Bob Dylan, dressed in hip new clothes he’d bought on Carnaby Street in swingin’ London, appeared at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport Rhode Island today in 1965. He had rapidly become the center of the folk scene since Blowin’ In The Wind became a huge hit, but tonight sported pointy high-heeled “Beatle Boots” and a loud shirt “that would dim the lights of Leicester Square…he looks like an undernourished cockatoo” as one reporter wrote, and worse, he came out on stage with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band ready to back him and plugged in a Fender Stratocaster. Some folkie purists were horrified and booed loudly, and Bob left the stage after only three songs, but not because of the jeers but because of poor sound quality. Still, folkie magazine Sing Out! wrote, “Only a completely non-critical audience, nourished on the watery pap of pop music, could have fallen for such tenth-rate drivel”.
Neil Young played with Crosby, Stills, and Nash for the first time tonight in 1969 at the Fillmore East in New York. They’d asked Stills’ former Buffalo Springfield bandmate to play live, but he ended up joining them pretty much whenever he felt like it off and on for the next 30 years.
The three day Seattle Pop Festival started today in 1969 at Gold Creek Park in Woodinville, just across the valley from where the Chateau St. Michelle Winery’s outdoor amphitheater is today. Some 50,000 paid $6 a day or $15 for all three to see a lineup that included Chuck Berry, The Byrds, The Chicago Transit Authority, Albert Collins, Bo Diddley, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Doors, The Guess Who, It’s A Beautiful Day, Ike and Tina Turner, Santana, Ten Years After, Vanilla Fudge, The Alice Cooper Group, The Youngbloods, Led Zeppelin, and Spirit, who’s song Taurus included an acoustic guitar intro later lifted by Jimmy Page for Stairway to Heaven. Neighbors complained about the traffic and “hippie atmosphere”, and while the sanitary facilities were “inadequate”, unlike the more famous Woodstock festival in upstate New York a month later, there were no deaths.
AC/DC released their sixth album and first since the death of singer Bon Scott, Back in Black, today in 1980. Despite the fine auditions of many Seattle area residents on the Crow and West Show, the Young brothers went with former Geordie singer Brian Johnson, who Bon and Angus had seen in a club once, with Bon saying “if anything ever happens to me, you should get that guy”. The album would go on to be their biggest seller, and one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Paul McCartney’s ex-wife Heather Mills told the press today in 2010 that the pain and trauma she experienced losing her leg when she was hit by a police motorcycle was nothing compared to her breakup with Paul in 2006 and the bitter divorce trial that followed, though her pain must have been eased some by the nearly $40 million of his money she got in the settlement.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton is 73.
The Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty is 70.