The Beatles had now had Ringo Starr back for a week on their first trip "down under", and were on the way to two shows in Dunedin on New Zealand's south island today in 1964. They were very nervous on the flight from Auckland after receiving an anonymous threat that some kind of "germ bomb" had been placed on board, but thankfully it hadn't.
The Byrds went to #1 on the Billboard charts today in 1965 with their cover of Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man. Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, and Gene Clark all sang on it, but producer Terry Melcher didn't trust the band's musicianship and hired Hollywood's famous "Wrecking Crew" of studio musicians to play, and only Roger McGuinn's jangly Rickenbacker 12 string guitar made the cut. Someone in the music press coined the term "folk rock" to describe it, and an entirely new genre was born. That 12-String guitar was much later purchased by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and is now on display at the EMP...sorry "MoPop" museum here in Seattle.
Emerson Lake and Palmer hit the #1 spot on the British album charts today in 1971 with their second album Tarkus, but unlike their debut album, which had included a song Greg Lake had written when he was 12, Lucky Man, this one contained exactly no radio hits.
The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg (who died a little over a year ago) were raided at home in London today in 1973 and found to be in possession of drugs and a handgun. The police were surprised by the handgun, the rest by this point they were quite used to.
After 10 years of marriage, Cher divorced Sonny Bono today in 1974, though they'd been separated for two years and trying hard to keep it from the public. Four days later she would marry Gregg Allman, divorce him 9 days after that citing hard drinking and heroin use, then get back together with him and stay married until 1979. In 1977 the two released an album together as Allman and Woman called Two The Hard Way, widely considered the low point of each of their careers.
Tickets for an upcoming Rolling Stones show at the Hollywood Bowl released today in 2005 set a record as the most-expensive ever. Starting at $425 for the cheap seats, fans would be paying almost 4 dollars a minute to see them.
Today's 2008 edition of England's best-selling musician's magazine, Total Guitar, declared Celine Dion's version of AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long the "worst cover song ever recorded". In the "best" position was Jimi Hendrix's version of Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower (even Dylan thinks so), followed by The Beatles rendition of The Top Notes Twist and Shout.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Elvis Presley's manager Colonel Tom Parker would be 108 if he hadn't passed in 1997. Before becoming one of rock's most famous and earliest businessmen, he had illegally immigrated to the U.S. from Holland (the real reason Elvis never played outside the U.S.), and toured with a troupe of dancing chickens.
Canned Heat bass player Larry "The Mole" Taylor is 75.
Mick Jones, guitarist and singer with The Clash, is 63.