The Beatles played two shows today in 1966, toward the end of what would be their last tour. First they made up the rained-out show from the day before at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, then hopped on a plane for St. Louis where they played another show at Busch stadium, where it again rained heavily, but this time promoters had set up a tarp over the stage. This was pretty much the last straw for Paul McCartney, who told the others they needed to become a studio band. While Vox had made new 100 watt amplifiers for this tour, P.A. systems were still primitive, and the band could hardly be heard over the screaming despite the fact that they were selling far fewer tickets than they had on their first two North American tours. They had just four more stops: A show at Shea stadium in New York, two at the Seattle Center Coliseum, Dodger stadium in L.A., and their last stop, the last official Beatles concert ever, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, which is scheduled to be torn down next year when the 49ers move to Levis Field (“The Field of Jeans”). Paul McCartney has offered to play one last show there before it’s demolition (read more on that here).
The Doors finished work on their second album Strange Days at Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood today in 1967. The album would come out in October with a cover photograph of carnival performers in a street in New York, as Jim Morrison refused to do another band photograph. The dwarves on the front and back covers are actually twins, and despite Jim’s wishes, there is a photo of the band (the same shot used on the back cover of their first album) on a poster on the wall.
The Jefferson Airplane were playing a show in Akron Ohio tonight in 1972, when someone…no one can remember who…referred to the police as “pigs”. Singer Grace Slick was maced during the ensuing scuffle, and bass player Jack Cassady was arrested.
U2 singer Paul “Bono Vox” Hewson married his girlfriend of the last 7 years Allison Stewart today in 1982, with bass player Adam Clayton as best man. Unlike a lot of rock and rollers, they are still married and have four kids, ranging in age from 24 to 12.
Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone was found unconscious in a New York street this morning in 1983, having apparently been in a fight. He underwent four hours of brain surgery, but did not remember what happened. He died of prostate cancer in 2004.
Synthesizer inventor Dr. Robert Moog died of brain cancer at age 71 today in 2005.
Gary Glitter returned to Thailand after being refused entry to Hong Kong today in 2008, a fact the Chinese government was all too happy to tell the British foreign office. He’d already been deported from Cambodia and Vietnam, where he served three years in prison for having sex with girls aged 10 and 11. He’d faced the death penalty there, but his sentence was reduced when he made hefty payments to the girls families. Gary’s love of underaged girls had first got him in trouble in England in 1997 when he’d taken a laptop computer in for repair and it was found to be lousy with child porn.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Former First Edition singer and later country star Kenny Rogers is 75.
The Clash’s guitar playing frontman Joe Strummer (real name John Mellor) would be 61. He died of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect at age 50.