Today in 1963, the Beatles played two shows in Sundstavagen, Sweden, to begin their first tour of Sweden. The local music critic was less than impressed, claiming the Beatles should have been happy for their fans’ screaming to drown out the group’s “terrible” performance, asserting that the Beatles “were of no musical importance whatsoever,” and furthermore claiming their local opening act, the Phantoms, “decidedly outshone them.”
Three thoughts: Perhaps the Beatles did have a bad night. But have you heard a Phantoms song recently? It is also unknown whether the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” was intended as revenge against the Swedes.
One year later, a demonstration of why the phrase “never say never” holds validity: Today in 1964, the Rolling Stones made their first appearance on CBS-TV’s Ed Sullivan Show.
A riot broke out in the CBS studio, which prompted Sullivan to say, “I promise you they’ll never be back on our show again.” “Never” turned out to be May 2, 1965, when the Stones made the second of their six performances on the rilly big shew.
Today in 1968, the Jimi Hendrix Experience released “Electric Ladyland”:
The most controversial part of the album was its cover, which featured Hendrix’s head …
… instead of what the record label had in mind:
(You can see the problem with the record company’s idea. Album covers are square. This photo is not.)
Today in 1970, President Richard Nixon asked radio station programmers to (to coin a phrase from the next decade) just say no to playing songs with drug references. Which would have taken, by one measure, one out of every seven rock songs off the air, before and after Nixon’s request.
The number one single today in 1975:
The number one single today in 1980 comes from the number one album today in 1980, Barbra Streisand’s “Guilty”:
The number one album today in 1986 was Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet”:
Birthdays start with Helen Reddy:
Jon Anderson of Yes:
John Hall of Orleans:
Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest:
Matthias Jabs played guitar for the Scorpions:
Robbie Macintosh of the Pretenders and other bands:
Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers:
Two deaths of note today: Roger Miller today in 1992 …
… and Richard Harris in 2002: