Space Oddity Comes Out In Time For Apollo 11, Frampton Digs Springsteen, And Heart Comes Back: This Day In Classic Rock [Video]

The Beatles appeared on a British TV show called Lucky Stars today in 1964. To avoid the throngs of screaming girls in front of the TV studio, the boys took a boat down the Thames and snuck in the back door.

David Bowie’s song Space Oddity was released for the first time today in 1969. The song had been inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s movie of the previous year 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the release was timed to precede the launch of Apollo 11 on July 16th. The BBC refused to play it until the American astronauts had safely returned to Earth.

Humble Pie headlined the Sunshine Inn in Asbury Park New Jersey tonight in 1971. Guitarist Peter Frampton was impressed by the opening act The Bruce Springsteen Band, and told them he’d like to have them open the rest of their tour, and offered to hook them up with their record label, A&M. For some reason Bruce’s manager declined both offers on the spot, but things worked out for him eventually.

Def Leppard fired guitarist Pete Willis today in 1982 for his excessive drunkeness, replacing him with Phil Collen from the buttrock band Girl.

Seattle’s own Heart had a big comeback hit today in 1987 with Alone, which went to #1 in the U.S. and Canada, and #3 in England. It was written by  Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who’d had number one hits with Like A Virgin (Madonna), True Colors (Cyndi Lauper), Eternal Flame (The Bangles), and So Emotional (Whitney Houston).

Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia released a line of neckties today in 1992. One of the first customers was President Bill Clinton, who bought all 8. Deadheads are more known for sporting tye-dye T-shirts than businesswear, but by the end of the year Jerry had made millions of dollars with them.

The Rolling Stones released Voodoo Lounge today in 1994, their 22nd American and 20th British album, and the first without bass player Bill Wyman, who’d quit the band in ’91.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Bon Jovi lead guitarist and former Mr. Heather Locklear Ritchie Sambora is 54.

More from Scott Vanderpool

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