dates and called it the “Hide Your Sheep Tour“. It would bring them to the Seattle Center Coliseum in September (where we can assume they didn’t find any sheep), take them to South America for the first time, and end at Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak’s Us Festival in May of ’83, where they would set a record for the most money ever paid (since broken many times over by 2016’s Desert Trip shows) for a single performance ($1.5 million).
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Jim Gordon is 72. He started his career playing drums in The Everly Brothers backing band at age 17 and became one of Hollywood’s most sought session drummers, playing on The Beach Boys Pet Sounds album, Traffic’s Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, Steely Dan’s Pretzel Logic, Harry Nilsson’s Nilsson Schmilsson, and George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass to name a few before ending up in Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, who’s rhythm section was plucked by Eric Clapton for Derek and the Dominoes, where he was credited for writing the piano part for Layla, though the band’s keyboard player Bobby Whitlock later said Jim had stolen the part from his ex-girlfriend Rita Coolidge. Jim was an undiagnosed schizophrenic who began to hear voices and in 1983 murdered his own mother with a hammer, for which he was sentenced to 16-years-to-life in prison, and is still in the California psychiatric prison in Vacaville.
Devo guitarist and keyboard player Bob Casale would be 65 if he hadn’t died of a heart attack in 2014. Bob and his bandmate brother Gerald grew up in Kent, Ohio, and were on campus at Kent State University on May 4th of 1970 when National Guard troops opened fire on unarmed Vietnam War protesters, killing 4, two of whom the Casale brothers knew personally.