Elvis Presley played a show at the art decco landmark Pan-Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles tonight in 1957. Afterward, two pinched-cheek conservatives from the local police department informed him that if he wiggled his hips like that again, he’d be arrested for indecency. The Los Angeles Times ran a story about The King’s lewd movements the next morning, and at the show there the next night, the L.A.P.D. Vice Squad filmed the entire concert, in case they needed evidence.
Buddy Holly lip synched two of his songs on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand today in 1958. It would be his last major TV appearance before the plane crash that killed him the following year.
The first of the two-night TAMI Show went down at the at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium tonight in 1964. The acronym, depending on who you talk to, stood for Teenage Awards Music International or Teen Age Music International, but no matter. They were able to easily fill the 3000 seat arena by distributing free tickets to local high schools. The entire thing was filmed by the crew from The Steve Allen Show, using brand new Electronovision cameras (an early precursor to what would become HD), and released as a movie. The lineup of performers included hosts Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, The Barbarians, Marvin Gaye, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Lesley Gore, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Supremes, and The Rolling Stones who against their better judgement agreed to follow James Brown and the Famous Flames. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards felt there was no way they could live up to what Brown had laid down.
The Partridge Family’s frontman David Cassidy, who had been in the audience at The TAMI Show, went to #1 today in 1973 with a “Double A-Side” single of Daydreamer/ The Puppy Song. The latter was originally written by Harry Nilsson at the request of Paul McCartney, who had it recorded by an 18 year old singer he’d signed to Apple Records, Mary Hopkin.
R.E.M.’s drummer Bill Berry announced he was leaving the band today in 1997. He’d suffered an aneurysm on stage at a show, and left the rock and roll touring life to become a farmer in rural Georgia. Interestingly the Athens, Georgia band was already in the process of becoming a Seattle band. Guitarist Peter Buck had married Stephanie Dorgan, owner of The Crocodile Cafe, bought a house in the Denny-Blaine neighborhood, and singer Michael Stipe bought a houseboat on Lake Union where R.E.M. would write many of their songs, filling their live lineup with Buck’s Seattle friends Scott McCaughey of The Young Fresh Fellows on 2nd guitar, The Posies Ken Stringfellow on keyboards, and former Blackouts drummer Bill Rieflin would take over for Berry.
A bronze statue honoring AC/DC’s original lead singer Bon Scott was unveiled today in 2008. It overlooks the fishing boat harbor in Freemantle, Australia. Bon was born in Scotland, but his family, like a lot of working-class people from the U.K. in the early 60’s, moved to Australia when he was six, spending their first four years in a suburb of Melbourne before moving to Freemantle, who consider him one of their own.
Metallica were scheduled to play their first ever show in India tonight in 2011, but when a security barrier collapsed before the show, the band fearing for it’s safety, insisted the promoters postpone the show, which seemed like a good idea as the 25,000 ticket holders became agitated and started destroying the stage and vandalizing equipment. The promoters refused to refund the admission price, and all four of them were arrested for fraud, and the first-ever Metallica show in India moved from Delhi to Bangalore, where many of you spend time on the phone talking with high-tech customer service.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Country-rock fiddle and guitar player Charlie Daniels is 81.
British blues-rock pioneer Graham Bond would be 80. He was one of the first keyboard players to bring the Hammond organ/rotating Leslie speaker combination to rock and roll (Deep Purple’s Jon Lord said Bond taught him everything he knew), was the first to use a Mellotron, and the rhythm section that came out of his Graham Bond Organization, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, were already fighting like cats and dogs before they joined Eric Clapton in Cream. He died in 1974 at age 36 under the wheels of a train in the Piccadilly tube station in London, an apparent suicide.