Bob Dylan was at Columbia Records studio in New York today in 1963, starting in on his third album The Times They Are A-Changin’. It was his first album to feature only original songs, the most famous being the albums lead-off and title track. Recording with producer Tom Wilson, it was just Bob, his voice, acoustic guitar, and harmonica, but he didn’t finish it until the end of October, and then three days later later played a show at New York’s Carnegie Hall, but when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated shortly after, Bob said “What it means is that they are trying to tell you ‘Don’t even hope to try and change things'”.
A 19 year old Rod Stewart made his first ever TV appearance on the BBC’s The Beat Room today in 1964 as the singer for Long John Baldry’s Hoochie Coochie Men. Already with the nickname “Rod The Mod” for his stylish dress, Stewart quit the band in October after a fight with Baldry, but the two would later make up and remain fast friends until his death in 2005.
The Beatles released their 10th American and 5th British album today in 1965. Help! also happened to be the soundtrack to their second movie, and included the last two covers the band would record (Larry Williams Dizzy Miss Lizzy and Johnny Russel’s Act Naturally) until they did a bit of the old Liverpool skiffle song Maggie Mae on Let It Be in ’70, and what would become the most-covered song of all time, Paul’s Yesterday, recorded with a string quartet and none of the other Beatles.
Decca Records released the debut single from The Small Faces, Watcha Gonna Do About It, today in 1965.
Today in 1970 was the 25th anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, and to mark the occasion The Concert For Peace was held at New York’s Shea Stadium with Steppenwolf, Janis Joplin, Paul Simon, Johnny Winter, and Poco.
Stevie Wonder had been touring relentlessly today in 1973, opening for The Rolling Stones on many of his dates, when the car he was riding in crashed into the back of a truck in North Carolina. Stevie was badly injured, and spent the next four days in a coma, permanently lost his sense of smell and taste, though taste came back eventually.
Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks released her first solo album today in 1981. Bella Donna included duets with Tom Petty (Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around) and Eagles drummer Don Henley (Leather and Lace).
The Alan Parker directed film based on Roger Waters’ Pink Floyd album The Wall, starring The Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof as “Pink”, started a “limited engagement” at one theater in New York City tonight in 1982.
The film had been shown “out of competition” at the Cannes film festival in May, and had it’s official premier in London’s Leicester Square in July (Attended by Waters, David Gilmore, and Nick Mason, but not Rick Wright, who had quit the band), but despite being shown at only one theater in the U.S. on it’s first weekend, managed to get to number 28 on the box office charts and take in $68,000, impressive even by today’s standards.
The debut album from L.A. band Guns-N-Roses went to #1 today in 1988, having already been on the charts for 57 weeks, Appetite for Destruction would eventually overtake Boston’s Boston as the best-selling debut album of all time.
U2 bass player Adam Clayton was arrested for possession of reefer with intent to sell in a Dublin parking lot today in 1989. His conviction was waived in exchange for a £25,000 donation to the Dublin Women’s Aid Centre.
Aerosmith was playing the stage at the Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis, South Dakota as part of the annual Black Hills Motorcycle Classic early this morning in 2009 when, after a typical Black Hills brief but torrential downpour of rain, singer Steven Tyler slipped and fell off the stage, injuring his head, breaking his shoulder. Tyler is an avid motorcycle enthusiast who is an investor and designer in the New Hampshire made Harley FLH clone Dirico motorcycle company, but this non-bike injury caused Aerosmith to cancel the rest of their tour for that year (including a Seattle show) except for two shows in Hawaii, but when Steven still hadn’t recovered enough to do the Maui show, some 8000 fans joined in a class action lawsuit against the band.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Pop artist Andy Warhol, who brought the art and music worlds together in New York’s Greenwich Village as the manager of The Velvet Undergound would be 85. He designed the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers and Love You Live album covers among others. He died at 58 from complications after a routine gall bladder surgery.