This Day In Classic Rock [Videos] 1/18

Already stars at home in England, The Beatles cracked the American charts with I Want To Hold Your Hand today in 1964. It entered at #45, just ten days after it's release, and would go to #1 and stay there for a remarkable 7 weeks, driven by their arrival in New York in early February and appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

 

The Rolling Stones were at RCA studios in Hollywood today in 1965, recording Play With Fire with producer Phil Spector, who played the song's bass line on a tuned-down electric guitar. Unusual for a Stones song, the harpsichord wasn't played by multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones, but film score writer Jack Nitzsche. They next day the band was off on their first ever trip to Australia.

 

Former Free members Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke, Mott the Hoople's Mick Ralphs, and King Crimson member Boz Burrell announced the formation of a new band today in 1974, named after an "acid western" movie starring Jeff Bridges, Bad Company.

 
 

Wendy O. Williams, singer of punk band The Plasmatics, was arrested on stage tonight in 1981 for simulating sex with a sledgehammer. She filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department, claiming they had beat and sexually assaulted her during the arrest , but the case was denied by a jury.

 

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held it's annual induction ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York tonight in 1989, this year including The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, Otis Redding, Dion, producer Phil Spector, and...at the time the youngest living inductee, then 38 year old "little" Stevie Wonder.

 

Elton John resigned as director of the Watford Football Club today in 1993. He'd bought the team he'd grown up a fan of in 1976, taking  it to the first division of the English Premier League.

 

Spencer Goodman apparently wasn't. He was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville Texas today in 2000 for the kidnapping and murder of the wife of ZZ Top manager Bill Ham in 1991. As is the custom in Texas, Bill was allowed to attend the execution.

 

The Islington Green School in North London was fighting plans to give it "academy" status, which would allow corporate sponsorship today in 2007. The school gained fame in 1979 when it's students were herded into a recording studio to sing on Pink Floyd's Another Brick in The Wall (Pt. II), and today a group of them gathered outside Islington Town Hall to sing a new set of lyrics: "We don't need no business control", and "Hey! Bankers! Leave our school alone!" The school became an academy the following year.

 

The Eagles guitarist, singer, and songwriter Glenn Frey died at age 67 today in 2016 after a long battle with rheumatoid arthritis and nasty side effects from the medication he'd been taking for it.

 
 
 

Rock and Roll Birthdays

The Temptations singer David Ruffin would be 78 if he hadn't died of what authorities claimed was a cocaine overdose in 1991, but David's family members suspected foul play, noting that his money belt containing some $300,000 in cash from the band's recent tour was missing.

 

Larry "Legs" Smith is 75. He was the drummer for the only band not The Beatles to appear in Magical Mystery Tour, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, toured with Eric Clapton and Elton John, and his good friend George Harrison wrote a song about him...

 
 
 

Crispian Mills is 46, leader of British psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker, and the son of Parent Trap actress Haley Mills.

 
 

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