The Beatles made their second appearance on CBS’s The Ed Sullivan Show tonight in 1964, exactly one week after their first. Ed had been at Heathrow airport in London and saw the crowd they drew returning from a trip to Sweden, and determined not to repeat the mistake he’d made in not getting Elvis Presley on TV first, contacted their manager Brian Epstein with an offer of top dollar for one performance. Epstein, clever fellow, said they’d do it for much less money, but he wanted three consecutive shows with top billing and appearances at the beginning and end of each. Tonight’s show was broadcast from a hotel in Miami Florida where boxer Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) was training for a bout with Sonny Liston. Their meeting was used for publicity photos by both camps.
The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts wife Shirley was arrested in the airport in Nice, France today in 1972 for swearing at and hitting French customs officials. Shirley and Charlie are still married.
Led Zeppelin played in Australia for the first time tonight in 1972 at an Australian Rules Football stadium in Perth. Some 4000 more fans than there were tickets showed up, and police arrested some 500 of them trying to smash through a gate, and police department phones were clogged with noise complaints.
Emerson Lake and Palmer were playing in the Mormon capitol Salt Lake City tonight in 1974 when all three members and some female guests decided it might be fun to go skinny-dipping in their hotel’s pool. They were all arrested for indecent exposure and fined $75 each.
Cher marked her ex-husband Sonny Bono’s 40th birthday by debuting her new CBS Television variety show Cher tonight in 1975. Though she had won Emmy awards for The Sonny and Cher Show, Bono’s own solo foray a year earlier on ABC The Sonny Comedy Revue had been cancelled after 13 episodes. The Cher show didn’t last much longer, only two seasons, but it included groundbreaking performers like David Bowie, and included at least one female guest each time.
Cat Stevens, having changed his name to Yusuf Islam after converting to Islam in 1978 (born as Steven Giorgiou), was awarded a “substantial” out-of-court settlement today in 2005 after suing British newspapers The Sun and The Sunday Times for publishing articles connecting him to terrorism.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Sonny Bono would be 82. He started as a songwriter who’s songs were covered by the likes of Sam Cooke and The Rolling Stones while working for producer Phil Spector, and with second wife Cherylin “Cher” Sakisian started the singing duo that made him famous, and had moved on to politics when he was killed at age 63 when he hit a tree while skiing at Lake Tahoe, which was tragic to be sure but it saved many more lives when it got skiers wearing helmets.