The Beatles spent today in 1964 at EMI’s studios laying down takes of 8 Days a Week, then in the evening it was off to the hipster hangout The Ad Lib Club where they partied with their new friends The Rolling Stones and the American girls they were touring with, The Ronettes. John Lennon had already slept with lead singer Veronica Bennett and she’d moved on to Keith Richards, while Ronnie’s older sister Estelle was getting it on with George Harrison. By the time The Ronettes were opening The Beatles American tour the next year, a suspicious and very jealous Phil Spector made Ronnie stay home in L.A. and had her cousin Elaine take her place.
Pink Floyd were in Brighton tonight in 1967, putting a psychedelic twist on the usual musical interlude in the Miss Teen Brighton Beauty Pageant.
For the first time today in 1969 The Beatles released a George Harrison song, Something, as the “A” side of a single. On the other side, also labeled “A”, was Come Together, another Lennon/McCartney composition.
Australia’s “king of rock and roll” Johnny O’Keefe died of a heart attack at 43 today in 1978. He’d been the first rock and roller from down under to tour America and the biggest selling performer at home until AC/DC came along. His 1958 song Real Wild Child was a minor hit here in 1986 as covered by Iggy Pop.
Led Zeppelin’s 8th album In Through the Out Door hit #1 on the U.S. album charts today in 1979. It came in a paper bag with the title stamped on to hide the cover art created by the Hipgnosis design firm that did most of Pink Floyd’s memorable covers, one of 6 different Storm Thorgerson photographs of a man burning a “Dear John” letter while seated at the Absinthe Bar in New Orleans, each taken from the perspective of one of the 6 other people in the bar. In his later book Eye of the Strom the artist told of a design feature many found out accidentally by spilling bong water on the inner sleeve: “Did you ever notice you could affect the dust jacket by putting water on it? If you applied spittle to it or a bit of water, it would change colour, like a children’s colouring book we based it on. But we didn’t tell anybody. I don’t think Zeppelin told anybody either”.
The Rolling Stones were playing the University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium tonight in 2005 on their A Bigger Bang tour when police stopped the show after receiving a bomb threat targeting the stage, but after a 45 minute sweep by bomb-sniffing dogs nothing was found and The Stones got back to rockin’.
Rolling Stone magazine released the results of it’s reader’s poll of The Worst Songs of The 80’s. In the top spot was Jefferson Starship’s We Built This City, followed by Swedish band Europe’s The Final Countdown, Chris DeBurg’s Lady In Red, Wake Me Up (Before You Go) by Wham!, and The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
REO Speedwagon singer Kevin Cronin is 66.
Los Lobos guitarist and singer David Hidalgo is 63.
The Replacements and occasional Guns-N-Roses bass player Tommy Stinson is 51.