It was tonight in 1964 that the Rolling Stones played the second stop of their very first U.S. Tour in Texas.  It was the San Antonio Teen Fair, which featured a  pool between the stage and audience for performing seals.  Other musical acts included pop crooner Bobby Vee and country legend George Jones, who Keith Richards really liked: “They (George’s band) trailed in with a tumbleweed following them, as if the tumbleweed was their pet. Dust all over the place, a bunch of cowboys. But when George got up, we went woah, there’s a master up there.” There were only 3000 fans in the 20,000 capacity Joe Freeman Coliseum. They booed the Stones off the stage, and promoters quickly brought back the previous act, a troupe of performing monkeys. Bill Wyman complained later in his book, “What the hell were we doing there? The next day while we were sunbathing around the hotel pool in a temperature of 95°, a young waiter who was serving us drinks said that a guest had complained to the hotel that girls were at the pool swimming and sunbathing topless…that was us!”

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, The Beatles were flying from Amsterdam to Hong Kong.  When the plane stopped for refueling in Beirut, police tried to disperse the hundreds of Lebanese teenagers who showed up for a glimpse by hosing them down with firefighting foam.

It was today in 1969 that British super-group Blind Faith, with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker (Cream),  Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis Group), and Ric Grech (Family), played their debut show…a free concert at London’s Hyde Park. Clapton thought the band sucked, the adulation they received was undeserved, and was reminiscent of his Cream days, when crowds would applaud for nearly anything.

It was today in 1975 that Elton John’s autobiographical concept album Captain Fantastic (Elton) and the Brown Dirt Cowboys (His lyricist Bernie Taupin) went to #1 in America. Bernie lived out his Brown Dirt Cowboy fantasy, buying a ranch in Santa Ynez California in the early 80’s and investing in a three-time champion pro-rodeo bucking bull.

It was today in 1987 that David Bowie played in front of the Reichstag in West Berlin, with the speakers pointed at the Berlin Wall so that East Berlin fans could hear.

It was today in 2010 that Joe Walsh filed for a restraining order against his neighbor Nassar Adhoot,  an elderly man in his 70’s who in May had trespassed on his property and attacked his personal assistant with a piece of wood, shouting “You tell Joe Walsh I’m going to kill him!  I’m going to shoot him!” A judge sided with Joe, telling Adhoot to stay at least 180 yards away from the guitarist or his employees, and to…Take It Easy.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Ken Osmond is 69 today. He is best known for his portrayal as Eddie Haskell in the Leave It To Beaver TV series. He later became an LAPD motorcycle cop, and retired after being shot in a foot chase with a car thief, which he survived thanks to his bullet-proof vest.  He makes it into the Rock and Roll birthday section because of an urban legend circulating in the 70’s that he had become Alice Cooper, a rumor that started when Alice referred to himself as “A real Eddie Haskell” in an interview.

Clarence White would be 68, a country rock guitarist who joined the Byrds following the departure of Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman and played with them until Roger McGuinn broke the band up in 1973.  Shortly after, White was killed by a drunk driver at 29.

Michael Cartellone is 50, the current drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd.  He previously participated in one of the low points of the 80’s buttrock era: The genuinely awful “supergroup” Damn Yankees, with Tommy Shaw (Styx), Jack Blades (Nightranger), and Ted Nugent (The Nuge).

Be safe, Crowski.


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