The Beatles were in the Notting Hill Gate area of London today in 1964, working with actors dressed as policemen filming the “chase” scenes for their movie still called “Beatlemania” as a working title. Ringo had let loose the actual title at the end of yesterday’s filming: “Well, that was a hard day’s night”. John Lennon had immediately written the quip down, and by the end of filming today he and Paul had written the rest, and they would record nine takes of the song this evening.
Cream played the Daily Express Record Star Show at the Wembley Empire Pool in London tonight in 1967. They were still doing the kind of psychedelic songs that had led Eric Clapton to quit The Yardbirds a year earlier. They were starting to do songs from their second album Disraeli Gears, which they’d start recording in May, but by later this year they’d already tired of playing them live and gravitated toward longer jams, and by the time they broke up in ’68, Clapton later admitted that Cream’s later gigs mainly consisted of each band member showing off, with little regard for what the others were doing. But it was a scathing review of their third album, Wheels Of Fire, by the American Rolling Stone magazine, which Clapton greatly respected, in which the reviewer referred to him as “A master of the blues cliché”, that made him want to break the band up.
Desmond Dekker and the Aces were at #1 in England today in 1969 with their single The Israelites, marking the first time a Jamaican band had become popular there. Ska and it’s offspring Reggae never made much headway in the U.S., but Americans later devoured reggae influenced rock from Brits like Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and later, bands like The Police and The Clash.
Still hugely influential to this day, Detroit band The MC5 were dumped by Elektra Records today in 1969 after they took out an ad in the Detroit News protesting a local department store’s decision to not stock their records. The ad, which included the Elektra logo, read simply “F*** Hudson’s”.
Led Zeppelin’s first American single, Whole Lotta Love was certified “gold”, having hit the one-million-sold mark today in 1970. Zeppelin’s manager Peter Grant had not allowed them to release 7 inch singles in single-happy Britian, but American radio stations had been looking for a hit from their massive-selling second album, and Atlantic Records obliged…many program directors were uncomfortable with the song’s psychedelic middle break and edited it out themselves. The lyrics were liberally borrowed from the ’62 Willie Dixon/Muddy Waters song You Need Love, which had already been covered by The Small Faces as You Need Lovin’. Willie later sued Zeppelin, (but not Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane who got the Small Faces writing credit), who settled out of court. Robert Plant said later, “Page’s riff was Page’s riff. It was there before anything else. I just thought, ‘well, what am I going to sing?’ That was it, a nick. Now happily paid for. At the time, there was a lot of conversation about what to do. It was decided that it was so far away in time and influence that…well, you only get caught when you’re successful. That’s the game.”
The Electric Light Orchestra played their first-ever show tonight at The Fox and Greyhound nightclub in London tonight in 1972. Former members of The Move Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood had left the band wanting to start “a rock and pop band with classical overtones”. Wood quit after their first album came out, Lynne would write and produce everything they did after that.
ABC ran the British ATV TV special James Paul McCartney tonight in 1973. A showcase for his new band Wings, the show wouldn’t run at home in England until May.
Van Halen’s former lead singer David Lee Roth was arrested in New York’s Washington Square Park today in 1993 after attempting to buy a $10 bag of weed.
All four original members of KISS were together in full makeup for the fist time in 15 years tonight in 1996 to announce a reunion tour at the Grammy Awards.
Canadian Alexander “Skip” Spence had started his musical career playing guitar in an early lineup of Quicksilver Messenger Service, played drums on The Jefferson Airplane’s debut album, then left to co-found Moby Grape died today in 1999 at age 53 from lung cancer.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Saxophonist Rudy Pompilli would be 89. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Bill Haley’s Comets, but wasn’t around to enjoy it having died of lung cancer in 1976.
Savoy Brown and Foghat guitarist “Lonesome” Dave Pererett would be 70. He died of cancer in 2000, not too long after über-producer Rick Rubin had talked him into reforming Foghat for several tours and two more albums.
Scottish songwriter and multi instrumentalist Gerry Rafferty, who wrote a hit with his band Stealer’s Wheel (Stuck in the Middle With You) and a couple as a solo artist (Baker Street and Right Down The Line) would be 65 if he hadn’t died two years ago.