Leo Fender Leaves Us, Ozzy Picked To Represent Us To Aliens: This Day In Classic Rock [Video]

Author: Scott Vanderpool

The Beatles had played a less prestigious lunchtime show there already, but tonight in 1961 they finally got to play in the evening at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, opening for The Swinging Bluegenes, who had not yet changed their name to the Swinging Blue Jeans.

Working-class mod band The Who played a show at the Trade Union Hall in Watford, northwest of London tonight in 1965. Roger Daltrey didn’t punch anyone after the show.

The Grateful Dead brought their psychedelic San Francisco hippie love fest to New York City tonight in 1972, for the first of 7 nights at the Academy of Music.

The BBC instituted a ban on all “teenybopper” acts today on their Top Of The Pops programme in 1973, after a riot at a performance by the Partridge Family’s David Cassidy.

David Bowie and Iggy Pop were arrested in the Rochester New York hotel room they were sharing tonight in 1976, for possession of a variety of drugs.

Like many of Britain’s great bands before them, Dire Straits had “arrived” tonight in 1978 when they headlined London’s famous Marquee Club.

A special area of New York’s Central Park, across the street from the Dakota apartments where they lived and largely financed by John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono called Strawberry Fields, opened to the public today in 1984. It is visited daily by Beatles fans from all over the world.

Inventor Leo Fender, responsible for the Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars, the Precision and Jazz basses, and the Twin and Super-Reverb amplifiers used by so many rock and rollers, died today in 1991 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease at age 81. Leo sold his company to CBS in 1965 when sales were at some $40 million a year. Quality of the instruments declined with the resulting increase in production, and “pre-CBS” Fender guitars and amps are highly sought after by collectors and musicians.

In a poll on the interwebs by Yahoo! News today in 2004 following the discovery of signs of water on Mars, Ozzy Osbourne was picked as England’s choice to be their official ambassador to welcome aliens to Earth.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

The King Of Rock-N-Soul Solomon Burke would be 73. He died in 2010, but not before being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band singer and ukelele player Viv Stanshall would be 70. He was instrumental in introducing his friends from the Monty Python comedy troupe to The Beatles and particularly George Harrison, who later took out a second mortgage on his house to finance Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Viv’s band was the only other to play in The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, and the song they played, Death Cab For Cutie, was taken as a band name by a group from Bellingham who have become quite successful in the last few years. He died in a house fire in 1995.

Mungo Jerry guitarist, singer, and songwriter Ray Dorset is 66.

Supertramp guitarist, keyboard player, singer, and songwriter Roger Hodgson is 62.

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