The song The Beatles had written under commission to the BBC for the world’s first live global satellite TV broadcast back in June (Our World) went to #1 today in 1967. All You Need Is Love would be their 14th top-of-the-pops hit, backed with Baby, You’re A Rich Man, which started as two separate songs. John Lennon’s One of the Beautiful People was mashed together with Paul McCartney’s song which retained it’s title and joining the band on the backing chorus was their friend Mick Jagger.
George Dunning’s animated feature Yellow Submarine premiered in London tonight in 1968. On the surface it was The Beatles third movie, but they had little to do with it other than writing and recording the songs the film was written around. Their speaking lines were voiced by actors, one of whom, Peter Batten, who was voicing the animated George Harrison, was arrested during one of the recording sessions for having deserted the British Army, and his parts were finished by Paul Angelis, who was voicing Ringo Starr and a Blue Meanie. Actor Lance Percival, who was the voice of the character “Fred” would go on to provide the voices of Paul and Ringo in ABC TV’s The Beatles American Saturday morning cartoon.
The Rolling Stones show in Montreal Canada tonight in 1972 was plagued by trouble. First a bomb, believed to have been placed by French separatists, exploded under an equipment van. Luckily no one was injured. Later, when some 3000 fans showed up with tickets that turned out to be counterfeit, they rioted, throwing rocks and bottles at police trying to send them home.
The Moody Blues opened what they claimed was the world’s first Quadrophonic recoding studio in London today in 1974, though four-channel “surround sound” had been around for two years. “Quad”never really took off in it’s first incarnation, as the playback system for vinyl records developed simultaneously by JVC and RCA didn’t work well, the 8-Track tape players would be short lived anyway, and the only true 4-channel playback systems used reel-to-reel tape, which was cumbersome for home users, and the audiophiles who’d bought them later sold their decks in droves to musicians who would use them as primitive sound-on-sound recorders as The Beatles had done in the 60’s.
Led Zeppelin played Seattle for the last time tonight in 1977, in the Kingdome. Your intrepid reporter was there, and during John Paul Jones’ piano solo during No Quarter, passed out due to the high temperatures (80 something outside, probably 110 inside) and being crushed on all sides by the crowd. I still need to thank the nameless hippie guy who helped me up and gave me water. He probably saved my life. Zeppelin would manage one more show in Arizona and two in Oakland before they got word that Robert Plant’s 5 year old son Karac had died of a stomach virus and their last tour of America was over.
Chas Chandler died today in 1996 at age 57 of an aneurism. He’d started his career as the bass player for The Animals, then moved on to artist management when he “discovered”, at the suggestion of one of Keith Richard’s American girlfriends, Seattle guitarist Jimi Hendrix in a New York nightclub and talked him into moving to England, where he hooked him up with Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding. Chas also managed Slade and singer Nick Drake, who were less successful on our side of the Atlantic.
The political division in America was apparent at the Aladdin Casino in Las Vegas tonight in 2004, when Linda Ronstadt dedicated her encore song Desperado to filmmaker Michael Moore, and urged the audience to go see his film Fahrenheit 9/11. A few George W. Bush supporters angrily stormed out, and a little less than half the crowd got up and followed.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Spencer Davis of The Spencer Davis Group is 78.
Iggy and The Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton would be 69 if he hadn’t died of a heart attack in 2009.
Black Sabbath bass player and songwriter Terrence Michael Joseph “Geezer” Butler is 68.
Mick Tucker, drummer for The Sweet, would be 68 if he hadn’t died of leukemia in 2002.