Bob Dylan’s debut album was released in the U.S. of A. today in 1962. Containing two original songs and a bunch of folk standards, it didn’t sell well at all, becoming known around the Columbia Records offices as “Hammonds Folly”, in honor of the man responsible for signing Dylan, producer John Hammond, who would later suffer a heart attack during a showcase for another artist he’d signed, Bruce Springsteen…Hammond lived until 1987.
The British Tailor and Cutter magazine ran an article today in 1965 asking The Rolling Stones to start wearing ties. The necktie had fallen out of favor with modern youth, and the industry was facing financial disaster. Mick Jagger, when asked about it, said, “The trouble with a tie is that it could dangle in the soup. It is also something extra to which a fan can hang when you are trying to get in or out of a theater.”
The Jimi Hendrix Experience were in Ottowa, Canada tonight in 1968. The Experience had been conceived two years earlier as a backing band for Jimi, but were soon putting their own stamp on the music, largely inspired by the “power trio” style of Eric Clapton’s Cream.
David Bowie married for the first time today in 1971, to American actress Mary Angela Barnett, who would be known as Angie Bowie. The two had a son they called Zowie Bowie, but he later reverted to his father’s real last name to become the film director Duncan Jones. The Rolling Stones song Angie was rumored to be about Angie, but Mick Jagger and Keith Richards later denied this.
The Jefferson Airplane officially morphed into The Jefferson Starship today in 1974. The name partially came from the popular TV show Star Trek, which had been cancelled in 1969, and it’s setting on board The Starship Enterprise. But also pre-dating Star Wars, the band’s name came out of an album from the Airplane’s Paul Kantner, Blows Against The Empire, billed as Paul Kantner and the Jefferson Starship, for which he assembled a group of musicians including Airplane members Grace Slick, Jack Cassady, and Joey Covington, Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzman, and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, David Crosby and Graham Nash, David Freiberg of Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Harvey Brooks of Electric Flag. The concept album about a group of people who escape earth in a hijacked starship, was good enough to get the it nominated for Science Fiction’s prestigious Hugo award. Jefferson Starship had little to do with Airplane singer Marty Balin’s later decidedly more commercial spin-off group Starship.
Led Zeppelin flew their own “Starship”, a Boeing 720 (A shorter version of the 707) heavily modified with a bedroom, shower, the latest in audio visual technology (a video cassette player!), and lounge area with wet bar and organ, rented from Here Come The Brides star and teen heartthrob Bobby Sherman, to Vancouver B.C. tonight in 1975 for the first of two sold-out shows at the Pacific Coliseum. Zeppelin were living in Hollywood at the time as tax exiles, mostly staying at the infamous “Riot House” hotel on the Sunset Strip. The plane was also rented for tours in the 70’s by Elton John, The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers Band, Bob Dylan and The Band, Deep Purple, Frank Sinatra, Alice Cooper, and the last to take it out was Peter Frampton. The plane was scrapped for parts in 1982.
Free guitarist Paul Kossoff died of a drug-related heart attack on an airplane from L.A. to New York today in 1976 at age 25. Guitarist #51 on the Rolling Stone Top 100 of All Time list, his ashes were interred in London under a headstone who’s epitaph reads “All Right Now“.
More trouble with airplanes today in 1982, when Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band guitarist, former Quiet Riot member Randy Rhodes was killed when a Beechcraft Bonanza flown by the tour’s bus driver clipped it’s wing on the tour bus it was attempting to “buzz” while Ozzy was sleeping on it, resulting in a fiery crash.
The second Beatles Anthology was released today in 1996, featuring alternate takes and rarities from their Help! sessions in 1965, and for the second time it included the closest thing we’d ever get to a Beatles reunion, when the three surviving members added tracks to a John Lennon demo recording, Real Love. The first anthology, released the year before, had included a similar take, Free As A Bird.
Keith Richards was the speaker who inducted soul singer Johnny Johnson and rockabilly guitarist James Burton into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel tonight in 2001. After his speech he jammed with Paul Simon, Bono Vox, Robbie Robertson, soul singer Solomon Burke, and for some reason, Bob “Kid Rock” Ritchie.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Zombies guitarist Paul Atkinson would be 67. He only made it to 58 before dying of liver and kidney disease, but not before becoming a record executive responsible for signing acts like ABBA, Judas Priest, and Bruce Hornsby and The Range.