By Scott Vanderpool

The Beatles returned home to Liverpool today in 1964 for the Northern British premier of their new movie A Hard Day’s Night. Local officials set up a little ceremony to honor them at the town hall, and as the band looked down from a balcony on the 200,000 some folks who’d come out to see them, John Lennon was reminded of WWII era Nazi propaganda films he’d seen of Hitler rallies, and amused himself by giving a few “Seig Heil” salutes. These did not go over well.

The Rolling Stones started a 4 week run at #1 on the American singles chart with (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction today in 1965. It was their first “top of the pops” hit in the U.S., but hadn’t charted at all at home in England because it was only played on “pirate” radio stations broadcasting from the English Channel. The BBC had banned it for “sexually suggestive lyrics”, which the Stones would actually write later in songs such as Starf***er.

Eric Clapton publicly announced that Cream would break up after they finished their current tour today in 1968.

The Nice were banned from playing London’s Royal Albert Hall today in 1968 because they had burned an American flag on stage in protest of the Vietnam war. Two years later the band’s leader and keyboard player Keith Emerson would start Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.

The funeral of Rolling Stones founding guitarist Brian Jones took place in his home town at the Hatherly Road parish church in Cheltenham today in 1969. Drummer Charlie Watts and bass player Bill Wyman were the only band members who showed up. Mick Jagger had gone to Australia to film Ned Kelly with girlfriend Marianne Faithful. Keith Richards was reported to be holed up in a recording studio. Brian was buried at 12 feet underground, to prevent fans from digging him up.

Having played at the White House a month earlier at the request of President Jimmy Carter, Chuck Berry was sentenced to 4 months in prison and 1000 hours of community service (to be done as benefit concerts) today in 1979 for income tax evasion. Berry’s style of touring, by himself using a local band to back him up and being paid in cash by local promoters, led the Internal Revenue Service to label him “a chronic tax evader”.

Record producer John Hammond died today in 1987 following a series of strokes. He’d started his career as a disc jockey (!) and went on to Columbia records where he was instrumental in starting and/or reviving the careers of jazz greats like Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Billie Holiday, folkies like Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan (who was dubbed “Hammond’s Folly” when he was initially unsuccessful), and rockers like Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Ray Vaughn. He’d been one of the first non-performer inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shortly before his death.

The funeral of The Who’s bass player John Entwhistle was today in 2002 at a 12-century stone church in Gloucestershire England. Some 200 people attended, including his bandmates Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend, who later said it was there that he learned for the first time that John had spent the majority of his life as a Freemason. Entwhistle had been found dead of a heart attack on June 27th in his hotel room at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas by one of the two hookers he’d gone to bed with after doing a large amount of cocaine.

A pub in Dundee Scotland was forced to change it’s name to something other than Lennon’s Bar and remove all Beatles memorabilia from it’s walls today in 2011 after getting a letter threatening legal action from Yoko Ono.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Elf, and solo singer Ronnie James Dio would be 71. He died of cancer in 2010.

Tacoma-born Moby Grape guitarist Jerry Miller is 70, and he’s still there!

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Arlo Guthrie, the son of folk great Woody, is 66.

Triumph guitarist Rik Emmett is 60.

arlo guthrie


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