The British Broadcasting Corporation banned the single “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt Kickers, on the grounds that it was “too morbid” today in 1962. The song became a huge hit anyway, inspiring later cover versions by The Beach Boys, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, actor Vincent Price, Glen Danzig’s Misfits, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Ron Howard did a version on an episode of Happy Days, and the actor who inspired the original, Boris Karloff, covered the song on Shindig! Good thing BBC censors haven’t heard the version KZOK usually plays around Halloween: The Grant’s Pass Oregon hippie-reggae-jam-band The Toyes parody Monster Hash.
Paul McCartney and John Lennon met the Rolling Stones today in 1963 at the Studio 51 Jazz Club in London. John and Paul played for Mick and Keith a partially finished song, “I Wanna Be Your Man“, that the Stones would later cover.
The Kinks third single, You Really Got Me, went to #1 on the British charts today in 1964. Generally regarded as the first big hit to use “power chords” and guitar distortion (a sound achieved when Dave Davies mutilated his guitar amp’s speaker cone), it became a blueprint for what would later be called “hard” rock or “heavy metal”. Rumors have persisted over the years that the guitar solo was played not by Dave, but in fact a studio musician by the name of Jimmy Page, which Page always denied. Producer Shel Talmy later said “I mean, Jimmy Page did not play the solo on “You Really Got Me” which I’ve said about 5,000 times to people who insist that he did. The reason I used Jimmy on The Kinks stuff is because Ray didn’t really want to play guitar and sing at the same time. In fact, Jimmy was playing rhythm guitar.”
The BBC censors were at it again today in 1973, banning a song from the Rolling Stones new album Goat’s Head Soup for inappropriate language: Star Star was originally called Star F***er, and has that phrase in the chorus. Mick Jagger would later perform the song live with a giant inflatable penis.
One of the first American glam-rock bands, The New York Dolls, split up today in 1975. Guitarist Johnny Thunders and drummer Jerry Nolan went on to form the Heartbreakers (no relation to Tom Petty’s later band), and singer David Johannsen would have some solo success as Buster Poindexter. Their first album, produced by Todd Rundgren, would become a template for later bands like KISS, Aerosmith, and Guns-N-Roses to name but a few. The surviving members reunited in 2005.
The song that would drive the big-hair buttrock of the 80’s from MTV and American rock radio was released to the public today in 1991. No one expected it to hit as big as it did. Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit had been recorded in May at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, about which former drummer Dave Grohl is currently making a documentary.
Paul McCartney made headlines today in 1999 when he was spotted at a New York party missing a front tooth. No fisticuffs were involved, however, Paul had simply broken a crown installed after a motorcycle crash in 1967.
Two of former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson’s husbands got in a fight at the MTV music awards tonight in 2007. Current hubby Kid Rock allegedly assaulted ex Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, but it was Lee that was removed from the event while the Kid was allowed to stay.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
John Lennon’s first wife and mother of Julian, Cynthia Lennon is 73.
Three Dog Night singer Danny Hutton is 70.
Slade drummer and founder Don Powell is 66.
Jethro Tull’s drummer through most of the 70’s Barrie “Barriemore” Barlow is 63.
Aerosmith lead guitarist and songwriter Joe Perry (Anthony Joseph Pereira) is 62.