It was today in 1960 that John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stu Sutcliffe, and Tommy Moore auditioned as The Silver Beetles to be singer Billy Fury’s backup band. They had recently changed their name from The Beatals, but changed at the suggestion of another performer who’d remarked that Beatals was a ridiculous name, and suggested they change it to Long John and the Silver Beetles, but Lennon was not at all happy about being called “Long John”.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were in court today in 1967 on pot possession charges.  They both plead not guilty, and were released on £100 bail.

It was today in 1969 that The Turtles put on a show at the White House for Richard Nixon’s daughter Tricia.  Legend has it that they did lines of Cocaine on Abraham Lincoln’s desk.

It was today in 1969 that Led Zeppelin made their first appearance on the album charts back at home when their debut landed at #6. The band heard the news as they arrived in Seattle for a show opening for Three Dog Night at the Green Lake Aqua Theater the next day, already their second appearance in the Jet City.

Children’s book author, poet, cartoonist, screenwriter, and songwriter Shel Silverstein died of a heart attack at 57 today in 1999.  He won a Grammy for Johnny Cash’s hit A Boy Named Sue, and had two biggies for Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show with Sylvia’s Mother and The Cover of the Rolling Stone.

It was today in 2011 that the iron gates outside the Strawberry Field children’s home in Liverpool were removed and replaced with 10 foot high replicas.  The original gates would be auctioned.

liverpool 3 This Day In Classic Rock: May 10th

The Gates at Strawberry Field. (Billy Ellis)

Rock and Roll Birthdays

R&B singer and songwriter Larry Williams would be 77 today. He wrote Bony Moronie, Slow Down, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Bad Boy, and a song not covered by the Beatles (The Stones did it), She Said Yeah. He was found dead of a gunshot wound at age 44 that was ruled suicide, though there were many indications otherwise.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, Donovan Leitch is 66.

Also 66 today is Dave Mason, inducted into the Rock and roll Hall of Fame as a member of Traffic, who also played or recorded with Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Fleetwood Mac, and was particularly good friends with Jimi Hendrix, which is not surprising as he is a delightful man.

Jay Ferguson of Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne is 66 as well.

Jamaican drummer Sly Dunbar is 60, most famous for his longtime collaboration with bass player Robbie Shakespeare as “Sly and Robbie”.

The Sex Pistols second and not very good bass player John “Sid Vicious” Ritchie would be 54 today.

Paul Hewson, better known by his stage name Bono Vox of U2 is 51.


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