This Day In Classic Rock

It was today in 1964 during a tour of Britain that The Rolling Stones were denied midday admission to the dining room at the Grand Hotel in Bristol where they were staying, not because of their long (for the time) hair, but because they were not wearing jackets and ties. The next day the London Daily Express ran the story under the headline "Rolling Stones Gather No Lunch".

 

It was a sunny spring day in Seattle today in 1969, much like this one...abnormally warm for the rain city...when several thousand people descended on the Green Lake Aqua Theater. Built in 1950 on the south shore, it claimed to seat just under 6000 folks, for jazz and symphony concerts under the stars, theatrical plays, the odd wrestling match (Leo Garibaldi vs. Gorgeous George!) and big-name celebrities (Bob Hope), and of course the "Aqua Follies"...synchronized swimming and fancy and sometimes silly dives from the two big towers on either side of the stage. It was Seattle's premier summertime outdoor venue for a while, but unpredictable weather and a bunch of nice new halls left behind after the '62 World's Fair led to less frequent use to the point where it was allowed to slum it with Rock and Roll Shows. Today's was something special. First up was a band from Vancouver called Spring that no one remembers. Then a guy from back east, Jaime Brockett, who had a minor hit with a song called The Legend of the U.S.S. Titanic (Steve Slaton was there, and tells us the song was really about weed-smoking), a Seattle hippie jug band called Translove Airlines who took their name from an Animals song...Three Dog Night from Los Angeles, and finally the band everyone had come to see. Led Zeppelin had played here once already, just after Christmas opening for Vanilla Fudge at the Seattle Center Arena, but their first album hadn't come out yet...by now Led Zeppelin I was all over the radio, and they drew quite a few more people than the theater held....in rowboats, canoes, air mattresses, and anything else that would float. Nancy Wilson once told me she and sister Ann had gone, in love with the album, but left early a bit put off by their bulging trouser-snakes and overt sexuality. "I was only 15!", she said. The next day (a Monday) the City of Seattle sent engineers to inspect the place, who found the grandstands had suffered enough damage they declared it unfit and ordered most of it torn down...they did allow one more rock show there that summer, but...it was only the Grateful Dead. Steve Slaton remembers the show fondly the show, so apparently does this guy, who made a visit there this last March when he was in town...

Jimmy Page visits Green Lake Aqua Theater just shy of 49 years later
Pagey at Green Lake...the first time
Zep at Greenlake

It was today in 1972 that John Lennon made another appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, claiming to be under surveillance by the F.B.I., which he was.

 

Tonight in 1974 all four members of Led Zeppelin went to see Elvis Presley at the Forum in L.A. Elvis stopped shortly into his set: "Wait a minute. If we can start together fellas, because we've got Led Zeppelin out there, let's try to look like we know what we're doing". The band met backstage with The King for two hours after the show, with Elvis getting autographs he said "were for his daughter Lisa Marie".

 

It was today in 1981 that Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley died of cancer and a brain tumor at the age of 36. While it took America a while to catch on, Bob Marley and the Wailers were a huge influence in England, Eric Clapton's  had a huge hit with a cover of his "I Shot the Sheriff", Led Zeppelin's dabble with the reggae beat in D'yer Maker (a play on the English accented pronunciation of "Jamaica"), and Jamaican influenced bands like The Police, The English Beat, The Specials, and Madness. His birthday February 6th is now a national holiday in Jamaica.

 

It was tonight in 1985 that Bruce Springsteen was out for his bachelor party just south of Portland, two nights before his wedding to model and Lake Oswego native Julianne Phillips. Bruce got fairly liquored up by all accounts, and sang Karaoke-style with a number of songs on the jukebox, some of them his own. They divorced in 1989.

 

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Eric Burdon, #57 on the Rolling Stone Top 100 greatest singers list and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with The Animals and War is 77 today, and still performing regularly.

Half of the Allman Brothers Band's dual drummer attack, Butch Trucks would be 71 if he hadn't passed in 2017. His nephew, guitarist Derek Trucks, played with them from 1999 until they hung it up in 2014. Butch himself is the nephew of Vigil Trucks, a major league baseball pitcher of the 40's and 50's.

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