The Rolling Stones were on tour in England today in 1965, riding home after a show in Essex, the last of their 5th tour with The Hollies and three other bands that would not become famous. The boys had been swilling beer at the show, felt the call of nature, and had the driver pull over to use the lavatory at a gas station. But the owner didn’t want the Rolling Stones frightening his customers, and refused to let them use his facilities. So they stepped around the corner to pee in the alley. They were arrested for public uruinati0n and fined £5 each. Naturally the incident made the papers, and played nicely into the “bad boy” image being cultivated by manager Andrew Oldham.
John Lennon got into the grocery business today in 1965 when he gave £20,000 to fellow ex-Quarry Man Pete Shotton to open Hayling Supermarkets Ltd. George Harrison joined in with a financial contribution a few days later, some 45 years before “Kickstarter” allowed for the same kind of fundraising on the interwebs. Shotton remained friends with his two ex-bandmates throughout their run with The Beatles, and was tapped to run their Apple Boutique. After it closed he opened the Fatty Arbuckles chain of American-style diners in Britain.
British music magazine The New Musical Express announced today in 1967 that former Spencer Davis Group member Steve Winwood was starting a new band with Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason, to be called Traffic.
The Beatles had their 13th American #1 single today in 1967 with a song John Lennon and Paul McCartney had written based largely on childhood memories from Liverpool, Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever. The two had met at a bus stop near Penny Lane, and Strawberry Field was the name of a Salvation Army children’s home near where John had played as a kid. The signs for the street would later be stolen by Beatles fans so often that the Liverpool Public Utilities department gave up replacing them and took to painting the name on the sides of buildings. The gates to the original Strawberry Field were restored in 2011 and are now one of Northern England’s biggest tourist attractions, and the name was used again for a John Lennon memorial in New York’s Central Park, across the street from The Dakota Apartments where he was murdered.
Canadian Neil Young had his first big solo hit today in 1972, when Heart of Gold went to #1 in the United States. It would only get to #10 in England, and be his only top 20 hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
Ringo Starr was wearing his film director’s hat tonight in 1972, when he filmed the first of his friend Marc Bolan’s band T-Rex playing two sold-out shows at the Empire Pool near Wembley Stadium in London for his documentary Born To Boogie for Apple Films.
David Bowie was the star of a film that debuted in London tonight in 1976. The Man Who Fell To Earth featured Bowie as an alien, which no one thought was much of a stretch at the time.
The Clash released their debut single White Riot today in 1977.
A radio station in California staged a stunt today in 1989 where they hired a steam roller to crush all of their Cat Stevens records, including Peace Train, in protest of statements the British singer, who converted to Islam and changed his legal name to Yusef Islam in 1978, had made in support of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini.
More popular than they had been in their late 70’s punk rock heyday, The Sex Pistols announced they would be reforming for a worldwide tour, with original bass player Glen Matlock stepping in for his late replacement Sid Vicious, today in 1996. The tour would stop at Seattle’s Bumbershoot that summer.
At a ceremony at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight in 2002, with a nice little speech by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.
The widow Cobain Courtney Love was in rare form tonight in 2004, when she “flashed” her breasts at talk show host David Letterman as a guest on his show. Later that evening she was charged with assault and reckless endangerment when she hit a man with a microphone stand she threw into the audience at a “surprise” gig at a Manhattan nightclub. The man was surprised alright, as was Letterman.
Organizers in Scotland were attempting to reunite today in 2011 the original 19 audience members of a 1963 Beatles show outside of Inverness Scotland. 24 people showed up, and it was determined that the extra 5 people had indeed showed, but thought the music “rubbish”, and left to see another local band at the time…but wanted the notoriety of having been there 48 years later.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted (class of 1991) soul singer Wilson Pickett would be 71. He died of a heart attack at 64.
Procul Harum drummer Barry “BJ” Wilson would be 66. He died at 43 in his adopted home of Eugene Oregon after a long battle with illness.
The Doobie Brothers original drummer John Hartman is 63. He was joined in a dual-drummer attack in 1971, but played on all their hits.
Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell is 47.