April 8th: On this day
1956, During a tour of Colorado, Texas and New Mexico, Elvis Presley played two shows at Denver Coliseum in Colorado, (1 matinee and 1 evening).
1964, The Supremes record ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ at Motown Studios in Detroit. The song would become their first US No.1 single. Originally founded as the Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, the Supremes were the most commercially successful of Motown’s acts and are, to date, America’s most successful vocal group with 12 No.1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100.
1965, Unit Four Plus Two were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Concrete And Clay’, the English group’s only No.1 hit.
1967, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Arthur Conley and Booker T And The MG’s all appeared at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, England.
1967, Sandie Shaw won the Eurovision Song Contest held in Vienna representing Britain with the song ‘Puppet On A String’. She became the first UK female artist to win the contest.
1967, John Lennon took his Rolls Royce to coachbuilders J.P. Fallon Ltd in Surrey to enquire if they could paint his car in psychedelic colours. This was based on an idea by Marijke Koger (“The Fool” who was a member of Dutch team of gypsy artists). J.P. Fallon commissioned Steve Weaver’s pattern of scroll and flowers for the Phantom V. The cost for having the work done came in at £2,000. A custom interior/exterior sound system was also installed as well as a Sony television; telephone (WEYBRIDGE 46676) and a portable refrigerator.
1972, Written after the ‘Bloody Sunday Massacre’, in Northern Ireland Paul McCartney and Wings released ‘Give Ireland Back To The Irish.’ The song was banned by the BBC and the IBA. It peaked at No.16 in the UK and No.21 in the US.
1973, Gilbert O’Sullivan was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Get Down’, (a song about his dog), the singers second UK No.1.
1973, During his Ziggy Stardust world tour, David Bowie played the first of three sold out nights at Shinjuku Koseinenkin, Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan.
1977, The Damned played at the home of the New York punk scene CBGBS, the first UK Punk group to play live dates in the USA.
1978, Brian and Michael (Kevin Parrott and Michael Coleman), were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with a song inspired by painter LS Lowery ‘Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs.’ The backing vocals are by the St Winifred’s School Choir, who had a No.1 in 1980.
1982, New Order’s bass player Peter Hook was knocked unconscious during a riot at a gig in Rotterdam.
1985, American songwriter J Fred Coots died aged 87. Co-wrote, ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ and the Pat Boone US No.1 hit ‘Love Letters In The Sand.’ He wrote over 700 songs.
1989, Roxette went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘The Look’, the duo’s first US No.1, a No.7 hit in the UK.
1994, Electrician Gary Smith who was working at Kurt Cobain’s house in Seattle discovered Cobain’s body lying on the floor in the greenhouse. Local radio station KXRX broke the news at 9.40am that the Nirvana singer and guitarist was dead. A shotgun was found next to Cobain’s body. A suicide note was found that said, “I haven’t felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing . . . for too many years now”. A high concentration of heroin and traces of Valium were also found in Cobain’s body.
1994, The Recording Industry Association of America announced that Pink Floyd’s 1973 album The Dark Side of The Moon had become the fourth biggest-selling album in US history and had passed the 13 million mark in sales. The album has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.
1995, Take That had their sixth UK No.1 single when the Gary Barlow penned ‘Back For Good’ went to the top of the UK charts. The song sold over 300,000 copies in its first week and was also a US Top 10 hit. The song won Best British Single at the 1996 Brit Awards.
1997, American singer, songwriter Laura Nyro died from ovarian cancer. Suzanne Vega, Phoebe Snow, Roseane Cash, Frank Sinatra and Linda Ronstadt all covered her songs. She wrote ‘And When I Die’ a hit for Blood, Sweat & Tears and ‘Stoney End’ which was covered by Barbra Streisand.
1998, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood was rescued, along with 11 other passengers, in the nick of time, from a boat when an engine caught fire. The boat was exploring the islands near Angra Dos Reis, south of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, when one of the boat’s engines caught fire. Passengers were rescued by nearby journalists, just before the boat exploded.
2001, Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton scored her first UK No.1 single with ‘What Took You So Long.’ She became the fourth Spice Girl to have a solo No 1. Written by Richard Stannard who wrote six of the Spice Girls’ UK No.1 hits.
