Columbia Records started mass production of 12-inch “Long Playing” (LP) vinyl discs that played at 33 1/3 RPM today in 1948. The new format contained up to 23 minutes of sound per side, 20 m0re than the then-popular 10-inch 78 rpm singles. Most consumers would still buy single songs on the new 7-inch 45 rpm records until The Beatles and then Led Zeppelin made everyone want full albums in the late 60’s.
Paul McCartney spent his 22nd birthday in Sydney Australia with The Beatles today in 1964. After the show at Sydney Stadium, Paul headed backstage for a party with 17 girls who’d won an essay contest “Why I would like to be a guest at at Beatles Birthday party. The girls were hysterical, and kind of freaked the band out. They did not play Birthday, as Paul hadn’t written it yet.
Rare Earth drummer and lead singer Peter “Rivera” Hoorelbeke was arrested tonight in 1974 for public endangerment when he threw his drumsticks into the crowd, a common practice at rock shows today.
Fleetwood Mac had their first and only American #1 hit today in 1977 with Dreams from their landmark Rumors album. They were recording at the Record Plant studio in Sausalito, just north of San Francisco, and as the song came to her, Stevie Nicks stepped into one of the other rooms being used by Sly and the Family Stone while they were on a break and wrote the song on their Fender Rhodes electric piano in 10 minutes. Christine McVie thought the song was “boring” as it only had three chords and “one note on the left hand”, but changed her mind after Lindsey Buckingham fashioned three distinct sections out of the same chords, making each section sound completely different.
The Sex Pistols singer and drummer, Johnny “Rotten” Lydon and Paul Cook, were beaten and stabbed tonight in 1977 in a “car park” outside a London pub by patriotic drunks quite offended by their slag on the British monarchy God Save The Queen. Cook was beaten again the next day, this time by a group of men with iron pipes.
Trumpeter Herb Alpert and businessman Jerry Moss announced today in 1993 that they were leaving the record label they’d started in Alpert’s garage in ’62, A&M: Home to Joe Cocker, Supertramp, The Carpenters, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Joan Baez, The Police, Soundgarden, and of course Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. They’d sold the label to Polygram three years earlier for some $500 million. Moss would go on to invest in thoroughbred racing horses, naming one that would become the most successful filly of all time after his favorite Police record, Zenyatta.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced today in 2000 that home-burned CD’s were costing them some $5.1 billion in lost sales, but soon music would be digitally downloaded…usually without paying, and the record companies would continue to swirl down the bowl.
John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics to A Day In The Life, complete with corrections and crossed-out bits, sold at a Sotheby’s auction today in 2010 for $1.2 million.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Sir Paul McCartney is 71, and still going strong, christening yet another Seattle sports venue with it’s first-ever rock and roll show at Safeco Field in July. The Beatles were the first band to play the Seattle Center Coliseum in 1964, and Wings were the first band to play The Kingdome in 1976.
Oklahoma-born bass player Carl Radle would be 71, he died of a drug and alcohol related kidney infection at 38, but not before playing with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, Derek and the Dominoes, Eric Clapton’s band, Joe Cocker, Dave Mason, J.J. Cale, Leon Russell, and George Harrison.
Guns-N-Roses keyboard player Darren Arthur “Dizzy” Reed is 50, and the only member of the band’s classic line up not named Axl Rose still in the band. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with them two years ago, but did not attend the ceremony.