The four male members of doo-wop vocal group The Platters were arrested after a show in Cincinnati tonight in 1959 after being caught backstage smoking jazz cigarettes and in the company of four 19 year old women in various states of undress. Even more shocking at the time, three of them were white. None were convicted, but they’d be blacklisted from radio station playlists, and female singer Zola Taylor quit.
The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger was in court in The Beatles hometown of Liverpool today in 1964, being fined £32 for speeding and driving without insurance. His lawyer claimed he was on an “errand of mercy”, rushing to visit two fans who’d been injured in a car crash. It would not be the last time Mick was in court.
Paul and Linda McCartney were in court in Mötorhead drummer Mikkey Dee’s hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden today in 1972, being fined £800 for possession of wacky tobaccy. When asked for an explanation, their lawyer claimed straightforwardly that they had smoked the pot because they weren’t stoned after their Wings concert, and wanted to be. It wouldn’t be the last time they were in court, but the Swedes were less strict than other countries, and at the time Paul thought the bust was good publicity.
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were in Marrakesh, Morocco today in 1994. Still at work on their “Unledded” project, they decided to take some time out to play an impromptu gig at a medieval-era market with a taped backing track standing in for John Paul Jones and the late John Bonham. The Moroccans didn’t quite know what to make of them. One of the P.A. speakers was stolen during the set, presumably to be sold around the corner, but was quickly retrieved by the crew.
Issac Hayes was found unconscious at home by his wife today in 2008. He was pronounced dead of a stroke at age 65. Issac had huge hits with The Theme From Shaft, and Soul Man, which he wrote for Sam and Dave and was later covered by The Blues Brothers. And as the voice of Chef on South Park, had a number one hit in England with the song Chocolate Salty Balls.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender would be 108 today, he died at 81. His inventions of the 1950’s are still some of the standard instruments of rock and roll today: The Telecaster (Keith Richards, Terry Kath), Stratocaster (Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix), Jazzmaster, and Mustang guitars (Kurt Cobain); The Precision (John Paul Jones) and Jazz (Geddy Lee) basses; and the Bassman and Fender Twin Reverb amplifiers are not only still standards, they were copied and tweaked to become Marshall, Mesa Boogie, and countless other amps. Leo sold his company to CBS in the late 60’s, and the quality of the instruments was said to decline, and though employees bought the company back years later, Leo’s originals are highly sought by collectors and fetch prices in the multiple thousands.
Jethro Tull frontman Ian Scott Anderson (MBE) is 70.