Doors Sign On The Dotted Line, Dire Straits Sell Millions, HBD To Heart’s Steve Fossen: This Day In Classic Rock [Video]

Johnny and the Moondogs made it to the finals of the TV Star Search competition at the Hippodrome in Manchester, England tonight in 1959. Judging, as in many “battle of the bands” type “competitions” was done by the volume of audience applause, but having no money to stay overnight in Manchester, The Moondogs had to leave and head back north to Liverpool before being called back to the stage for the last time. They would have the last laugh a few years later after they had changed their name to The Beatles.

The Rolling Stones made their American TV debut tonight in 1965, on NBC’s one-hour musical variety program Hullabaloo, playing their hit Get Off of My Cloud.

The Doors signed a contract with Elektra Records today in 1966, a deal that required them to produce seven albums. They would do six of them before singer Jim Morrison’s death at 27, and three more without him before throwing in the towel.

Police at a Janis Joplin show in Tampa, Florida tonight in 1969 moved in to force enthusiastic fans back into their seats. As she left the stage, Janis called a police detective a “son of a bitch”, and told him she would “kick his face in”.  She was arrested and charged with using vulgar and indecent language, but was later released after posting $504 bail.

Dire Straits Brothers In Arms became the first album to sell over 3 million copies in England today in 1987. It was one of the first major albums to be recorded all-digitally, be directed at the Compact Disc format, and produced three singles still played on Classic Rock radio formats worldwide nearly every day: Money for Nothing, So Far Away, and Walk of Life. It remains one of the best selling albums of all time, having sold over 30 million copies worldwide.

After a gig in California today in 1992, Ozzy Osbourne announced his retirement from touring, saying “Who wants to be touring at 46?” Apparently the answer came from his manager-wife Sharon, “You do”, as he has since recorded 5 solo albums, headlined many shows including his namesake “Ozzfest”, and reunited twice with his old band Black Sabbath.

37 year old Michael Abram of Liverpool was in court in England today in 2000, being acquitted “by reason of insanity” for breaking into George Harrison’s house in December of the previous year, and attacking him with a kitchen knife because “Harrison had possessed him, and he was on a mission form God to kill him”. George’s wife Olivia ended the 15 minute attack by beating Abrams with a fireplace poker and a lamp. George issued a statement from the hospital where he was being treated for some 40 stab wounds, saying he had no idea why he’d been attacked: “He wasn’t a burglar, and he certainly wasn’t auditioning for the Traveling Wilburys“. Abram was sent to a mental hospital, and released after 19 months.

Ken Donnell of Glasgow Scotland became the BBC’s Children in Need program’s largest single donor today in 2007, when he paid £83,000 (about $132,000) for two tickets to see Led Zeppelin rehearse and perform at the Concert for (Atlantic Records founder) Ahmet Ertegun at London’s 02 arena.

A cardboard sign reading “Bed Peace”, made by John Lennon for his 2nd 1969 Bed-In For Peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, sold at a Christie’s auction today in 2011 to an anonymous telephone bidder for $155,600.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Heart’s original bass player Steve Fossen is 63, one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet,  has with the rest of the band been nominated for the second year in a row to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and likely no longer owns the nipple-exposing “shirt” he wore at a TV performance at Washington State University in 1976.

More from Scott Vanderpool

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