2002, Marilyn Manson denied claims that he was responsible for the death of a woman after a party at his mansion in 2001. Jennifer Syme, a former girlfriend of actor Keanu Reeves, died when her Jeep Cherokee hit three parked cars. Her mother, Maria St John, was suing the singer for wrongful death, claiming Manson was negligent in “instructing the woman to operate a motor vehicle in her incapacitated condition”.
2006, Following 2003’s false starts, The Rolling Stones finally performed for the first time in mainland China, at Shanghai’s Grand Stage Theatre. The Stones were banned from performing three songs (Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Women, Rough Justice). Chinese rock star Cui Jian joined the band on stage for a duet with Mick Jagger on Wild Horses.
2007, American country music singer Tim McGraw was at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Let It Go’ his fourth No.1 album. The album produced seven Top 20 US country hits.
2008, Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty was jailed for 14 weeks for violating his probation and for using drugs. Doherty had been given a suspended jail sentence for possession of drugs and driving illegally in October 2007. The singer’s supervision order had required him to make regular visits to court for progress reports, as well as take part in a drug rehabilitation programme but he missed one appointment with his probation team and had been late for another. The sentence forced Doherty to cancel his biggest gig to date at the Royal Albert Hall scheduled for later this month.
2008, Led Zeppelin topped the list of Classic Rock magazine’s Best Live Acts Of All Time. The Who were voted in at No.2 and AC/DC at No.3.
2010, Malcolm McLaren former manager of the Sex Pistols, the New York Dolls and Bow Wow Wow died from cancer aged 64. As a solo artist he scored the 1983 UK No.3 single ‘Double Dutch’. He set up the fashion store Let It Rock in the late 60’s with Vivienne Westwood selling rubber and fetish gear.
2012, It was reported that organizers for the 2012 ceremony had recently asked the manager of The Who if legendary drummer Keith Moon would be able to perform at the forthcoming London Olympics Games. Who manager Bill Curbishley, told The Times how he responded to the request. “I emailed back saying Keith now resides in Golders Green crematorium, having lived up to The Who’s anthemic line ‘I hope I die before I get old,'” he said. “If they have a round table, some glasses and candles, we might contact him.”
April 8th: Born on this day
1929, Born on this day, Jacques Brel, Belgian singer, songwriter. Marc Almond, Alex Harvey, David Bowie, Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, The Kingston Trio and Gavin Friday have all covered his songs. Brel has sold over 25 million records worldwide, including over 12 million albums and singles in France and Belgium. He died of cancer 9th October 1978.
1942, Born on this day, Roger Chapman, vocals, Family, (1971 UK No.4 single ‘In My Own Time’, 1968 album Music in a Doll’s House), also a member of the Streetwalkers. Now solo.
1947, Born on this day, Steve Howe, guitarist, Yes, (1977 UK No.7 ‘Wonderous Stories’, 1983 US No.1 & UK No. 28 single ‘Owner Of A Lonely Heart’). Asia, (1982 US No 4 & UK No. 46 single ‘Heat Of The Moment’). Has also been a member of The Syndicats, Bodast, Tomorrow and GTR. Released over a dozen solo albums. Howe was voted Best Overall Guitarist in Guitar Player magazine five years in a row (1977-1981).
1956, Born on this day, Justin Sullivan, New Model Army, (1985 UK No.28 single ‘No Rest’).
1962, Born on this day, Adam Mole, Pop Will Eat Itself, (1991 UK No.15 single ‘X Y & Zee’).
1962, Born on this day, Izzy Stradlin, guitar, Guns N’ Roses, (1988 US No.1 & 1989 UK No.6 single ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, 1991 US No.1 album ‘Use Your Illusion II’). Also Izzy Stradlin & the Ju Ju Hounds.
1962, Born on this day, Jerry Kelly, Lotus Eaters, (1983 UK No.15 single ‘First Picture Of You’).
1963, Born on this day, Julian Lennon, first son of Beatle John Lennon and the only child of Lennon’s first wife Cynthia Lennon. His godfather was Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. Julian Lennon had the 1991 UK No.6 single ‘Saltwater’. Had a cameo role in the 1995 film ‘Leaving Las Vegas’, as a bartender.
1963, Born on this day, Donita Sparks, guitar, vocals, L7, (1992 UK No. 21 single ‘Pretend We’re Dead’).
1971, Born on this day, Darren Jessee, drums, Ben Folds Five, (1997 UK No.26 single ‘Battle Of Who Could Care Less’).