The First American Beatles Concert, Ringo Gets Married, Paul Gets Divorced: This Day In Classic Rock [Video]

Author: Scott Vanderpool

The Beatles played their first live concert on American soil today in 1964 (Not counting the Ed Sullivan Show) at the Washington Coliseum near the train station in D.C. , a former 8500 seat hockey arena now listed on the National Register of Historic Places used mostly these days as a parking lot and graffiti magnet. The  band played in the center of the room, with 350 or so police surrounding the stage, one of whom was seen taking a couple of .38 caliber rounds and using them as impromptu earplugs to dampen the screaming. They stopped three times while their crew quickly moved those gleaming Vox amps, the microphones, and Ringo’s drum kit to face another part of the audience. The set list: Roll Over Beethoven, From Me to You, I Saw Her Standing There, This Boy, All My Loving, I Wanna Be Your Man, Please Please Me, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Twist and Shout, and Long Tall Sally.

Ringo Starr married his longtime girlfriend Maureen Cox at Caxton Hall Register Office in London today in 1965, with John Lennon and George Harrison in attendance. Paul McCartney was on holiday somewhere with his girlfriend Jane Asher. Maureen and Ringo had three kids, daughter Lee (1970 just after the Beatles broke up), and two sons, Jason (1967) and Zak (1965). Zak became a drummer as well, given lessons at one point by his godfather Keith Moon, and when he’s not taking over for Keith in one of The Who’s infrequent performances, he’s a semi-permanent member of British band Oasis. Ringo married an actress he met on the set of his movie Caveman, former Bond-girl Barbara Bach, in 1981.

The Dark Side of the Moon went dark tonight in 1972, as a power failure not unlike this last Super Bowl cut short Pink Floyd’s set at the Manchester Free Trade Hall after 25 minutes.

The bed sheets and pillow cases used by The Rolling Stones after their show at Western Springs Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand tonight in 1973 were auctioned off, raising almost $1000 for a local charity.

Motley Crüe singer Vince Neil showed up at band practice today in 1992 and told them how he had lost his passion for the band and was far more interested in racing cars now.Neil says they fired him, the rest of the band says he quit. It didn’t matter. Motley Crüe got a new singer, then brought back Neil 5 years later, but L.A. butt-rock bands had fallen from favor to the likes of Seattle bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Mudhoney.

Bernie Taupin’s original hand-written lyrics to the Elton John hit Candle In The Wind sold at Christie’s Auction House today in 1998 for £278, 512. The song as recorded on his Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album was about Marilyn Monroe, but after his friend Princess Diana died in 1997, their new English Rose version became the biggest-selling single of all time.

Paul McCartney was at the Family Division of the High Court in London today in 2008, with Heather Mills, his wife of 2002-2006 for whom he had reluctantly agreed to stop smoking pot, which she said he did “as regularly as others have cups of tea”. She was asking for £125 million (almost $200 million US), and his barristers would counter at £15.8 (about $25 Million US). The hearings would last 6 days, Heather ended up with £24.3 Million, with an additional £35,000 a year for a nanny for their daughter Beatrice.

Estelle Bennett of The Ronettes, younger sister of Veronica (Ronnie Spector) Bennett, died today in 2009 at age 67. The Ronettes had made a splash in Great Britain just a month before The Beatles did the same here in 1964. Opening for The Ronettes in England were The Rolling Stones, which apparently led to a romantic liaison between Keith Richards and Veronica, who also had a tryst with John Lennon at a party, with George Harrison disappearing with Estelle.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Rockabilly legend Gene Vincent would be 78. He died in 1971.

Lyricist Gerry Goffin is 73. With his first wife and longtime songwriting partner Carole King he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 for an incredible string of hits in the 60’s and 70’s.

Bobby “Boris” Pickett, who’s Monster Mash gets played every Halloween, would be 73, he died in 2007.



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