The Rolling Stones played the Ricky Tick Club tonight in 1963, a small place in an upstairs room of the Star and Garter Pub in Windsor England, near Eton College west of London. As often happens in college towns, “The Tick” became one of the more influential places to play in England in the 60’s for R&B bands, and the Stones felt they had arrived. The club helped introduce the American music they loved when The Supremes, The Temptations, and Stevie Wonder had all played there, and British acts that followed included The Who, The Yardbirds, The Pretty Things, Pink Floyd, Cream, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Jimmy Page played live with The Yardbirds for the first time tonight in 1966 at the Marquee Club in London, as a stand-in on bass. Eric Clapton had quit the band a little over a year earlier, the day For Your Love was released, over “musical differences”. He didn’t like their new psychedelic music (though he would later make some of his own in Cream) and joined purist John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, but not before recommending studio guitarist and producer Page as a replacement. Page wasn’t keen on touring, quite happily enjoying the freedom in freelancing, and turned them down but in turn suggested his friend Jeff Beck, and The Yardbirds scored several hits and toured America before bass player Paul Samwell-Smith announced he too was leaving. Pagey at this point had only agreed to fill in for Paul while rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja learned the bass parts, but soon was sharing lead guitar duties, and took them over entirely when moody perfectionist Beck was sacked in the midst of another American tour in October, then kept playing with them until they split in ’68, when he inherited the band’s name and contractual obligations, and played the first few shows of his new band Led Zeppelin as The New Yardbirds.
The Beatles recorded one of their more psychedelic numbers at Abbey Road today in 1966 from start to finish. She Said, She Said had come to John Lennon after a party at the Hollywood Hills house Brian Epstein had rented for them on tour the previous year. With all the attention they were getting police had blocked off roads in the neighborhood, and they’d felt like prisoners. One of the guests was the not-yet-famous son of actor Henry Fonda, Peter, who told Rolling Stone magazine, “I finally made my way past the kids and the guards. Paul and George were on the back patio, and the helicopters were patrolling overhead. They were sitting at a table under an umbrella in a rather comical attempt at privacy. Soon afterwards we dropped acid and began tripping for what would prove to be all night and most of the next day; all of us, including the original Byrds, eventually ended up inside a huge, empty, sunken tub in the bathroom, babbling our minds away.” What Peter had been babbling about was a childhood near-death experience when he’d accidentally shot himself. John said later, “”We didn’t want to hear about that! We were on an acid trip and the sun was shining and the girls were dancing…some from Playboy, I believe…and the whole thing was really beautiful and Sixties. And this guy – who I really didn’t know, he hadn’t made Easy Rider or anything – kept coming over, wearing shades, saying ‘I know what it’s like to be dead,’ and we kept leaving him because he was so boring. It was scary, when you’re flying high: ‘Don’t tell me about it. I don’t want to know what it’s like to be dead! You’re making me feel like I’ve never been born!” George added, “He was showing us his bullet wound. He was very uncool.”
Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore quit today in 1975 to start a new band with the singer, Ronnie James Dio, and several other members of Elf. They called it Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, later shortened to just Rainbow.
The Velvet Underground’s first drummer Angus MacLise died of tuberculosis today in 1979 at age 34. He’d quit the band in protest in 1965 when they’d agreed to accept $75 for playing a show. Angus was in it for art, and thought taking money for a gig was selling out. He was replaced by Mo Tucker. While songwriters Lou Reed and John Cale would go on to successful solo careers, the Velvet Underground were no where near as popular in their day as they are now. Brian Eno once said of the Andy Warhol managed band, “While the first Velvets record may have sold only 30,000 copies, everyone who bought one of those 30,000 started a band.”
Karen McNeil, a 39 year old Los Angeles woman who claimed she was the wife of Guns-N-Roses singer Axl Rose and communicated with him telepathically, was sentenced to one year in prison for stalking him today in 2000.
Some serious Classic Rock coattail riding tonight in 2011 when Maroon 5 performed their song Moves Like Jagger for the first time on the TV show The Voice, on which both the band’s singer Adam Levine and pop singer Christina Aguilera serve as “coaches”. Aguilera also sang on the recording, and appeared in the video, which uses film clips of The Rolling Stones singer.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Kinks rhythm guitarist, singer, and genius songwriter Ray Davies (CBE) is 73.
Miguel Danus, bass player for the first band from Spain to have a top hit in the U.S. and the U.K. with Black is Black, Los Bravos, is 73.
The Troggs guitarist Chris Britton is 72.
Badfinger guitarist Joey Molland is 70, and the only surviving member of that band’s heyday lineup.
Greg Mumford is 68. He was just 16 when he was asked by his friends in L.A. psychedelic band The Strawberry Alarm Clock to sing lead on what ended up being their one hit, Incense and Peppermints, but he never joined the band.
Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer is 67.
Multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren is 66. He’s played with Neil Young, Lou Reed, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band.