The Beach Boys played their first show as The Beach Boys tonight in 1961 at the Long Beach Civic Auditorium. They didn’t know their record company had changed their name from The Pendletones (named after an Oregon-made wool shirt popular with surfers) until they got boxes of their first single Surfin’.
The Kinks played their first ever live show tonight in 1963 at the Lotus House restaurant in London. Their main man Ray Davies was upgraded to a full Knight (KBE) from a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth in her 2016 Honours List.
Paul McCartney filed a lawsuit against Apple Corps Ltd. and his former band mates in The Beatles seeking to dissolve their partnership today in 1970.
AC/DC played their first ever live show tonight in 1973 at the Chequers Bar in Sydney Australia.
Max’s Kansas City nightclub in New York closed today in 1982. It had been a launching point for bands as diverse as The New York Dolls, Bruce Springsteen, and The Velvet Underground.
Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen was on his way to a New Year’s Eve Party today in 1984 on the A57 Motorway outside his native Sheffield England in his brand new Corvette, when the driver of a Jaguar E-Type challenged him to a race, then got ahead and would not let him pass. Rick tried anyway, and lost control and left the road. He was thrown from the car and lost his left arm. Where most bands would have started looking for a new drummer immediately, Def Leppard told him “Way to go dumbass, you’d better figure out how you’re going to play drums now”, earning them undying respect of only every single drummer in the world. The Simmons electronic drum company jumped at the chance to construct a special kit he could play one-handed.
Ricky Nelson, real life son of Ozzie and Harriet and childhood star of their TV and Radio show turned rockabilly singer, was killed today in 1985 along with 6 others when their chartered small airplane crashed in Texas, rumored to be caused by an explosion that was the result of freebasing cocaine.
Ted Nugent delivered 200 pounds of venison to the Salvation Army soup kitchen in Detroit today in 1991 with the message “I kill it, you grill it”.
Paul McCartney could officially add “Sir” to his name today in 1996 after being made a full Knight of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the annual Queen’s Honours List.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Police guitarist Andy Summers is 73. A bit older than bandmates Sting or Stewart Copeland, Andy was one of the first guitarists to see Jimi Hendrix perform in London in 1966.
Folksinger Henry John Deutschendorf would be 72 if he hadn’t been killed when his experimental plane ran out of fuel off the California coast. Better known by his stage name John Denver, he was just 53.
The Guess Who singer and keyboard player Burton Cummings is 68.
Aerosmith bass player Tom Hamilton is 64.
The Replacements guitarist singer and songwriter Paul Westerberg is 57.