The Beatles were at the Playhouse Theater in London today in 1963, recording their segment of the 5th Anniversary show of the “Saturday Club” radio programme that ran in October. The Saturday Club was one of the first in England to broadcast “pop music”, and the Beatles included this special message:
The Doors were in London today in 1968 for the first of two nights at The Roundhouse. The sold-out shows were taped for Granada TV to be shown later as “The Doors Are Open“. In the audience: The Rolling Stones and Traffic.
Led Zeppelin played live together for the first time tonight in 1968 at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in suburban Copenhagen under the name The New Yardbirds, as Jimmy Page still had contractual obligations to fulfill having inherited the name of his old band. The set list from Pagey (in no particular order): Train Kept ‘A Rolling, For Your Love, I Can’t Quit You Baby, As Long as I Have You, Dazed and Confused, Communication Breakdown, Flames, You Shook Me, White Summer, Pat’s Delight (John Bonham Drum Solo), Babe I’m Gonna Leave You and How Many More Times. A local Danish review of the show stated “The New Yardbirds are at least as good as the old ones”.
David Bowie was at Trident studios in London today in 1971, starting work on what would become his best album: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars, which Bowie based on Brit rock singer Vince Taylor, who had recently suffered a nervous breakdown and was convinced that he was a cross between a god and an alien.
British Pub-rock band The 101’ers made their debut tonight in 1974, sporting a frontman who would later become more widely known as Joe Strummer of The Clash.
The Who’s mild-mannered drummer Keith Moon had returned early this morning in 1978 from a screening of The Buddy Holly Story (scheduled for Holly’s birthday) where he had been the guest of Paul McCartney. On returning to the apartment he was borrowing from Harry Nilsson (where Cass Elliott had died four years earlier) he watched a movie (the Vincent Price film The Abominable Doctor Phibes), and then asked his girlfriend to make him a breakfast of steak and eggs. When she refused he uttered what would turn out to be his last words, “Well if you don’t like it you can just f*** off.” Keith was working with a new doctor trying to combat his chronic alcoholism, and the doctor had given him a full bottle of a powerful sedative prescribed for withdrawal symptoms often used in rehab clinics, but not suggested for home use. The doctor, unfamiliar with Keith’s nature, had instructed him to take one pill, but not more than three a day, when he felt symptoms come on. Keith took 32 of them at once. 6 would have been enough to kill him. He was just 32. He would be cremated on September 13th.
Warren Zevon died today in 2003 of Mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer usually associated with asbestos exposure. Zevon had a lifelong phobia of doctors, refused treatments he felt might have incapacitated him, and later admitted “I might have made a tactical error in not going to a Physician for 20 years”.
The Zippo lighter company released a list of The Greatest Lighter In The Air Songs Of All Time today in 2010. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody was number one, Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven was number two, and Meat Loaf’s I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) was number 3. By this time crowds at rock shows were far more likely to use the light of their cellphones than hold up a lighter, which was more often a Bic disposable.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Buddy Holly would be 81 today had he not died at 22 in a plane crash in 1959 “The Day The Music Died”.
Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders is 66.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboard player Benjamin Montgomery “Benmont” Tench is 64.