The Beatles played their first official show with Ringo Starr on drums tonight in 1962 at a horticultural society dance in Port Sunlight,just across the Mersey from Liverpool. John, Paul, and George were familiar with his work in the then more popular Liverpudlian band Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, and Ringo had sat in with them in Hamburg, but at the insistence of producer George Martin, they had sacked Pete Best two days earlier, and went on tonight with just two hours of practice, not a big deal at the time since most of their set was still cover songs Starr was already familiar with. But not all the Fab Four’s growing fan base was pleased, more than a few would show up at these early gigs with signs reading “Pete Forever, Ringo Never!”
By now the biggest band in the world, The Beatles landed in San Francisco today in 1964, at the start of their second 23 city visit to America. They were greeted by close to 10,000 screaming fans, only a slightly smaller number than the capacity of the Cow Palace in Daly City where they played the next night. Two nights later they’d make their first Seattle appearance in the first-ever rock show at the Seattle Center Coliseum, built two years earlier as the Washington State Pavilion for the World’s Fair. Interestingly, Paul McCartney would also headline the first musical performances at The Kingdome with Wings in 1976, and at Safeco Field in 2013 with his own band and the surviving members of Nirvana.
Mick Jagger was in Australia today in 1969, starring in the lead role as Australian folk hero Ned Kelly, when he was accidentally shot in the hand. It wasn’t the first mishap the film would endure. Many Australians were unhappy of the producer’s choice of a dirtbag rock and roller as the legendary Bush Ranger, and Mick’s girlfriend at the time Marianne Faithful, who’d taken on the female lead as Ned’s sister, had overdosed on sleeping pills apparently distraught over the breakup of their relationship.
Following the departure of their fist guitarist Henry Padovani after only two shows as a four-piece band, The Police played as the trio that got huge for the first time tonight in 1977 in Birmingham. Unhappy with Henry’s playing, Sting and Stewart Copeland had added guitarist Andy Summers, who was 10 years older, had served briefly with Eric Burdon and The Animals, and had been one of the first Brits to see Jimi Hendrix play in London.
Johnny Cash’s stepdaughter Carlene Carter married British rocker Nick Lowe of Rockpile in Los Angeles today in 1979. They would divorce 11 years later, and Carlene started a long-term relationship with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers bass player Howie Epstein.
The City of Liverpool renamed four streets in honor of it’s most famous citizens today in 1982: John Lennon Drive, Paul McCartney Way, George Harrison Close, and Ringo Starr Drive. They are all visited by the many “Magical Mystery Tour” buses that schlep tourists about the town to this day.
Bon Jovi released their third and best selling studio album Slippery When Wet today in 1986, recorded over 6 months just to the north of us in Vancouver B.C.
French fragrance maker Etat Libre D’Orange today in 2010 announced a partnership with The Sex Pistols to “Bottle the scent of the Punk Era”, with a caution: “To wear this scent, you must resist tradition, fight conformity, and disregard aromatic convention”.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Carl Wayne, singer of The Move (who would later morph into The Electric Light Orchestra) would be 74 if he’d made it past 61.
Foreigner’s original drummer Dennis Elliott is 67. He quit the band in 1991 to become a sculptor.
Seattle’s own Dan Peters is 50, most famously the drummer for Mudhoney, he also played with Bundle of Hiss and Feast, filled in with Nirvana between percussionists, and is an all-around super-nice guy.
Frances Bean Cobain, the only child of Kurt and Courtney, is 25. She was named for actress Frances Farmer, the “bad girl of West Seattle High School” who became a famous Hollywood actress in the late 30’s only to be institutionalized in a mental hospital by her mother when she decided she no longer wanted to be famous, a sentiment that resonated with Kurt when he wrote the Nirvana song Frances Farmer will Have Her Revenge On Seattle.