The Beatles threw a party tonight in 1967 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel to screen their third movie Magical Mystery Tour for all the hipsters in Swingin’ London. As The Beatles were picking up the tab, everyone clapped appreciatively and pretended to enjoy the one hour film, unlike the rest of the British public who watched on the BBC on Boxing Day…the Day after Christmas…and mostly hated it.
A stretch limo pulled up outside The White House today in 1970. The driver handed a secret service agent a note for President Nixon, saying that his passenger, one Elvis Presley, would like to come in and chat with him about how The King of Rock and Roll could help him fight drugs. The President invited him in, and gave him a special Narcotics Bureau badge. Elvis was something of an expert…he’d discovered amphetamines in the Army, and in the 70’s his personal physician was stripped of his license to practice medicine after it was found that he followed Elvis around everywhere with a doctor bag full of uppers, downers, leapers, bennies, goofballs, and every other pill you could imagine.
Sir Elton Hercules John and his partner David Furnish became the first major celebrities in England to register their relationship as a civil partnership today in 2005. They still aren’t allowed to use the word marriage, but the Brits were ahead of most of America in granting gay people the same legal rights everyone else gets. That didn’t stop Elton and David from having a ceremony and £1 million reception for a slew of friends including Ringo, Sting, Elvis Costello, and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and their kids.
On their 9th anniversary Elton and David took advantage of changes in British law and had their “civil partnership” converted to a marriage today in 2014.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Frank Zappa would be 76 today if he hadn’t checked out at 52 from prostate cancer, but not before putting the ideological smackdown on Tipper Gore and the Parent’s Musical Resource Center’s plan of rock lyric censorship at hearings before congress in 1985.
The Beach Boy’s lead guitarist, occasional lead singer, and the youngest of the three Wilson brothers Carl Wilson would be 70 today if he hadn’t checked out at 51 from lung cancer. Cancer sucks.