The Rolling Stones were working with a new producer, Jimmy Miller, at Olympic Studios in London today in 1968, working on the single that would take them back to their roots and away from their two-album experiment (Between the Buttons and Their Satanic Majesties Request) in acid-soaked psychedelia. The lyrics to Jumpin' Jack Flash came while Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were holed up at Keith's country house and had just, as the kids like to say these days, "smoked a fattie". Hearing some thudding outside a window, Mick asked "What's that noise?". Keith replied that it was his gardener, Jack Dyer: "Oh, that's just Jack....Jumping Jack". They thought it was hysterical, then Mick set to writing. Keith's guitar parts came from a technique he "learned from somebody from George Jone's band in 1964". Two acoustic guitars, one tuned down to open-D "Nashville Tuning", both played with a capo. "Both acoustics were put through a Phillips cassette recorder. Just jam the mic right in the guitar, and play it back through an extension speaker." It remains the Stone's most-often-played-live song, but they hadn't fully escaped their psychedelic period: The B-Side to the single was Child Of The Moon.
Paul McCartney married his American rock and roll photographer girlfriend Linda Eastman (no relation to George Eastman of Eastman-Kodak) today in 1969, in a civil ceremony at the Marylebone Register office in London. She was four months pregnant with their first daughter Mary, but there was no honeymoon that night...Paul was back at work recording at Abbey Road that evening, though George Harrison and his wife Pattie were able to find time to be arrested for possession of 120 jazz cigarettes later that day. Paul and Linda had met at a Georgie Fame concert at swingin' London's super-hip Bag 'O Nails club. She was the love of his life until her death from breast cancer at age 56.
The Allman Brothers Band played the first of two shows at the Fillmore East in New York City tonight in 1971. Both shows were recorded, and released as their third album At The Fillmore East, a breakthrough for them that included Whipping Post, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, and a cover of Blind Willie McTell's Statesboro Blues.
John Lennon was in Los Angeles and more than a little inebriated tonight in 1974, in the middle of what he later called his "Lost Weekend" separation from Yoko Ono, when he and drinking buddy Harry Nilsson were forcibly tossed from the Troubadour Club after heckling the Smothers Brothers (Tommy Smothers was a huge fan, who had attended Lennon's "Bed-In For Peace" in Montreal), and punching their manager.
The Sex Pistols somehow managed to start a fight with one of England's most beloved rock and roll "presenters" tonight in 1977, Bob Harris of The Old Grey Whistle Test live performance show. One of the show's engineers required 14 stitches in his head. Harris, who also managed one of A&M records biggest performers Peter Frampton, had his lawyers contact label heads Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss a couple of days later, and the Pistol's contract was cancelled, and 25,000 copies of their new single God Save The Queen were destroyed. They'd already been booted from EMI records, but singer Johnny "Rotten" Lydon would eventually be invited on the show with his subsequent and somewhat more sedate post-Pistols band, Public Image Limited.
U2 had their first British #1 album today in 1983 with War. With the hit songs New Years Day and Two Hearts Beat As One, it spent 147 weeks on the charts.
Two Seattle bands, one of which would go on to change the course of music history, Nirvana and Tad, played north of the border for the first time tonight in 1990 at the Town Pump in Vancouver's Gastown district. At the time it was difficult for starving American bands to play in Canada as the government was trying to protect home-grown talent and Americans weren't allowed to bring instruments over the border. The Town Pump had been the cities top guitar-rock nightclub since the 60's. Pearl Jam would play their first Canadian show there as well, but by 1997 it couldn't compete with Top 40 dance music and went disco.
Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour was #1 on the British album charts today in 2006 with his third solo effort, On An Island, released just 6 days earlier on his 60th birthday. Recorded on David's Thames river houseboat/studio, it included contributions from Floyd's keyboardist Rick Wright, as well as Jools Holland, Georgie Fame, Graham Nash, and David Crosby.
Over 130 people were arrested and 8 were hospitalized as 1,500 police officers and 4 tanks were called in to calm gatecrashers at a Metallica show in Columbia today in 2010.
Doobie Brothers drummer Michael "Big Mike" Hossack died after a long battle with cancer today in 2012 at age 65.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Chess Records founder Leonard Chess would be 102. He died in 1969, but not before putting Chicago blues on the map with artists like Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley.
Folk-rock singer-songwriter James Taylor is 71. Trying to get a solo career off the ground, he moved to London in 1967 where he became the first American act to sign to The Beatles Apple Corps label.
Little Feat co-founder and keyboard player Bill Payne is 70.
Badfinger drummer Mike Gibbins would be 70. He died in 2005.
Pretty Things and T-Rex guitarist Jack Green is 68.