Soul singer and charter Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Sam Cooke was shot dead by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles today in 1964. The manager claimed that an enraged and severely inebriated Cooke had attacked her in her office, demanding to know the whereabouts of the female companion he had checked in with, and that she had shot him in self defense. He was found by the L.A.P.D. in her apartment office wearing only a sport coat and one shoe. For her part, the female companion, Elisa Boyer, asserted that she had fled the motel sure she was going to be raped by Cooke, but several thousand dollars in cash in Sam's possession was missing, and Boyer was arrested for prostitution soon after what was ruled "justifiable homicide".
Taking their lead from The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour of the year before, The Rolling Stones began filming what they intended as a BBC Television special today in 1968. Featured acts in The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus included The Who, Taj Mahal, Jethro Tull (their performance included future Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, the only known footage of him playing with Tull), Mick Jagger's then-girlfriend Marianne Faithfull, a one-off "supergroup" called The Dirty Mac (John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Richards on bass), and naturally The Rolling Stones (it would be the last time Brian Jones appeared with them). Filming began at 11 AM, and didn't wrap until 5 AM the next morning. Mick felt that his band had been completely upstaged by The Who: They were hot off a concert tour, while the Stones hadn't been playing live at all for a while, and had gone on last when they were all very tired, so he decided not to air the program. While The Who's performance eventually made it into their 1979 film The Kids Are Alright, much of the footage was thought to be lost until 1989. It was eventually restored and released in 1996, and then again on DVD in 2006.
KISS lead guitarist Ace Frehley was nearly killed tonight in 1973, when he touched a short-circuiting stage light. He was knocked unconscious and was carried from the stage, but returned 10 minutes later to finish the show.
U2 began their first American tour tonight in 1980 at the Mudd Club in New York City. The tour included a stop in Seattle on March 23rd, when they played at the long-defunct Astor Park. Thanks to heavy airplay on short-lived Bellevue radio station KZAM-AM of their first album Boy the show was fairly packed to the surprise of the band. During the song An Cat Dubh, singer Bono Vox was shaking hands and high-fiving the crowd, who dragged him out in to the audience to be passed around on hands. As he was leaving the stage, he put the microphone into the hand of KZOK's Scott Vanderpool, who together with his friend future Love Battery guitarist Ron Nine finished the "Woah-Oh-Oh" vocal part of the song to Bono's extreme pleasure, though the two were never asked to perform with U2 again, nor were they ever offered any remuneration from U2's gazillion dollar coffers despite their obviously helping make them famous.
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant reunited for a one-off charity performance at a small nightclub in Paris tonight in 1997, doing 5 Led Zeppelin songs with musicians from Plant's solo band on bass and drums.
The Black Crowes were playing in Tucson Arizona tonight in 1998, when a fan hit singer Chris Robinson with a thrown beer bottle. He then stabbed the security guard who ejected him, and ended up in jail.
Former Starsky and Hutch star and disco singer David Soul won a lawsuit against a London theater critic who gave a less than favorable review today in 2001. Soul's attorneys were able to prove the critic had not even seen the show. It probably did suck, but the court found in David's favor.
It was today in 2012 that the original line up of Seattle's own Heart, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Roger Fisher, Mike Derosier, Steve Fossen, and Howard Leese, were announced as a 2013 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Rush, and among others the mind-melting blistering rock and roll created by Donna Summer. KZOK staples Deep Purple, Procul Harum, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts did not make the cut, despite receiving far more fan votes than many who got the nod.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Big Mama Thornton would be 92 today. She's most famous for writing a couple of songs that were hits for others: Ball 'N Chain would be a smash for Janis Joplin, and Hound Dog was one of the biggest for Elvis Presley.
Motley Crüe bass player Nikki Sixx (real name Frank Carlton Serafino Ferrano Jr.) is 59.
Darryl "The Munch" Jones is 56, and has been the bass player for The Rolling Stones since the departure of Bill Wyman in 1993, though he has never been made an official member of the band.