It was today in 1942 that Capitol Records opened its first office in Hollywood, with songwriters Johnny Mercer and Buddy DeSylva finding artists (Mercer said “”Bing Crosby isn’t the only one who can make records…I don’t know, I think it would be fun.”) Music City record store owner Glenn Wallichs handled the business side of things, coming up with the novel idea of sending free records to radio disc jockeys to play on their shows. That first free record went to L.A. DJ Peter Potter, also today in 1942. In the mid 50’s they were bought by Britain’s EMI records, who built the iconic 13 story Capitol Records Tower at Hollywood and Vine, the world’s first round office building intended to look like a stack of records (With the decline of the record industry the tower was sold in 2006). Capitol put out some of the biggest artists in music, from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, to The Beatles and Pink Floyd.
It was tonight in 1967 that Paul McCartney and George Harrison were on hand at the Saville Theater in London to witness The Jimi Hendrix Experience play the title track to their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
It was today in 1969 that Australians began to circulate a petition protesting the selection of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger to play the role of Australian “Bushranger” and folk hero Ned Kelly in a film. Mick’s then-girlfriend Marianne Faithful was to play Ned’s sister Maggie, but their relationship was on the rocks and she took an overdose of sleeping tablets, and was sent home to England when she recovered from a coma. The film was largely considered a flop, and Mick didn’t bother to attend the film’s London premier.
It was today in 1984 that Bruce Springsteen released his best selling album, “Born In The USA”, which he was, in Long Branch New Jersey.
It was today in 1992 that the U.S. Postal service announced the winner of it’s poll to determine which portrait would honor Elvis Presley with an official postage stamp: Skinny 50’s “Elvis the Pelvis”, or the bloated and drug-addled 70’s Las Vegas Elvis. For whatever reason, fans chose the skinny one.
It was today in 1993 that Seattle police showed up at the request of his lovely wife at the Denny-Blaine house of Kurt Cobain, who swore in the song Come As You Are that he “didn’t have a gun”. The cops removed several of them, but Kurt would buy at least one more.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Scottish guitarist Jimmy McCulloch would be 59. He was in the band Thunderclap Newman, created by his mentor Pete Townsend, and later played in Wings and a reformed Small Faces before overdosing on heroin one year shy of joining what Kurt Cobain’s Mom called “That Stupid Club” of rock stars who died at 27.
Be safe, Crowski.