The Velvets played London's now-famous Marquee Club tonight in 1963, along with the Cyril Davies All-Stars. In the undesirable opening slot, a brand-new band called The Rolling Stones. Admission? A whopping 4 shillings (about $.56).
NBC TV bought a TV series from Screen Gems Productions today in 1966, conceived by aspiring filmmakers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider after seeing The Beatles film A Hard Day's Night. The situation comedy, set around a never-quite-successful rock band (who still managed to live together in what today would be a multi-million dollar house on Malibu Beach, would use many of the same sets and props Screen Gems had constructed for The Three Stooges. To keep noise on the set down, any of the four band members not needed in front of the camera used a converted meat locker as a "green room", which Peter Tork later noted had the added benefit of concealing any marijuana use that might be going on. The Monkees would premier in September.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience were in Luxembourg today in 1967, recording for the Ready Steady Radio program. Radio Luxembourg's privately owned transmitter broadcast directly into England, and unlike the BBC allowed commercial advertising and more importantly, rock and roll music. While getting themselves properly lubricated to play, they ran up a whopping bar tab of $6.21, which they were unable to pay.
The Yardbirds were on their way to Australia, but stopped in the British colony of Singapore for a show today in 1967. Guitarist Jimmy Page noted that the screaming fans seemed stuck in the Beatles-era, and after the show met up with a friend stationed there in the British Army, and was struck by how close he and many of his contemporaries had come to being conscripted into the Army themselves. The draft in England had ended in 1960, but had it continued music, pop culture, and fashion worldwide might have been quite different.
Led Zeppelin's debut album spent it's first full day on sale in record stores in the United States today in 1969, timed to coincide with their first American mostly-headlining tour. They had already played the Seattle Center Arena just after Christmas ( Dec. 27th, opening for Vanilla Fudge, when the famous Edgewater Inn "mudshark" incident occurred), and would utterly destroy the Green Lake Aqua Theater in May sharing a bill with Three Dog Night.
The Doors played the first of four nights at New York's Felt Forum tonight in 1970. The shows, along with most of the others on the East Coast leg of the tour, were recorded and painstakingly edited into their first live album, Absolutely Live.
Bass player and actor Dino Martin, son of the crooner Dean Martin, was arrested today in 1974 attempting to sell two fully-automatic AK-47 assault rifles to an undercover federal agent. He started a mostly unsuccessful band with high school friends Desi Arnaz Jr. and Billy Hinsche, then in 1980 joined the California Air National Guard where he died in 1987 when his F-4 Phantom crashed in the desert.
"A little bit rock and roll" Mormon pop star Donny Osmond lost a charity boxing match in Chicago today in 1994 to Partridge Family actor and bass-mimer Danny Bonaduce, who won 2-1.
An acetate of a long-missing recording of a blues song called Too Many Cooks went up for auction in London today in 2003, remarkable in that it was a collaboration between Mick Jagger and John Lennon. It had never been released because the two had been signed to different record labels.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Guitarist #37 on the Rolling Stone Top 100 Greatest Guitarist Of All Time list Mick Taylor is 70. He'd played with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and replaced Brian Jones in The Rolling Stones in 1969, quitting in 1974 fearing for his sanity from constant touring, and pissed Keith Richards would sometimes overdub his guitar parts in the studio.
Country-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, and actor Steve Earle is 64.
The Bangles and Ming Tea...the fake band in the Austin Powers films (she's married to the director of all three of them)...singer, guitarist, and actress Susanna Hoffs is 60.