The Beatles did a bit motoring today in 1962, playing a lunchtime show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, then hopping on the M62 for Manchester and the Granada TV Centre, where they made their first-ever television appearance, playing Some Other Guy and Love Me Do on the local programme People and Places (think Evening Magazine) before heading back to Liverpool for an evening show at the Cavern.
London band Manfred Mann started a two week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with Do Wah Diddy Diddy today in 1964. It hadn’t been anywhere near as big in it’s original release by American girl group The Exciters the year before, but would get a second life when Bill Murray and Harold Ramis turned it into a military marching cadence in the 1981 Army-comedy Stripes, after which is was adopted as such by actual soldiers, who march singing it to this day.
The Rolling Stones were touring the European continent when they played two shows in Brussels, Belgium tonight in 1973. The opening acts were The Beatles keyboard-playing friend Billy Preston and South Florida band Kracker, the first band to sign to The Stones new record label Rolling Stone Records. The Stones saxophone player Bobby Keys didn’t show up, having filled the bathtub in his hotel room with Dom Perignon Champagne and drinking most of it. Mick Jagger was furious, and fired the Texan despite the fact that he’d been Keith Richards’ best friend since they met on the Stones ’64 American tour when he’d showed up to see who these skinny English guys covering his friend Buddy Holly’s song Not Fade Away were, and ended up loving them. Bobby and Keith discovered they shared the same birthday, and would remain close for the rest of Bobby’s life (he died in 2014), but Mick wouldn’t allow him to play with the band again until 1989.
British/Australian band The Bee Gees had a #1 hit in England today in 1987 with You Win Again, making them the only band ever to have a #1 hit in three decades: the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. It would be their last #1 hit, but as their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bio says, only Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks, and Paul McCartney have outsold The Bee Gees. By the way, Disco still sucks.
Sting’s accountant Keith Moore was fired, arrested, and sentenced to 6 years in prison after it was discovered (by an honest accountant) today in 1995 that he’d embezzled some £6 million from the former Police frontman’s 108 bank accounts.
A two-bedroom, two-story townhouse in London’s Montague Square went on the market today in 2000, listed substantially above it’s market value at £575,000, but the current owner had paid more than it was worth as well, because former residents included Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, and John and Yoko Lennon. In this video, the townhouse is the one with the British Historical Society blue plaque on it.
Freddy Mercury’s ’74 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow was taken down from the auction site E-Bay today in 2005 by his sister, Kashmira Cooke, who had inherited it when he died in 1991. The car, which had last been used to transport Freddie’s family to the premier of the Queen-based stage musical We Will Rock You in 2002, was advertised to come with a box of “Man-size” Kleenex tissues left there by Freddy, and attracted over 200 bids topping out at $93,000, which did not hit the reserve price she’d set.
Keith Richards was at the Greek Theater in Hollywood tonight in 2009, being presented with Spike TV’s “Rock Immortal” award by his friend, actor Johnny Depp, who had modeled his Captain Jack Sparrow character in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and talked the Rolling Stones guitarist into making a cameo appearance as his pirate-father in the second two.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Cuban-born Reggae and Ska singer and trombone player Rico Rodriguez (MBE) is 83. He moved to Jamaica with his family at an early age, and played with many artists there before moving to London and playing with Jools Holland’s R&B Orchestra and Ska-revivalists The Specials.
Michael Eavis (CBE) is 82. He is an English dairy farmer who became enamored with large outdoor rock festivals after seeing Led Zeppelin play at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music in 1970, and staged the first Glastonbury Festival on his farm later that year. It became one of England’s biggest annual shows, and has run the last weekend in June almost every year since.
Jim Seals, multi-instrumentalist and half of the 70’s soft-rock duo Seals and Crofts, is 76.
The Turtles original rhythm guitarist Jim Tucker is 71. As outlined in Turtles singer Howard Kaylan’s recent memoir Shell Shocked, Jim was a huge Beatles fan, who was beside himself with excitement when The Turtles got to meet John Lennon on their first tour of England, but John was very drunk and ended up hurling insults at them. Tucker was crushed, and quit the band and the music business entirely.
Spinal Tap rhythm guitarist and lead singer David St. Hubbins is 70. David is a fictional character, created by actor and comedian Michael McKean (oddly enough the same age) for the 1984 “mockumentary” This is Spinal Tap, who along with Christopher Guest (as lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel) and Harry Shearer (as bass player Derek Smalls) is a pretty good guitarist and songwriter, who performs with the band periodically. McKean played guitar in Lenny and The Squigtones (as did Guest, who invented the Nigel character for that band) in his role on TV’s Happy Days spinoff Laverne and Shirley, and won a Grammy award for authoring the title track to the folk-music parody film he wrote with Guest, A Mighty Wind. More recently Michael’s been excellent as Bob Odenkirk’s older brother lawyer Charles McGill in AMC’s Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul.