Session guitarist Danny Cedrone had recorded one of rock and roll’s earliest and most famous leads just ten days earlier on Bill Haley and His Comets Rock Around The Clock. Haley was cheap, and didn’t want to hire a full time lead player, and paid Cedrone just $21 for his effort, which Danny didn’t get to enjoy long when today in 1954 he was killed when he broke his beck falling down a staircase.
The New York Academy of music sported the first-ever American performances tonight in 1965 of two British bands that would later become staples of Classic Rock: The Kinks and The Moody Blues.
Singer-songwriter Carole King went to #1 with an album of her own today in 1971 with Tapestry, which had major hits in It’s Too Late, I Feel the Earth Move, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, and You’ve Got A Friend, but they weren’t her first hits. She’d started writing songs in school with her friend Paul Simon, and later with partner Gerry Goffin had a remarkable string of 118 Billboard hits with songs covered by Little Eva (the Loco-Motion), The Shirelles (the aforementioned Will You Love Me Tomorrow), The Beatles (Chains), The Drifters (Up on the Roof), The Monkees (Pleasant Valley Sunday), and Aretha Franklin (You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman) to name but a few.
Don McLean also had an album called Tapestry, which hadn’t gone anywhere, but his second album American Pie was another story. Interestingly the title track wasn’t the first hit on it. The song Vincent went to #1 in England today in 1972. Written about 19th century artist Vincent Van Gogh, the song is played on a continuous loop at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam to this day.
American soul singer Jimmy Helms had to pull out of his scheduled gig at Shoreditch College in East London today in 1977, so the school’s social committee decided it couldn’t hurt to ask, and sent a message to a piano player who lived in the neighborhood to see if he could come save the show. Much to their surprise, Elton John agreed to do it for two bottles of wine.
FLORIDA real estate agent Victoria Holman filed a lawsuit against Mötley Crüe today in 1987, also charging the concert promoter for irreparable hearing loss she and her daughter suffered at a show three years earlier when they were put in seats just 10 feet away from the main speakers. Ms. Holman settled out of court for a little over $30,000.
Ozzy Osbourne was having throat troubles, and had to cancel his appearance at his own Ozzfest festival in Columbus Ohio tonight in 1997. Fans were not happy at all, and broke windows, uprooted trees, and overturned cars.
Bruce Springsteen broke his own record for his longest show tonight in 2012, when he played 32 songs, clocking in at 3 hours 48 minutes in Madrid Spain.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Cliff Gallup, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the lead guitarist with Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, would be 87 if he hadn’t died in 1988.
Session guitarist Chris Spedding is 73. He played on albums by Harry Nilsson, Roger Daltrey, Elton John, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker...separately…and many others. He played in a dozen bands that never made it, but his one Top 20 solo hit in England from 1975, Motorbikin’, is a staple of Motorcycle enthusiast gatherings worldwide to this day.
Seattle-born keyboard player and singer Greg Rolie is 70. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with Santana, he was also the original lead singer for the then jazz-fusion-rock band Journey before quitting in 1980 after being upstaged as lead singer by sappy chick rock crooner Steve Perry.
Phillip “Chevron” Ryan would be 60 if cancer hadn’t got him at 56. The guitarist and songwriter was in Dublin area punk rock bands with some success in the late 70’s, but in the 80’s joined the Irish Folk revivalists The Pogues, heard in every halfway Irish bar especially on St. Paddy’s Day ever since.
Eric Boucher is 59, better known by his stage name Jello Biafra lead singer of San Francisco’s most famous punk band The Dead Kennedys (’78-’86). Their songs were noted for his sense of humor and political activism, which he carried over into a run for Mayor of San Francisco under the slogan “There’s always room for Jello…” (he came in 4th behind now U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein), and for the Green Party Presidential nomination ( he came in second behind Ralph Nader).
Michael Monroe is 55, lead singer of 80’s metal band (and possibly the most famous one ever to come out of Helsinki Finland), Hanoi Rocks.