By Scott Vanderpool

It wasn’t their first show, but 5 Juniors at Freehold Regional High School in New Jersey who called themselves The Castilles played the prom at their own school tonight in 1966. No one outside of The Castilles, their lucky dates, and the rest of the FRHS Class of ’66 or so would remember this, except that their guitar playing lead singer Bruce Springsteen would go on to some success in the music business.

Having hit it big in England, Jimi Hendrix signed an American record deal today in 1967 with the label started by Frank Sinatra 7 years earlier, Reprise Records. If Frank had been dead yet he would have rolled in his grave at the wild haired flamboyantly dressed electric guitarist being on his label, but he’d sold it to Warner Brothers in 1963. Most Americans were not yet aware of Hendrix, who would burst into the national rock and roll conciousness after his appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June.

Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones was at the Great Marlbourough Street Magistrate’s Court today in 1968, answering to charges of marijuana possession. Like bandmates Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, Brian’s arrest had come after tips from conservative elements of the British press, and was highly publicised. He was fined £200 and given a stern warning to never ever take drugs again.

The song Neil Young had written after learning of Ohio National Guard troops opening fire on Vietnam war protesters at Kent State University on May 4th, killing 4 wounding 9 and paralyzing 1, was released by Crosby Stills Nash and Young today in 1970: Ohio the most powerful protest song of all time. Many “Top 40” stations on the AM bad refused to play it because of the use of the president’s name, but america’s youth counterculture was already moving to “Underground” music stations on the FM band. David Crosby said that Neil keeping Nixon’s name in the lyrics was “The bravest thing I’d ever heard”.

Free announced they were breaking up…for the first time… today in 1971. They’d recorded their first album in 1968 when bass player Andy Fraser was just 15 years old, lead guitarist Paul Kossoff was 17, and singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke were 18.

Two would-be concert promoters were arrested in New York on fraud charges today in 1974, relating to the tickets they were selling by mail order for an upcoming Elten John concert, which British pianist Elton John knew nothing about. The cops recovered $12,000, which was returned to the spelling challenged fans.

The Clash’s frontman Joe Strummer took exception to an audience member “slam dancing” too violently at a show in Hamburg, Germany tonight in 1980, and hit him with his Fender Telecaster. He was arrested, and later admitted “I nearly murdered somebody. It made me realize you can’t face violence with violence, it doesn’t work”.

David Bowie had his first simultaneous #1 hit on both sides of the Atlantic today in 1983 with Let’s Dance, which sported a blistering guitar solo by Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

English singer Tony Sheridan would be 73, he passed in February. He’s most famous for having The Beatles back him up on their first trip into a recording studio.

Isley Brothers singer Ron Isley is 71.

The Kinks second bass player John Dalton is 70.

The Animals original guitarist Hilton Valentine is 69.

Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch is 58.


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