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The Beatles Meet The Maharishi, Def Leppard Piss Off El Paso, And Mick Avory’s Birthday: This Day In Classic Rock [Videos]

Singer Jackie Wilson was at his New York apartment today in 1961 when a female fan, Juanita Jones showed up demanding to see him. She had a gun. He tried to take it away from her, but it went off, wounding him in the stomach. We have no idea what Jackie Wilson said, as in the Van Morrison song, but it was probably something like “don’t shoot me”.

John and Cynthia Lennon and George and Patti Harrison flew to India today in 1968 to begin a three-month spiritual “guide course” with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr would join them a few days later. Ringo was quickly bored, did not care at all for spicy Indian food, and left 10 days later, comparing the experience to a British Butlin’s Holiday Camp (Ringo’s old band Rory Storm and the Flames had played Butlin’s camps before he joined The Beatles). When an electronics tech in their entourage who went by “Magic Alex” told them the Maharishi had made sexual advances toward several of the women and suggested he might be manipulating them, they began to question being there.  Most of the songs on the White Album were written there, the last one being about John’s disillusionment of the whole affair he called Maharishi, which he later changed to Sexy Sadie. Paul later said “We made a mistake. We thought there was more to him than there was.”

The Sex Pistols original bass player Glen Matlock was booted from the band today in 1977, to be replaced by a guy who couldn’t really play the instrument, John “Sid Vicious” Ritchie. Matlock said he’d been fired because he liked The Beatles, but was invited back when the band reunited in the 90’s for a tour that included at stop at Seattle’s Bumbershoot.

Guitarist #22 on the Rolling Stone magazine Top 100 of all time list, Mike Bloomfield, was found dead of a heroin overdose in his car in San Francisco today in 1981. He’d played in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Electric Flag, and was central to Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited album.

Def Leppard were forced to cancel their gig in El Paso Texas scheduled for tonight in 1988, after receiving numerous threats after singer Joe Elliot had referred to the city in an interview as “The place with all those greasy Mexicans”.

Kelly Emberg, the ex-girlfriend of singer Rod Stewart who’d lived with him from 1985 to 1990, filed a $25 million palimony suit against him in a Los Angeles court today in 1991. Rod later said, “Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just buy her a house.”

A three-bedroom apartment rented by The Beatles in 1963 where they took the famous photographs of them leaning over the railing outside in ’63 and again with considerably more hair in ’68, sold today in 2008 for £1.75 million.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

British recording engineer and producer Glyn Johns is 75. He worked on an astonishing number of the records we play at KZOK by The Who, The Faces, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Band, The Eagles, The Clash, Blue Öyster Cult, The Steve Miller Band, and many more. He’s been inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame, and in 2015 published an autobiography titled Soundman. He’s the older brother of Andy Johns, who produced The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix, and his son Ethan Johns has produced records by Paul McCartney, Ryan Adams, and The Kings of Leon.

Guitarist Denny Zager is 73. Half of the one-hit wonder duo Zager and Evans, he now teaches guitar in his native Lincoln, Nebraska, and sells modified “E-Z Play Guitars” and on line instruction on his website.

Drummer Mick Avory is 73. He played briefly in a band that would become The Rolling Stones before joining The Kinks, where his tempestuous relationship with lead guitarist Dave Davies got the band banned from playing in the United States in the late 60’s (they were famous for physically fighting on stage, and horrified stage hands got their union to ban them when Mick beaned Dave in the head with his high-hat cymbal stand), and seems to be the only impediment to a Kinks reunion now that Dave and brother Ray have patched their relationship back together.


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