October 17, 2021

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Today in Rock History – April 25 –


1964, The Beatles have an incredible 14 singles on the American chart.

1965, During a North American tour, The Rolling Stones played at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto to over 16,000 fans.

1965, The Who performed at Trade Union Hall in Watford, Hertfordshire, England.

1967, Just days after the completion of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles embark upon their next project, recording the theme to Magical Mystery Tour at Abbey Road studios in London.

1967, Pink Floyd headlined at the Stage Club in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England. The opening act was The Vibratones.

1967, Jimi Hendrix played  at Colston Hall in Bristol, England.

1967, Janis Joplin and Big Brother appeared at The Matrix in San Francisco.

1968, Procol Harum, supported by The Halluciantions, played at Boston Tea Party in Boston, Massachusetts.

1969, Led Zeppelin performed at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco

1970, The Allman Brothers Band appeared at Sullivan County Community College in Fallsburg, New York.

1970, The Jackson Five started a two week run at number one on the singles chart with “ABC.” It was the group’s second chart topper.

1970, Pink Floyd performed at the Eastown Theatre in Detroit, Michigan. On the bill were The Frost and The Up.

1971, The Grateful Dead and the New Riders of the Purple Sage played the Fillmore East in New York City.

1971, Yes appeared at the Chalk Farm Roundhouse, London.

1972, Pink Floyd performed at the Allen Theater, Cleveland, Ohio.

1973, Johnny Winter played at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto.

1974, Rolling Stone reports that concerts by Yes, Gregg Allman, and the Beach Boys have all been hit by streakers, no doubt inspired by Ray Stevens’ chart topping hit “The Streak.” Meanwhile, Allman himself performs the last date of a solo tour. To reassure the audience that the Allman Brothers Band are not splitting up, the entire band comes out and performs a 90-minute encore.

1974, Grand Funk Railroad played at Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan.

1974, Pamela Courson the long-term companion of the late Jim Morrison, died of a drug overdose. It was Courson who found the Doors singer dead on July 3, 1971 in the bathtub of their apartment in Paris, France.

1976, Fleetwood Mac appeared at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California.

1977, Elvis Presley made the last recordings of his life during a concert at the Saginaw, Michigan Civic Centre. Three songs from the show appeared on the posthumously released Presley album Moody Blue.

1979, The Police made their debut on BBC TV’s Top Of The Pops performing “Roxanne.”

1980, Cheap Trick played at Pine Knob Music Theatre, Clarkston, Michigan.

1980, Pete Townshend’s first totally solo album, Empty Glass, is released in the UK. The US release follows on the 21st. Reviews are rave, with Sounds magazine giving the album its highest rating and Paul Morley in New Musical Express saying the album shows Pete is still an important musician. The album peaks at number 11 in the UK, the highest chart position for a Pete solo record in that country. In the US, it goes all the way to number five.

1981, Wings break up after Denny Laine leaves the band. Paul McCartney says he will carry on as a solo artist.

1982, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were at number one on the UK singles chart with “Ebony And Ivory.” This was McCartney’s 24th number one hit single as a songwriter. The title was inspired by McCartney hearing Spike Milligan say “black notes, white notes, and you need to play the two to make harmony folks!” It was later named as the tenth worst song of all time by Blender magazine and in 2007 was named the worst duet in history by BBC 6 Music listeners.

1987, U2 started a five-week run at number one on the US album chart with their fifth studio album The Joshua Tree. Inspired by American tour experiences, literature, and politics, the album topped the charts in over 20 countries, and is one of the world’s all-time best-selling albums, with over 25 million copies sold. The album which won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year produced the hit singles “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.”

1987, Madonna went to number one on the UK singles chart with “La Isla Bonita.” It was the fifth and final single from her third studio album, True Blue, making her the only female artist to score four UK chart topping singles. The song had been offered to Michael Jackson for his Bad album.

1988, Bon Jovi’s manager Doc McGee was convicted on drug charges arising from the 1982 seizure of 40,000 pounds of marijuana smuggled into North Carolina from Colombia. McGee was sentenced to a five year suspended prison term and a $15,000 (£10,000) fine.

1990, The Fender Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix played at the Woodstock festival was auctioned off for a record $295,000 (£196,000). His two-hour set at the 1969 festival became the longest of his career.

1994, The Eagles played the first of two shows where they recorded their Hell Freezes Over album. Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit first got back together the previous December for the making of a Travis Tritt video of their song, “Take It Easy.” The name of the album was taken from an earlier quote by Glen Frey, who responded to the question “When will the Eagles get back together?”

1994, Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys was sentenced to 200 hours of community service for attacking a TV cameraman during the memorial services for actor River Phoenix the previous November.

1997, U2’s Pop Mart world tour kicked off at San Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas before 35,000 fans. The tour featured the largest video screen in the world and would visit 80 cities around the planet.

2002, TLC member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was killed in a car accident in La Ceiba, Honduras, aged 30. Seven other people, including Lopes’ brother and sister, who were in the Mitsubishi Montero sports utility vehicle when the crash happened, were taken to a hospital. Lopes who was driving the car when it crashed had spent the past month in Honduras working on various projects including a clothing line, a new solo project and a book. She contributed background vocals and her self-written raps to many of TLC’s hit singles, including “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” “What About Your Friends,” “Hat 2 da Back,” “No Scrubs,” “Waterfalls,” “I’m Good at Being Bad,” and “Girl Talk.” She won four Grammy Awards for her work with TLC.

2005, Bruce Springsteen played the opening show on his Devils & Dust Tour North American Tour at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan.

2007, American singer Bobby “Boris” Pickett died of leukemia at the age of 69. He is know for the Halloween song “The Monster Mash” in 1962. The song had been banned by The BBC in the UK, deemed offensive and wasn’t a hit until 1973. It was a spoof on the dance crazes popular at the time, including the Twist and the Mashed Potato.

2009, Rascal Flatts went to number one on the US album charts with Unstoppable, the American country/rock crossover group’s sixth studio album.

Born on April 25: Ella Fitzgerald (1918); Albert King, blues guitarist (1923); Jerry Lieber, songwriter (1933); Tony Christie, UK singer (1943); Bjorn Ulvaeus,  Abba (1945);  Stu Cook, Creedence Clearwater Revival (1945); Michael Kogel, Los Bravos (1945); Ronnie Gilbert, The Blues Magoos (1946);  Michael Brown, Left Banke, The Stories (1949); Steve Ferrone, Average White Band, Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1950); Derek Dick, aka Fish, Scottish singer-songwriter, actor, Marillion (1958); Andy Bell, Erasure (1964); Eric Avery, American bass player, songwriter, Jane’s Addiction, Deconstruction,  Polar Bear (1965)

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