Exactly one year after topping the charts for 8 weeks with Rock Around The Clock, Bill Haley and His Comets were denied permission to play at the Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City today in 1956, with the city council passing an ordinance that read, “Rock and roll music encourages juvenile delinquency and inspires young females in lewd bathing suits to perform obscene dances on the city’s beaches“. Oh my.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience opened for The Monkees on the second night of their planned 29 date tour in Miami tonight in 1967. After a second night of teenybopper Monkees fans screaming “We want Davy!” during Jimi’s set, it became apparent that the pairing wasn’t going to work no matter how much the desperately wanting to be hip Monkees wanted it to. Promoter Dick Clark and Experience manager Chas Chandler began discussing ways out, and came up with a fabricated story about a protest by the uber-conservative Daughters of the American Revolution.
The Beatles were at EMI Studios in London working on the album that would rename the place “Abbey Road” today in 1969 recording Paul McCartney’s song Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. John Lennon rejoined the group after spending a week in a hospital in Scotland following a car crash. He had a bed brought in for Yoko Ono to lie down on: She was pregnant with Sean and was injured more seriously than John. George Harrison would later describe Paul’s song as “one of those instant whistle-along tunes which some people hate, and other people really like. It’s a fun song, but it’s kind of a drag because Maxwell keeps on destroying everyone like his girlfriend then the school teacher, and then finally the judge”. Lennon was less polite, despite getting half the credit for Paul’s number under the Lennon/McCartney partnership: “It’s more of Paul’s granny music”.
Paul McCartney and Wings played their first-ever live show tonight in 1972 in the small French town of Chateauvillon. The bands lineup of Paul, his wife Linda, former Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine, session drummer Denny Seiwell, and Éire Apparent bass player Henry McCulloch traveled in a refurbished London double-decker bus with a quite psychedelic but very comfortable interior on what was Paul’s first tour since The Beatles gave it up in 1966.
Declan Patrick McManus quit his day job as a data entry clerk at Elizabeth Arden Cosmetics today in 1977 to become a full time musician, a job he would later refer to in his song I’m Not Angry as “the vanity factory”, and when he signed a recording contract with Stiff Records (Slogan: If it ain’t Stiff, it ain’t worth a f***) the label suggested he adopt a stage name made up from Elvis Presley’s first name and the last taken from the name his father had used as a big-band leader and he would be quite successful as Elvis Costello.
Cheap Trick, still going strong after their brilliant heyday, had their only #1 hit today in 1988 with a formulaic power ballad typical of that increasingly record company and radio controlled era, The Flame, a song many of their die-hard fans detest.
The Grateful Dead played Chicago’s Soldier Field tonight in 1995. They didn’t know it at the time, but it would be their last show with guitarist Jerry Garcia, who would die of a heart attack in a California rehab clinic a month later. In 2015 the rest of the band reconvened at Soldier Field to end the 5 show Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of The Grateful Dead tour they said would be the last.
Carlos Santana’s drummer Cindy Blackman had just finished a solo at their show in Tinley Park Illinois tonight in 2010 when he stopped the show to propose to her. They would marry in December.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Record producer and songwriter Lee Hazlewood would be 88. He died of cancer in 2007, but not before a famous period of collaboration with Nancy Sinatra that produced a monster hit (These Boots Are Made For Walkin’) and a sub-genre of music often called “Cowboy Psychedelia”.
AC/DC frontman Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott would be 71 if he hadn’t died of “acute alcohol poisoning” in 1980. Like his bandmates Angus and Malcolm Young, he was born in Scotland but moved to Australia as a wee lad. He’d been in a few bands before the Youngs tapped him as the replacement for their singer of the first 10 months, Dave Evans, despite thier concerns that he was “too old” (7 years over the oldest brother Malcolm, 9 older than Angus) as he fit their ideal of someone “like Gary Glitter“. They would become one of the biggest hard rock bands of the 70’s, but rather than break up when Bon died the band went with Geordie singer Brian Johnson, who Bon had seen and told Angus Young that if anything ever happened to him he should get, and became more successful than ever.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s drummer John Ronald “Mitch” Mitchell would be 71 if he hadn’t been found dead in his Portland hotel room in 2008 after a show on the “Experience Hendrix” tour. The last surviving member of the Experience was buried here in Seattle.
The widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and Hole frontwoman Courtney Love is 53, and thankfully left Seattle for Hollywood long ago.
Issac Brock, guitarist and singer with now-famous Issaquah band Modest Mouse is 42.