By Scott Vanderpool

The show this afternoon at the Studio 51 nightclub in London’s Soho neighborhood tonight in 1963 was as usual for a Sunday 4-6:30 time slot, “Rhythm and Blues with The Rolling Stones“. The opening act Jimmy Powell and the Five Dimensions sported a lead singer named Rod Stewart. Fast forward to the late 70’s, and Keith Richards would become irritated when Mick Jagger started hanging at New York’s Studio 54.

CBS’s hit show The Beverly Hillbillies got it’s first serious competition tonight in 1965 as thousands of teenagers turned their television knobs manually over to ABC to see The Kinks, The Who, Manfred Mann, The Hollies, and Gerry and The Pacemakers on the music show Shindig!, hosted by Los Angeles disc jockey Jimmy O’Neill. Sadly the show couldn’t keep booking at that talent level, and fell victim to the then 3 major network ratings war, and was replaced with Batman in 1966.

Led Zeppelin had been in America for the first time for all of six days tonight in 1968, having played Denver, Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland when they came back to Washington to play the Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball arena in Spokane tonight, still the opening act for Vanilla Fudge. Their first album still hadn’t been released, and some student promoter billed them as Len Zefflin on the posters, but word of mouth had spread and someone showed up with recording equipment. The show was spread far and wide as an illegal “bootleg” for years, but thanks to British copyright expiration laws Jimmy Page will have to release it in 2017 if he ever wants to see any royalties.


Having dropped in at the White House several days earlier to ask President Richard Nixon to be appointed a “Federal Agent at Large for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs“…there was no such government position, but Nixon had a badge made for him anyway thinking it would score points with “the kids”…Elvis Presley used it today in 1970 to get a V.I.P. tour of F.B.I headquarters in D.C., and ask for and receive a special permit to carry a firearm in all 50 states.

George Harrison nearly followed his Beatle mate John Lennon to a death at the hand of an obsessed nutter today in 1999 when 36 year old Michael Abram of Liverpool broke in to his Friar Park estate and attacked with a knife. George would be hospitalized with 40 stab wounds after his wife Olivia subdued the attacker beating him repeatedly with a fireplace poker and a lamp. George released a statement to concerned fans, “He wasn’t a burglar, and he certainly wasn’t auditioning for The Traveling Wilburys“, but during treatment doctors discovered the lung cancer that would kill him in 2001.

Queen Elizabeth’s annual Honours List included two rockers today 1999, Slade singer Noddy Holder (MBE), and Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler (OBE).

A funeral was held in London today in 2002 for The Clash frontman Joe Strummer, who’d been killed by a heart attack at age 50 a few days earlier.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Ellis Otha Bates would be 88, he died at 79, better known by his stage name Bo Diddley.

Singer Del Shannon would be 82 if he’d made it past 55.

Felix Pappalardi, Cream and Youngbloods producer later a founding member of Mountain would be 77 if his wife hadn’t shot him in 1983.

The Monkees singer, guitarist, and eventual songwriter Michael Nesmith is 74.

The Monkees singer Davy Jones would be 71, he passed in 2012.

Heyday Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker is 70.

America’s unofficial Punk Poet Laureate and RRHOF inductee Patti Smith is 70.

The Move and Traveling Wilburys and just inducted into the RRHOF for his work with The Electric Light Orchestra, singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer Jeff Lynne is 69.




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