The Beatles were at Abbey Road today in 1965, working on a new George Harrison song for the Rubber Soul album. Unusual for them and their perfectionist producer George Martin, after rehearsing they got the instrumental part of Think For Yourself down in one take. The vocals took a bit longer.

Led Zeppelin released their fourth album today in 1971. Usually referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, the album has no official title, and is also called Untitled,The Fourth Album,  Runes,  Zoso, Four Symbols, and The Hermit (those last three references to the album’s artwork). Begun in December of 1970 at Island records brand-new studio in London (with Jethro Tull down the hall working on Aqualung), they moved…at the suggestion of Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green…to Headly Grange (a Victorian manor house in East Hampshire) and finished the record on The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. Many of the songs are among Zeppelin’s biggest hits: Stairway to Heaven, Black Dog, and Rock and Roll, while others were left off the record and didn’t appear until Physical Graffiti: Down By The Seaside, Night Flight, and Boogie With Stu (featuring Rolling Stones collaborator Ian Stewart on piano). It has sold over 32 million copies worldwide, but interestingly is only number 69 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.

David Bowie made his American television debut today in 1975, doing a song he wrote with John Lennon and guitarist Carlos Alomar, Fame, on Cher’s CBS show.

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were introduced as “one-half of Led Zeppelin” as they appeared on Later With Jools Holland tonight in 1994. But it was the Unledded Orchestral Ensemble, fresh from recording the Unledded album and about to embark on a world tour, that performed Four Sticks, Wonderful One, and Gallows Pole. Jimmy remarked later, “It was a spirited version of Four Sticks, but a crap sound balance”.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Saxophonist Rodney “Rhino” Slater of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (most famous for their performance of the song Death Cab For Cutie in the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour) is 71.

Singer Bonnie Bramlett is 67. One half of the duo Delany and Bonnie (he was her husband at the time), she was also the first white singer to perform in Ike and Tina Turner’s Ike-ettes, and sang, wrote, and/or recorded with Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band, Dave Mason, and Little Feat to name but a few.

Multi-Instrumentalist (mostly guitar) Roy Wood of The Move and Electric Light Orchestra is 66.

Slide guitarist extraordinaire Bonnie Raitt is 63.

Ozzy”s son Jack Osbourne is 27.


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