Elvis Presley played three shows today in 1955 at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa Florida, and after the last in the evening, the King jokingly said from the stage at the end of his set, “Girls, I’ll see you backstage!” He’d regret that almost immediately as a large number of the female members of the 14,000 strong crowd chased him into his dressing room, tearing off his clothes and stealing his shoes.
Ringo Starr, at this point still going by his given name Richard Starkey, is believed to be the first of The Beatles to appear at Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club tonight in 1957. Ringo was playing with the Eddie Clayton skiffle group. John Lennon would play there for the first time a week later, with The Quarrymen skiffle group, and Paul McCartney and George Harrison wouldn’t join the band for another year. It would also be a while before John would boldly break the clubs rule of “Jazz and Skiffle only”, and start playing rock and roll.
An appeals court in London heard the cases today in 1967 of The Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, who’d served one night of a rather lengthy prison sentence for possession of amphetamine pills without a proper prescription (he had one, but it was from a foreign doctor), and guitarist Keith Richards, who’d also served one night of his prison sentence for allowing cannabis resin to be smoked at his house. Mick was given a “conditional discharge”, while Keith’s case was thrown out completely. Both had been the targets of a high profile media-led witch hunt after an article documenting the horrors of rock stars and drugs, but the harsh sentences they’d been given for the very small amount of contraband actually found had by now swayed public opinion in their favor. Mick and Keith wrote the song We Love You as their way of thanking fans for their support: It starts with the sound of a prison door being slammed shut.
The Beatles recorded a song Paul McCartney had written for John Lennon’s son Julian on the breakup and divorce of his parents, Hey Jude, today in 1968. They were working at Trident Studios in London, which had brand new, state of the art Ampex 8-Track recorders, unlike their usual haunt, EMI’s studio on Abbey Road, which was still using old 4-track equipment.
The Eagles were playing the last night of their Long Run tour in Long Beach California tonight in 1980, what they would later call “The Long Night at Wrong Beach”. Glenn Frey and Don Felder spent almost the entire show threatening each other between songs. Frey remembers Felder telling him toward the end of the set, “Only three more songs until I kick your ass”, and Felder recalled thinking, “We’re out there singing Best Of My Love, but inside both of us were thinking ‘as soon as this is over I’m gonna kill him'”. They never did get to fisticuffs, and simply broke up, but they were still under contract to provide one more album to Elektra Records, so Frey and Don Henley mixed recordings from the tour into Eagles Live, which they did in recording studios on opposite ends of the North American continent, as neither could stand to be in the same room with the other. Henley’s often repeated response to the question “When will The Eagles get back together?”,,,”When hell freezes over” would be used as the name for their reunion tour, which Frey would introduce from the stage with the comment “For the record, we never broke up, we just took a 14 year vacation.”
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Herman’s Hermits bass player Karl Green is 70.
R.E.M.’s original drummer Bill Berry is 59. He quit the band in 1997 after suffering a brain aneurism.