Vee-Jay Records began pressing The Beatles first American album today in 1963. Vee-Jay thought they had secured the rights from the British EMI label’s affiliate, Trans Global Records, but when it hit stores in January they were slapped with a legal injunction against manufacturing, distributing, advertising, or even looking at Beatles records by Capitol Records, who were also under the impression that they’d purchased the American rights to the band. After a lengthy trial Vee-Jay were allowed to sell any Beatle record they had the master tapes to (only the first one) until October 15th 1964, after which all rights reverted to Capitol.
Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, and Bill Wyman had been having a few pints of ale today in 1965 when they felt the “call of nature” and stopped to use the facilities at a London gas station. When they were denied use of the toilet by the owner who was put off by their long hair, they went around the side of the building and peed on a wall, for which they were all fined £5 for “insulting behaviour”. Naturally the story was picked up in the press, and added to manager Andrew Oldham’s cultivated “bad boy” image.
Pink Floyd played at The Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen Scotland tonight in 1967. Located oddly across the street from the North Sea, the granite art-deco big band hall built in the 30’s and boasts “Scotland’s finest dance floor” famous for it’s bounce, which comes from steel springs under the wood surface, much like the Showbox theater here in Seattle. The Beatles, The Small Faces, and Cream would all play at he building which still exists, most recently hosting a show by Monty Python’s Michael Palin.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono spent today in 1971 making a “promotional film” (they wouldn’t be called Music Videos for another 10 years) for Imagine at their home in Ascot, west of London.
Stiff Records released the debut album My Aim Is True from Elvis Costello today in 1977. Produced by Nick Lowe, Elvis was backed by a California country rock band called Clover, though they were not credited because of contractual obligations. After it’s release, Costello would form his own backing band The Attractions who he would record and tour with until 1986.
The artist former known as Little Richard, who’d been such a huge influence on Paul McCartney and Elvis Presley, but now known as The Reverend Richard Penniman, preached to his congregation this morning in 1979 about the evils of rock and roll, saying “If God can save an old homosexual like me, he can save anybody.” Little Richard returned to playing secular music again in the 80’s (he’d gone strictly religious in the late 50’s as well), and has been linked to women as well as men, married once, and described as an “omni-sexual”.
The widow Cobain Courtney Love married for the first time today in 1989 to Leaving Trains singer James Moreland. She had the marriage annulled after a few months saying James was a transsexual, and that their marriage had been a joke.
Donovan was denied entry into the U.S. on the eve of a big tour today in 1996 because of a marijuana conviction in the U.K. 30 years earlier.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Parliament and Funkadelic (two bands often referred to together as the “P-Funk” sound) singer, songwriter and bandleader George Clinton is 72.
The Ronettes singer Estelle Bennett would be 72. The older sister of Veronica Bennett (later Ronnie Spector), Estelle was the one who hooked them up with uber-producer Phil Spector, and on The Ronette’s first tour of England which was opened by The Rolling Stones, Estelle was Romantically linked briefly to George Harrison (while Ronnie was with Keith Richards). The Ronettes opened for The Beatles on their last tour in ’66. Estelle died in 2009.
Singer, guitarist, 60’s teen heartthrob, and the star of 60’s Seattle-centered TV show Here Come The Brides Bobby Sherman is 70.
Supertramp founder, singer, songwriter, and keyboard player Rick Davies is 69.
The Eagles singing drummer Don Henley is 66.