The Who were playing the last two shows of a European tour in Denmark tonight in 1965, when at the end an argument over something stupid no one can remember broke out among all four band members. As often happened in the early days, singer Roger Daltrey was quick to use his fists, and gave drummer Keith Moon a knuckle sandwich that knocked him out cold. The others were appalled, and Roger, who’d been the band’s leader and financial manager in the early days, was kicked out of the band. As often happened in the early days, all was forgiven the next day.
Pink Floyd played the first of three nights at the Fillmore in San Francisco tonight in 1967, their first American dates ever.
Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones was in a London court today in 1968, being fined £50, plus 100 Guineas in court costs, for possession of cannabis.
The Beatles released Abbey Road today in 1969, their 11th and final studio album, though the aborted Get Back project would later be gussied up by producer Phil Spector and released as Let It Be after they’d broken up. It would be the last time they recorded with George Martin at EMI’s studios, which would be forever known as “Abbey Road”. Though none of them referred to it as their last album at the time, they all knew this would be the final Beatle product, and wanted to go out on a high note. Reviews were mixed initially, with some calling it “inauthentic” and criticizing Martin’s studio wizardry, but many more consider it their finest work, and Abbey Road remains their best-selling album.
Singer Bruce Dickinson left his band Samson, who he felt were only interested in drugs, alcohol, and getting laid, and joined Iron Maiden today in 1981, who he’d seen when they opened for Samson. “‘I wanna f***ing sing for that band. In fact, I’m going to sing for that band! I know I’m going to sing for that band!’, he said later, “I just thought, ‘This is really me. Not Samson.” He is not to be confused with the fictional record producer Bruce Dickinson, as portrayed by actor Christopher Walken in a Saturday Night Live sketch parodying a VH1 “behind the music” episode featuring Blue Öyster Cult.
The Go Go’s made history today in 1981 as the first all-female band to both write and perform their own songs to top the album charts, when their debut album Beauty and The Beat started a 6 week run at #1.
AC/DC released their 12th studio album Ballbreaker today in 1995. Using uber-producer Rick Rubin, the record featured the return of drummer Phil Rudd, who’d been booted out the band in 1983 for drinking and drug problems, and getting in a fist fight with rhythm guitarist and songwriter Malcolm Young.
British singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Robert Palmer died today in 2003 at age 54, not because he was “addicted to love”, but of a heart attack in Paris where he’d been “on holiday” with his close friend Jack Bruce of Cream.
Jerry Lee Lewis released Last Man Standing today in 2006. The title referred to the original Sun Records roster of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johny Cash, Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee “The Killer” himself, who was the last surviving member. The record was a series of duets with other famous performers: Jimmy Page, Ringo Starr, Bruce Springsteen, B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Neil Young, Robbie Robertson, John Fogerty, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Eric Clapton, Don Henley, Kris Kristofferson, Toby Keith, Buddy Guy, Delaney Bramlett, Little Richard, Willie Nelson, Rod Stewart, and for some reason, Kid Rock.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Youngbloods drummer Joe Bauer would be 75. He died of a brain tumor in 1982.
Clive Powell is 74, better known by his stage-name Georgie Fame, one of a handful of good looking early British singers managed by the flamboyantly gay impresario Larry Parnes, who was adamant about his performers adopting stage names he made up, like Billy Fury (Ron Wycherley and later some other guy), Vince Eager (Roy Taylor), Dickie Pride (Richard Kneller), and Johnny Gentle (John Askew, who in ’60 used The Silver Beatles as his backing band for a tour of Scotland, with Parnes famously dismissing his suggestion that he sign them). Unlike these other late 50’s and early 60’s Brit Crooners, Powell could play, and still does gigs on keyboards with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings and Van Morrison’s band.
Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry (CBE) is 72. He’s also somewhat famous for sleeping with all the models who appeared on Roxy Music album covers, including the French Amanda Lear, who later dated David Bowie, and Texan model Jerry Hall, who left him for Mick Jagger.