Little Eva was at #1 on the U.S. singles chart today in 1962 with a song given to her by her employers. Carole King and husband Gerry Goffin had come up with The Loco Motion while Carole was at home banging away at the piano and their nanny Eva Boyd started dancing while cleaning up. While Eva never got any royalties for the hit, Carole and Gerry did bump her nanny salary up to $50 a week. The song would be a huge hit again in 1974, as recorded by Grand Funk Railroad.
The Beatles were on a break during their 2nd American tour at a house manager Brian Epstein had rented for them in the Hollywood hills today in 1965, when two wealthy girls jumped into the swimming pool from a helicopter they’d rented. Fortunately Epstein had also rented security guards, who quickly showed them the door.
The Beatles were in Seattle today in 1966 playing what would be their 3rd and 4th last live shows ever. After enduring protests outside their shows from “Christian” groups like the Ku Klux Klan and receiving numerous death threats after John Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” comments were taken out of context, and being sick to death of not being able to hear themselves play for all the screaming, they’d already decided that this tour would be their last, and they would play Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Candlestick Park in San Francisco before becoming a studio band exclusively. Interestingly the evening show at the 15,000 seat Seattle Center Coliseum was a sellout, but only 8000 tickets were sold for the 3pm show.
The Beach Boys leader and principle songwriter Brian Wilson returned to the band briefly after a two-year hiatus today in 1967 for a show in Honolulu, but he was doing an astonishing amount of drugs at the time, and went right back to his house in Bel Air California where he’d famously installed a sandbox in the living room.
Jimi Hendrix held a party to celebrate the opening of his Electric Lady Studios at 52 West 8th Street in New York City tonight in 1970. Jimi had originally planned to re-open the former Greenwich Village nightclub as a nightclub, but after recording his Electric Ladyland album had cost several arms and legs, he decided having his own studio would be more cost effective. The studio still functions as such today, having seen albums by Bob Dylan, John Lennon, David Bowie, AC/DC, Kiss, The Clash, Hall and Oates, all the way to Daft Punk and Soundgarden, but Hendrix would only get to work there for 4 weeks before he died.
Capitol Records had their fastest gold-record debut since The Beatles I Want To Hold Your Hand today in 1979 when The Knack’s My Sharona went to #1. The song, written mostly by 25 year old lead singer Doug Fieger about a 17 year old girl from L.A.’s Fairfax High School who would become his steady girlfriend for the next four years, would stay at #1 for 5 weeks and inspire several more songs, but that one would be the only hit for the band.
Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were back together today in 1994 at the BBC’s Television Centre in London to record an “unplugged” session for MTV.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
KISS bass player Gene Simmons (real name Chaim Witz) is 68.
Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford is 66.
Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Declan McManus is 63, better known by his stage name Elvis Costello.