Bob Dylan played New York’s Carnegie Hall for the first time tonight in 1961. All seats were just $2, but Bob’s take after the house got their cut was only $20, as only 53 people showed up, most of them Bob’s friends.
The Beatles were the headliner at London’s Prince of Wales Theater tonight in 1963 for the Royal Variety Show, a “command” performance with the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret in attendance. At one point John Lennon made his famous smart-ass remark: “Those of you in the cheaper seats can clap your hands, the rest of you, just rattle your jewelry.”
The Rolling Stones were at #1 on both sides of the Atlantic today in 1965 with Get Off Of My Cloud.
The Beach Boys were at #1 on both sides of the Atlantic today in 1966 with Good Vibrations. Audrey Wilson had told her young son Brian that dogs could pick up on “vibrations” from humans, and would bark at bad ones, a kernel of wisdom that stuck with him for years. The Beatles were paying very close attention, and would use many of the techniques Wilson developed in their own recordings.
Pink Floyd were at Abbey Road studios today in 1968, recording a single, Point Me At The Sky, backed with Careful With That Axe Eugene.
London’s Astoria Cinema had been one of the largest movie theaters in the world when it opened in 1930, and it had been hosting rock bands for a while (It’s where Jimi Hendrix first burned a Fender Stratocaster) but tonight in 1971 it became a full-time music venue called The Rainbow Theater, with The Who as the first act to grace it’s new stage. It would see acts from Pink Floyd debuting Dark Side of the Moon, live albums from Eric Clapton, The Sweet, and Little Feat, to The Ramones, to Iron Maiden, and it’s musical legacy would get the place listed on Britain’s National Register of Historic Places, but bands outgrew it and in 1995 it became a Pentecostal Church.
Bruce Springsteen’s show at New York’s Palladium tonight in 1976 was delayed by a bomb threat. Bruce half-joked from the stage that it must have been phoned in by Mike Appel, his former manager who was suing him at the time.
Director Martin Scorsese’s film of The Band’s farewell show in New York City, The Last Waltz, premiered tonight in 1977. Musical guests at the show included Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Wood, Neil Diamond, and of course some responsible for giving The Band their start, Ronnie Hawkins, Paul Butterfield, and Bob Dylan.
Boston played their first show in Boston tonight in 1978, at the Boston Garden.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio had been inducting performers since 1986, but it took them until today in 1992 to give the nod to rock’s 4 greatest guitarists, with The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Yardbirds being inducted. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page have all been inducted multiple times, with other bands and/or as solo artists.
MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith died of a heart attack today in 1994. He was married to poet and singer Patti Smith, and their son Jackson is married to drummer Meg White of The White Stripes.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The Pretenders lead guitarist James Honeyman-Scott would be 61. He died of cocaine-induced heart failure at 25.