Soundgarden Hit #1, Jimmy Page Nails Best Solo Of All Time, And Steven Tyler Is 65: This Day In Classic Rock [Video]

The Beatles original drummer Pete Best was a guest on CBS’s quiz show I’ve Got A Secret tonight in 1964. His “secret” was guessed by the panelists within a couple of minutes. When the show’s host, Gary Moore, asked him why he’d left the group, he said he’d thought he wanted to start his own band, and didn’t think John, Paul, and George would go anywhere. Best had been fired by the group in 1962, to be replaced by Ringo Starr.

3/5 of The Rolling Stones got nasty electrical shocks tonight in 1965, when an ungrounded P.A. system in Denmark sent current through the microphones to Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, and Bill Wyman, who was knocked unconscious for several minutes.

Marvin Gaye was at #1 today in 1969 with a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong. I Heard it Though The Grapevine was originally recorded by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles in 1966, but Motown/Tamla records owner Berry Gordy rejected their version, and Whitfield and Strong gave the tune to Gladys Knight and The Pips, but the song remained mostly unheard until Marvin’s version caught the attention of John Fogerty, who recorded a version for Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Cosmos Factory album.

Peter Yarrow of the vocal group Peter, Paul, and Mary was in court today in 1970, where he plead guilty to “taking immoral liberties” with a 14 year old girl in Washington DC. He was sentenced to three months in jail, just a few days after winning a Grammy for Best Recording For Children for his group’s kids record Peter, Paul, and Mommy.

Italian-born actress, model, and fashion designer Anita Pallenberg, the former girlfriend of The Rolling Stones Brian Jones, gave birth to her third child with Keith Richards today in 1976. The boy, named Tara, died of pneumonia just 10 weeks later. Anita had left Brian for Keith in 1967 after Brian had become abusive. They were together until 1980 though they never married. Anita was also rumored to have had an affair with Mick Jagger during the filming of the movie they were both in, Performance, but both later denied it.

The Police became the first western pop group to play in Mumbai, India in over 10 years tonight in 1980.

Having dedicated the Oscar he won the night before at the Academy Awards in Hollywood to Nelson Mandela, the government of South Africa banned all records by Stevie Wonder from radio airplay today in 1985.

Seattle’s Soundgarden were at #1 on the U.S. album charts today in 1994 with their 4th album, Superunknown, recorded at Heart’s Bad Animals studio in Belltown.

Jan Berry, half of the surf group Jan and Dean, died today in 2004. He’d been in poor health since crashing his Chevrolet Corvette into a parked truck in 1966, very near the 90 degree hairpin in Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills that was the subject of the song Dead Man’s Curve, about a race between a Corvette and a Jaguar XKE, written by Jan and Beach Boy Brian Wilson two years earlier.

Readers of Total Guitar, the biggest musician’s magazine in England, voted Jimmy Page’s work on Stairway To Heaven as the best guitar solo of all time today in 2006, on the 20th anniversary of it’s release on Led Zeppelin’s 4th album. It was estimated that during those 20 years the song had been played on American radio stations 2, 874,000 times, and if played on just one, back to back, it would take 44 years.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Influential soul singer and songwriter Rufus Thomas would be 96 if he hadn’t passed at 81.

The Supremes lead singer Diana Ross is 69.

The Electric Light Orchestra’s keyboard player Richard Tandy is 65.

Aerosmith’s flamboyant frontman and occasional American Idol judge Steven Tyler (Born Steven Victor Tallarico) is 65.

Boston’s original bass player Fran Sheehan is 63.

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