By Scott Vanderpool

The Rolling Stones recorded the song John Lennon and Paul McCartney had all but written before their eyes today in 1963. Their manager Andrew Loog Oldham had run into the two Beatles on the street and invited them to come by a Stones rehearsal. Paul had a rough idea for I Wanna Be Your Man already, and the Stones were impressed with how quickly he and John hammered it out right there, and they offered to let them record it. Mick Jagger thought it sounded “commercial”, which was exactly what they wanted, only they needed to “Elmore James” it up a bit, but they were also inspired watching the two songwriters at work, and as it turned out Jagger/Richards would get pretty good at it as well. The Beatles would record it themselves later, turning the lead vocal over to Ringo, as Lennon explained later, “It was a throwaway. The only two versions of the song were Ringo and The Rolling Stones. That shows how much importance we put on it…we weren’t going to give them anything great, right?”

Sid Bernstein was the New York promoter who first came up with the idea of putting rock bands in sports stadiums, and was an Anglophile who’d fallen in love with all things British while serving there with an anti-aircraft battery during WWII. He’d read about The Beatles in a British paper, and contacted Brian Epstein about bringing them to The Big Apple to play at Carnegie Hall, which he’d rented out without telling management what kind of music they played. He then booked them into the Mets’ Shea Stadium on their ’65 and ’66 tours, but his offer of a then-record $1 Million to do one more show there was rejected by the now studio-only band today in 1967. Sid still loved his Brits, and would also bring The Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, The Moody Blues, and The Kinks to the U.S.

John Lennon was awarded his “Green Card” today in 1976 at a hearing by a three-judge Court of Appeals. They ruled that his 1968 arrest for cannabis possession in England was “contrary to U.S. ideas of due process” and could not be used to order his deportation, which the F.B.I. and I.N.S. had been trying to do since he ended up on Richard Nixon’s “enemies” list for vocally opposing the Vietnam War in ’72. After Nixon’s resignation, President Gerald Ford had shown little enthusiasm for continuing the effort, and John would live in New York until his death.

Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett quit the band today in 1977.

Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin was in court today in London today in 1982 being given a 12-month conditional discharge after being caught with cocaine, which he promised he would never ever do again.

The documentary Imagine: John Lennon opened in U.S. theaters tonight in 1988.

Kiss drummer Peter Criss completely destroyed his kit tonight in 2000 at the end of the last show of their reunion tour. Fans thought it was all part of the act, but Criss was angry, frustrated, and fully aware of his impending replacement by drummer Eric Singer, who unlike his previous replacement Eric Carr, would adopt his “Catman” persona. Peter later said of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley (who’d smashed his own guitar tonight to make it look like Criss’ stunt was part of the act) touring with replacements for lead guitarist Ace Frehley and himself, “No matter who they get to put that stuff on their face, it ain’t us. You can take the mask off the Lone Ranger and put it on someone else, but it ain’t the Lone Ranger”.

The Dartford Grammar School in Kent, England got a £100,000 gift from it’s most famous alum today in 2002. Sir Mick Jagger donated the cash to pay a musical director and buy instruments for The Mick Jagger Centre, a performing arts building with two theaters, rehearsal spaces, a recording studio, art gallery, and a bar (!) opened in 2000 by Mick and The Duke of Kent using some £2.2 million from Britain’s National Lottery and Mick himself.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Kansas bass player Dave Hope is 65.

John Mellencamp is 63, and still does not have a middle name, especially not “Cougar“, a stage name given to him by an early manager.






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