It all happened on this day…
1935, Born on this day, Link Wray, guitarist, (1958 US No.16 single ‘Rumble’). Wray was credited with inventing ‘fuzz’ guitar after punching a hole in a speaker giving him a distorted sound. Wray died on 5th Nov 2005 aged 76.
1945, Born on this day, Goldy McJohn, Steppenwolf, (1968 US No.2 and 1969 UK No.30 single ‘Born To Be Wild’).
1946, Born on this day, Bob Henrit, drums, Argent, 1972 UK No.5 single ‘Hold Your Head Up’), also a member of The Kinks.
1946, Born on this day, American singer, songwriter, actress and activist, Lesley Gore, who had the 1963 US No.1 & UK No.9 single ‘It’s My Party’. Gore died on February 16, 2015, at the NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, New York City, of lung cancer.
1950, Born on this day, Lou Gramm, vocals, Foreigner, (1985 UK & US No.1 single ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’).
1954, Born on this day, Prescott Niles, The Knack, (1979 US No.1 & UK No.6 single ‘My Sharona’).
1963, The Beatles were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘From Me To You’, the group’s first No.1 and the first of eleven consecutive No.1’s. The title of the song was inspired from a letters column called From You To Us that ran in the British music newspaper, The New Musical Express.
1964, The Rolling Stones self-titled debut album started a 12-week run at No.1 on the UK charts. The album spent a total of 51 weeks on the UK chart. Also on his day The Stones made their first appearance on the US singles chart when ‘Not Fade Away’ entered the chart at No.98.
1965,The Yardbirds’ “For Your Love” enters the Billboard Hot 100 at Number 84. Soon after, Eric Clapton leaves the band and is replaced by Jimmy Page. The song stays on the charts for twelve weeks, peaking at Number Six.
1969, The Who gave a press preview of their new rock opera ‘Tommy’ at Ronnie Scott’s in London, England. The double album about a “deaf, dumb and blind boy” who becomes the leader of a messianic movement, was the first musical work to be billed overtly as a rock opera. In 1998 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical, artistic and significant value” and has now sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
1969, The Beatles recorded a re-make of the new George Harrison song ‘Something’ at Abbey Road Studios in London. They recorded 36 takes of the song, which included Billy Preston on piano.
1969, Pink Floyd appeared at Manchester Chamber Of Commerce, England. The show was recorded for the forthcoming album ‘Ummagumma’.
1970, One hit wonder Norman Greenbaum was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Spirit In The Sky.’ Also a No.1 hit for Doctor and the Medics in 1986 and Gareth Gates in 2003.
1972, Bruce Springsteen auditioned for CBS Records A&R man John Hammond in New York. Springsteen played a short set for him in his office; Hammond was so impressed that he arranged a real audition that night at the Gaslight Club in New York for other Columbia executives. Bruce passed the audition.
1989, A security guard alerted the police after a man wearing a wig, fake moustache and false teeth walked into Zales Jewellers, California. Three squad cars arrived and police detained the man, who turned out to be Michael Jackson in disguise.
1991, The video for the R.E.M. song ‘Losing My Religion’, was banned in Ireland because its religious imagery was seen as unfit for broadcast.
1991, Nirvana booked into Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California for 16 days. On a budget of $65,000 and with Butch Vig producing the band started recording what would become the ‘Nevermind’ album.
1992, Little known UK duo Nirvana filed a suit against the American band of the same name claiming that they had been using the name since 1968. The dispute was settled out of court in the British bands favour.
1998, Japanese rock star Hideto Matsumoto was found hanged in the bathroom at his Tokyo apartment and died in hospital a short time later at the age of 33. His funeral, held on May 7th, was attended by over 70,000 people and required 100 police officers, 170 security guards, police boats and helicopters. 21 people were hospitalised for injuries caused by the massive crowd at his funeral.
2004, Total Guitar magazine’s readers voted Guns N’ Roses’ anthem ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ as the greatest guitar riff ever ahead of Nirvana’s grunge anthem ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ came third, followed by Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke On The Water’. Total Guitar editor Scott Rowley said: “To a new generation of guitarist’s, Guns N’ Roses are more thrilling than the Sex Pistols.”
2005, Eric Clapton joined former Cream members drummer Ginger Baker and bass player Jack Bruce for the first of four nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall 36 years after they had split up. Tickets were changing hands for more than £500 on eBay and fans had flown over from the USA to witness the reunion, which Clapton aged 60, is said to have agreed to because of the failing health of the other former members of the band.
2006, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards was released from hospital in New Zealand after the 62 year-old suffered “mild concussion” when he fell out of a coconut tree while on holiday in Fiji. He was airlifted to Auckland’s Ascot Hospital for observation, where he underwent a brain scan.
2007, Almost 2,000 musicians gathered in the Polish city of Wroclaw to play a rock anthem by Jimi Hendrix. The guitarists were aiming to set a new Guinness World Record by gathering 1,876 guitarist’s in the city’s market square to play ‘Hey Joe’. Organisers say it was the biggest guitar ensemble in recorded history.
2008, Chad Kroeger was banned from driving for a year after being convicted of drink-driving in the Canadian city of Vancouver. The 33-year-old Nickelback singer had almost twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system when he was stopped by police speeding in his Lamborghini.
2009, Bob Dylan mingled unnoticed with other Beatles tourists during a minibus tour to John Lennon’s childhood home. He was one of 14 tourists to examine photos and documents in the National Trust-owned home, where Lennon grew up with his aunt Mimi and uncle George. Dylan who was on a day off on a European tour paid £16 for the public trip to the 1940s house in Woolton, Liverpool.