The vinyl pressing machines at Vee-Jay Records in Gary Indiana were churning out copies of The Beatles first American album Introducing The Beatles today in 1963. The American label was sure they had secured the rights from EMI in England, but Capitol Records of Hollywood were under the same impression, and when the record finally hit stores in January, Capitol would take Vee-Jay to court, and after a lengthy trial Capitol would get the rights to all Beatles recordings in America after October 15th 1964, and Vee-Jay would file for bankruptcy in 1966.
Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, and Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones were in a London court today in 1965 being fined £5 each for “insulting behaviour” relating to an incident where they’d stopped at a gas station to use the restroom. When the proprietor hadn’t liked the looks of them and told them to get lost, the three Stones, having to go badly, went around a corner and peed against a wall.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono spent the day at their Georgian estate “Tittenhurst Park” West of London today in 1971, making a promotional film (not yet called “rock videos”, though The Beatles all but invented them) for John’s song Imagine. The footage included the two strolling through the estate’s garden, and John playing a white Steinway piano John had given Yoko for her birthday that year. That piano would many years later be bought by pop singer George Michael for $2 million, but George apparently took John’s line “imagine no possessions” to heart, and donated it to The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool.
Stiff Records (Motto: If it Ain’t Stiff, It Ain’t worth a F***) released My Aim Is True, the debut album from Elvis Costello, today in 1977. Due to contractual obligations the backing musicians, all from the Marin County California band Clover, weren’t credited. Elvis would shortly tap Englishmen Steve Nieve, Bruce Thomas, and Pete Thomas to form his own backing band The Attractions.
Little Richard, back to being The Reverend Richard Penniman since swearing off rock and roll to become an evangelist for the second time, told his congregation about the evils of “the devil’s music” today in 1979, saying “If God can save an old homosexual like me, he can save anyone”. He’d be back to rocking the piano by 1984, and at age 83 still plays live upon occasion.
Donovan had to cancel his planned American “comeback” tour today in 1996 when he was denied entry into the country, with immigration officials citing an arrest for marijuana possession in the U.K. thirty years earlier.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Parliament and Funkadelic frontman George Clinton is 76.
Singer, guitarist, 60’s and 70’s teen heartthrob, and star of the Seattle-set TV show Here Come The Brides, Bobby Sherman is 74.
Rick Davies, singer and keyboard player with Supertramp, is 73.
The Eagles singing drummer and solo artist Don Henley is 70.