This Day In Classic Rock [Videos] 8/11

The Beatles first feature film A Hard Day's Night had its American premier in New York City tonight in 1964.

The High Numbers, soon to change their name to The Who, played a show tonight for their Mod friends at the Railway Hotel in Harrow England tonight in 1964. Before they took the stage, the father of his new wife Jackie Rickman dragged lead singer Roger Daltrey outside and punched him square in the face. Pete Townsend, John Entwhistle, and Keith Moon, took the stage and were joined by their singer halfway through the first song, having finished his "punch up". It was at the Railway in June that Townsend had accidentally broken the headstock of his guitar on the low ceiling and smashed it to bits to the delight of the audience, and smashing guitars had become a regular feature of their shows. Jackie and Roger would have a son that year, he would father another with a Swedish model he had an affair with in '67, then in '68 he met American Heather Taylor to whom he is still married. They had three of their own.

The Beatles manager Brian Epstein had arranged a press conference at the Astor towers Hotel in Chicago today in 1966 for the band and especially a reluctant John Lennon, who even though he didn't feel he had reason to, apologized profusely for his comments the London Evening Standard interviewer Maureen Cleave the previous March, which had been reprinted in an American teen magazine in late July, in which he had implied that his band was more popular than Jesus. It wasn't much of an apology to many of the fundamentalist Christian groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, who were burning Beatles records and would stage protests at all of the shows on the tour that started in the Windy City tonight, and make them never want to tour again.

Henry McCullogh and Denny Seiwell quit Paul McCartney's band Wings today in 1973 because they didn't want to go to Nigeria to record the band's new album Band On The Run. Paul, his wife Linda, and guitarist Denny Laine went on to Lagos and recorded it themselves, but would suffer through a series of the misadventures Henry and Denny feared, including being robbed at knifepoint, nearly passing out from the oppressive heat, and having to entertain former Cream drummer Ginger Baker, who lived there now and had invited them to record in his studio (they did do the song Picasso's Last Words there.).

Led Zeppelin played the Knebworth Festival, on the grounds of the Knebworth House, a gothic manor (think Downton Abbey) in Hertfordshire England tonight in 1979. They didn't know it, but their two appearances at the festival would end up being their last shows at home in Britain, as drummer John Bonham would die a year later.

KISS were on Hollywood Boulevard today in 1999, being honored with a star on that city's "walk of fame". Gene Simmons no doubt went on at length about how overdue the honor was, and how much more deserving his band were than any of the others. He's like that.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Manfred Mann drummer Mike Hugg is 76.

The Guess Who's bass player Jim Kale is 75.

Iron Butterfly guitarist Erik Brann would be 68 if he'd made it past 52. He was just 17 when he played on his band's signature song Inna Gadda Davida.

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