American rockabilly guitarist Eddie Cochran was a huge influence on budding British rockers, so it was no surprise he was at #1 on their charts today in 1960 with Three Steps to Heaven. Sadly though, he’d been killed in a car crash there three months earlier while on tour with Gene Vincent.
The Beatles had their 10th consecutive #1 single in England today in 1966, with Paperback Writer b/w Rain. It was different from other Beatles singles to that point in that John Lennon had complained to EMI records that the bass sound was much louder on a Wilson Pickett record he’d bought, and wondered why Paul’s Hoffner didn’t compare. George Martin’s engineering staff not only turned it up, but found a new piece of mastering equipment they used to make it sound louder on record.
Chubby Checker is usually remembered as a squeaky clean performer, but today in 1970, not too long after releasing a cover of The Beatles‘ Back In The USSR he was arrested in Niagara Falls for possession of marijuana and “other drugs”.
Alice Cooper had taken his Welcome to my Nightmare tour just north of us in Vancouver BC tonight in 1975 when he fell from the elaborate stage set up, breaking six ribs, which as your This Day In Classic Rock reporter recently found out, doctors can’t do much for and take a long and painful time to heal. Alice no doubt self-medicated, which he would do with some gusto for another 10 years.
Paul McCartney and Wings played the final show of their Wings Over America tour tonight in 1976 at The Forum in Inglewood California. The 3 shows there were filmed and recorded, as they had been 13 days earlier at Seattle’s Kingdome. Surprisingly for fans who were there and complained of the echo-y sound in the massive concrete cavern, the Seattle show would make up a large part of the concert movie Rockshow, which would be released on videotape in 1980, and with microphones placed up close it sounds quite good. At tonight’s L.A. show, Paul would be presented with a bouquet of flowers on stage by his old Beatle-mate Ringo Starr.
62 year old Gregg Allman successfully had a new-to-him liver installed by doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida today in 2010. Greg said “I changed my ways years ago, but we can’t turn back time…every day is a gift.” He got almost another full 7 years, finally leaving us back on May 27th.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Crickets original other guitar player Niki Sullivan would be 80 if he’d made it past 66. He was Buddy Holly’s third cousin, wore glasses like Buddy, and was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of the Crickets in 2011.
Stuart Suttcliffe would be 77. He was The Beatles original bass player, who’d decided to quit the band for art school and stay with his German girlfriend Astrid Kercherr while they were in Hamburg, but not before she’d given them all the “Mop Top” haircuts that would become their trademark after guitarist Paul McCartney moved to bass. Sadly Stu died in Hamburg a year after leaving of a brain aneurism at 22.
Robert Hunter is 76. Though he does play guitar he was considered a “non performing” member of The Grateful Dead, having written most of their lyrics, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with them in 1984.