Bo Diddley had his first ever recording session today in 1955 at Universal Recording Studio in Chicago, laying down a song he called Bo Diddley. It would top the R&B charts in June, and introduce the world to the “Bo Diddley Beat”, copied in thousands of songs.
Elvis Presley had finished his service with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Division in Germany when his plane landed for refueling in Glasgow Scotland today in 1960 on the way back home. The soldiers would get out to stretch their legs, making this the only time The King ever set foot on U.K. soil despite the fact that he would be a huge influence on the British rockers that would “invade” America four years later.
The Beatles started in on filming their first feature film, yet to be named A Hard Days Night, at the Marylebone train station in London today in 1964, filming scenes where they run from crazed fans. It was in a train car a few days later that George Harrison would meet his future wife Pattie Boyd, cast as a star-struck schoolgirl.
A Los Angeles cop pulled over a rental Lincoln Continental that had run a red light in Hollywood today in 1975, and was surprised to find Paul McCartney behind the wheel, with his wife Linda in the passenger seat. He was also surprised to detect the strong odor of Marijuana, and on further investigation found 8 ounces of weed, but apparently the cop had been a Beatles fan, because he only arrested Linda. It wasn’t their first run-in with cops over their enjoyment of cannabis, and wouldn’t be the last.
British mod revivalists The Jam, having just signed a contract with Polydor Records, played the first of 5 consecutive Wednesday nights at the Red Cow club in London’s Hammersmith neighborhood tonight in 1977. While Americans would lump the band in with “punk” movement stars The Clash and The Sex Pistols, The Jam borrowed their sound more from The Who and The Kinks.
21 years after it had been released, All Right Now by Free was back on the charts at #2 today in 1991, given new life by it’s use in a Wrigley’s chewing gum commercial.
Canadian blues guitarist Jeff Healey died of cancer today in 2008 at age 41. He’d lost his sight to a rare form of eye cancer and had them removed at 8 months old, and lived cancer-free for 38 years. He taught himself to play guitar, developing his own unique style of holding it in his lap beginning at age three.
Liverpool Hope University began offering a Masters Degree in Beatle Studies today in 2009.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Velvet Underground guitarist, singer and songwriter Lou Reed would be 75 if he hadn’t died in 2013.
Irish blues guitarist Rory Gallagher would be 69, he died at 47 from a combination of booze and a heavy sedative he’d been given to deal with his fear of flying.
The Carpenters singing drummer Karen Carpenter would be 67 if she hadn’t died from complications of anorexia nervosa at age 32.
AC/DC bass player Mark Evans is 61. He was booted from the band over “musical differences” (they wanted a better bass player who could sing backup vocals, and he didn’t get along with bandleader Malcolm Young) in 1977. When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the band was to be inducted in 2002 Evans was listed among the members, but his name was removed six weeks later with no explanation given.
John Cowsill, the singing drummer for the family-band The Partridge Family were inspired by, The Cowsills, is 61. He currently plays in the touring version of The Beach Boys.
Jay Osmond, sixth of the Osmond Family boys and the drummer of the Mormon family band, is 61.
John Francis Bongiovi Jr. is 55, better known by his stage name Jon Bon Jovi.