The “British Invasion” may have started in earnest with The Beatles two years later, but it was today in 1962 that an English band first leaped, like Marshawn Lynch, backwards grabbing their crotch, onto the American charts when The Tornados instrumental named for the AT&T communications satellite Telstar hit #1.
Legendary BBC DJ John Peel was the host tonight in 1967 at an hallucinogen-fueled all-night party called Christmas On Earth Continued at The Olympia theater in London. Your £1 admission fee got you entry to the “paddling pool”, a psychedelic light show, a movie theater showing art films, and live music from The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, The Who, Keith West and Tomorrow, Eric Burdon and The Animals, 1984 (featuring future Queen guitarist Brian May), and The Soft Machine.
Elton John was at the peak of his career today in 1973 when his 7th album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road hit the #1 spot at home in England. It would stay there for two weeks, and hit the top of the charts in America as well, lasting 8 weeks.
British independent record label Stiff Records (Slogan: “If it ain’t Stiff, it ain’t worth a ****”) released an album today in 1980 called The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan that contained 40 minutes of silence.
Mötley Crüe got some bad news today in 1987 when three of the members were informed that their bass player, principal songwriter, and resident heroin addict Nikki Sixx had been pronounced dead on arrival at a Los Angeles hospital. News that his heart had stopped beating for two minutes but was started again after he was given adrenaline injections took a bit longer to reach them, but they breathed a collective sigh of relief.
John Graham Mellor wasn’t so lucky as he died of a heart attack today in 2002 at age 50. He’s better known by his stage name Joe Strummer, singer and guitarist with The Clash, who broke up in 1986.
A crosswalk on London’s Abbey Road near EMI’s recording studio where photographer Iain Macmillan had shot The Beatles for the iconic cover of their Abbey Road album was placed on England’s National Register of Historic Places today in 2010.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Nashville Teens and The Animals drummer Barry Jenkins is 72.
Cheap Trick guitarist and songwriter Rick Neilsen is 68, and no doubt quite pleased that his band was finally been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the class of 2016. Rick was in town a last year at the behest of Paul Allen, who was honoring Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page at the EMP, and his band was tapped last summer to play the private 50th birthday party of Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready, who for his money got not only to play with them, but picked their entire set list.