It was tonight in 1968 that John Lennon and Paul McCartney agreed to appear on NBC’s Tonight Show, but Johnny Carson was on vacation and the show was being guest hosted by baseball great Joe Garagiola. the three chatted about songwriting, their new Apple record label, and meditation.
It was today in 1976 that Yardbirds singer Keith Relf was found by his 8 year old son Danny at their home in London, his hands still involuntarily clenching the ungrounded electric guitar that killed him at 33. Danny and his mother April would be on hand when the Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
Led Zeppelin reunited, with John Bonham’s son Jason on drums, for the first time tonight in 1988 at Madison Square Garden in New York for Atlantic Records 40th anniversary party. The other acts included Genesis, Wilson Pickett, Crosby Stills and Nash, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Foreigner.
Legendary blues guitarist B.B. King died in his sleep tonight in 2015 of a stroke at age 89. Rolling Stone magazine moved him up to #3 on their list of the Top 100 Guitarists of all time, behind Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman, but just ahead of Eric Clapton, who is absolutely fine with being just behind B.B.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
John Symon Asher “Jack” Bruce, the bass player with Cream, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the Graham Bond Organization, and more would be 74 if he hadn’t passed just before Halloween in 2014.
Gene Cornish is 73, guitarist with The Young Rascals.
The head Talking Head, Scottish-born David Byrne is 65 and these days less interested in music and more in performance art. He’s dabbled in pieces using Microsoft’s PowerPoint, and authored a musical about former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos called Here Lies Love that’s currently playing at Seattle’s Bagley Wright Theater.
Singer Ian Astbury of The Cult is 55. He wanted to be a singer after hearing The Doors song The End in Apocalypse Now, and ended up standing in for Jim Morrison in several Doors reunions.
Mike Inez is 51 today, the former bass player with Ozzy Osbourne’s band who replaced the late Mike Starr in Seattle’s Alice In Chains in 1993.