The Beatles song She Loves You was released in the U.S. today in 1963 on Swan Records. It had gone on sale at the end of August at home in Britain with over half a million advance orders, some fans plunked their money down as early as June, but on it’s release here it got a good review in Billboard magazine, placed third in New York DJ “Murray the K”‘s listener’s weekly top 5, and it had been mentioned but largely ignored on American Bandstand’s “rate a record” feature, but otherwise had got very little radio airplay and didn’t sell well at all. Manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin were puzzled as to why they were having hit after hit at home, and with Capitol Records and Vee-Jay Records feuding over royalties had given Swan a two-year license for the song in hopes a different label would give them the push they didn’t get until January, when I Want to Hold Your Hand would hit the #1 spot, boosted by their early February appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and She Loves You would rocket to #2.
Tom Driberg, a Labour Party Member of England’s House of Commons first elected a s a Communist in 1942, introduced a motion in Parliament today in 1966 to “officially deplore” the actions of a court magistrate who had referred to The Rolling Stones as “Complete morons who wear filthy clothes”.
England’s Melody Maker magazine released their annual “reader’s poll” today in 1970, and for the first time in 8 years The Beatles weren’t selected as “best group”. That honor went to a two-year-old band started by former studio musician and producer Jimmy Page called Led Zeppelin.
He didn’t know it at the time, but when Jimi Hendrix got up on stage at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London’s Soho neighborhood tonight in 1970 to jam with Eric Burdon’s new band War, it would be his last public performance ever as he’d be dead in less than 48 hours.
29 year old T Rex frontman Marc Bolan was killed instantly tonight in 1977 when the purple Mini Cooper driven by his girlfriend Gloria Jones crashed into a tree in Southwest London. Jones suffered a broken arm and jaw, and was taken to a hospital, where she would learn of Marc’s death the day after his funeral. Bolan had often mentioned cars in his songs, yet was quite frightened by them and never learned to drive, but nonetheless he owned a white Rolls Royce he had lent to the band Hawkwind that night. As the news hit radio, fans looted his house, which was less than a mile away from the crash site, which has since become a shrine to Bolan, now owned and maintained by the T Rex Action Group.
After doing a warm-up show at The Showbox theater two nights earlier, Seattle’s Pearl Jam officially started their No Code tour at the Key Arena tonight in 1996 with longtime Seattle band The Fastbacks (Roosevelt Rock and Roll High School’s Duff McKagen was their first of many drummers) opening, as they did on the entire tour. It would make only 12 stops in North America as the band were still refusing to play arenas controlled by Ticketmaster.
Items sold at a Sotheby’s auction in London today in 1998 included a notebook owned by The Beatles friend and roadie Mal Evans which contained the lyrics to Hey Jude (£111,500), a denim jacket once owned by John Lennon (£9,200), and the skimpy Union Jack dress once worn by Spice Girls singer Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell. No one bothered to ask how Mal Evans had ended up with Ginger Spice’s dress.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Blues guitarist B.B. King would be 92 if he hadn’t passed in 2015.
The Hollies bass and keyboard player Bernie Calvert is 75.
The Small Faces drummer Kenny Jones is 69. As a member of one of England’s most popular “Mod” bands, he was friendly with The Who, who asked him to replace their drummer Keith Moon when he died in 1978, but singer Roger Daltrey felt his skills on the kit weren’t up to Moon standards and replaced him with Simon Phillips for their “reunion” tour in 1989.
Ron Blair, the original bass player for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is 69. He left the band in 1982, but returned 20 years later to replace his replacement Howie Epstein, who had overdosed on heroin.