A sheet-metal worker who claimed his wife’s infatuation with Elvis Presley ruined his marriage was arrested for punching him in the face at his hotel in Toledo Ohio today in 1956. Louis Balint was fined a little less than $20 for the assault, but was taken to jail when he couldn’t pay the fine.
The Beatles drove all the way down to London from Liverpool today in 1962 for a 10-minute audition for the BBC. A fan from Lancashire had written in suggesting they be put on television, and when they wrote back with an audition appointment, he took it himself to Brian Epstein’s NEMS record store, where Brian would get a polite rejection letter 4 days later.
The Rolling Stones had their 5th American chart-topping album today in 1974 when It’s Only Rock and Roll went to #1. It would be their last with 2nd guitarist Mick Taylor.
Queen started a 9-week run at #1 on the singles charts today in 1975 with Bohemian Rhapsody. The band had spent quite a lot of time recording Freddy Mercury’s operatic arrangement over three weeks with some 180 vocal overdubs, and were understandably quite proud of it, but when they suggested it’s release as a single EMI records executives were quite sure it would never get played on the radio due to it’s excessive length of almost 6 minutes.
Keith Richards‘ then 35 year old girlfriend Anita Pallenberg was in court today in 1979, being cleared for killing 17 year old Scott Cantrell with a pistol owned by the guitarist at their home. Keith was in Paris recording with The Rolling Stones, and Anita had been arrested for instigating a suspected game of “Russian Roulette”, but the subsequent investigation showed that even though she had been carrying on a sexual affair with the part-time groundskeeper of their South Salem New York estate, she hadn’t been in the room when he apparently committed suicide.
Songwriter Tommy Boyce, who with partner Bobby Hart had written hits for The Monkees, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Jay and the Americans, took his own life today in 1995 after a long battle with depression.
Guns-N-Roses 6th studio album Chinese Democracy was finally released today in 2008, some 15 years after the previous one. Axl Rose and keyboardist Dizzy Reed were the only original band members left at this point, and with cash advances to Rose and aborted studio sessions the cost to Geffen Records was roughly $13 million, making it the most expensive rock record of all time. Electronics retailer Best Buy bought an exclusive American deal, paying for 1.3 million copies in advance and agreeing to not return any unsold, but by 2011 they were selling them for $2.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Singer-songwriter and keyboard player Bruce Hornsby is 63, best known for his own band Bruce Hornsby and The Range as well as frequent collaborations with The Grateful Dead.