Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This Week In Rock History

1939—Former scullery maid Eleanor Rigby passed away at the age of 45. Her grave, which is located just a few yards away from where a 15 year-old Paul McCartney first saw John Lennon perform at a village fete with his band The Quarrymen, has become a tourist attraction for Beatles fans despite McCartney’s insistence that he was unaware of the tombstone when he wrote the song Eleanor Rigby

1955—The Chrysler Corporation introduces high fidelity record players for their 1956 line-up of cars. The unit measured about four inches high and less than a foot wide and mounted under the instrument panel. The seven inch discs spun at 16 2/3 rpm and required almost three times the number of grooves per inch as an LP. A set of 35 classical recordings were available that provided between 45 and 60 minutes of uninterrupted music. The players would be discontinued in 1961.

1960—Ringo Starr fills in for Pete Best when The Beatles play back-up at a recording session for Rory Storm and The Hurricanes' guitarist, Wally Eymond, in the small Akustik studio in Hamburg, Germany. Nine copies of a song called "Summertime" were pressed onto 78 RPM acetate discs, though none are known to have survived.

1965—The Who release the song My Generation, in which singer Roger Daltrey stutters the lyrics to get them to fit the tempo of the music. The song was initially banned by BBC radio, not because of it’s political message, but because the BBC thought the song might prove offensive to people with a stutter.

1965—Jimi Hendrix signs his first recording contract which grants him a mere 1% on royalties with a $1 signing bonus.

1966—Grace Slick quits the local San Francisco band The Great Society (which featured her then husband Jerry Slick, as well as her brother Darby Slick) to join Jefferson Airplane. She replaces Signe Toly Anderson, who left the band to have a baby.

1970—FCC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson responds to Vice President Spiro Agnew's charge that Rock music drives young people to drugs, by playing Rock music during a speech, saying that Agnew would do well to listen to song lyrics to understand what's happening around the US.

1970—Janis Joplin's ashes are scattered off the coast of California.

1971—Concert goers attending a performance of former teen heartthrob Ricky Nelson at Madison Square Garden begin booing as security guards remove patrons for smoking marijuana. Nelson mistakenly believes he is being booed, and in response pens the song Garden Party, which contains the chorus line “You can’t please everyone, so you might as well please yourself.” The song would be one of Nelson’s biggest hits, and his first song to chart in nearly a decade.

1985—Ricky Wilson, guitarist and founding member of the B-52s, died of AIDS at the age of 32.

1991—The Beatles’ label Apple Corp. settle their trademark infringement suit against Apple Computers out-of-court for an undisclosed settlement rumored to be around $29 million.

1997—Almost 23 years to the day after first topping the charts with Annie’s Song, John Denver is killed when his homemade light aircraft runs out of gas and crashes off the coast of Monterey, California.

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