April 1

this day

1917 : The composer, Scott Joplin, dies in New York City aged 49.

1955 : George Martin became the head of A&R for EMI’s Parlophone label.

1956 : Elvis Presley gets his film career going with a screen test at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, where he performs the role of Jimmy Curry in a scene from The Rainmaker. He lands a contract and ends up starring in 31 movies.

1961 : The Beatles began a three-month residency at The Top Ten Club in Hamburg,Germany, playing 92 straight nights. The group played for seven hours a night on weekdays and eight hours at weekends with a fifteen-minute break every hour. It was during this visit that Astrid Kirchherr cut Stuart Sutcliffe’s hair into the style destined to become known as the “Beatle haircut” which The Beatles later adopted themselves.

1965 : The Who recorded an appearance for Top Of The Pops at the Manchester television studio. The band then played a gig supporting Donovan at The Town Hall, Wembley, with Rod Stewart & the Soul Agents appearing at the bottom of the bill.

1966 : Pye Records released David Bowie’s first solo single, ‘Do Anything You Say’. Bowie had previously recorded as David Jones and The Lower Third.

1966 : The Troggs recorded ‘Wild Thing’ at Regent Sound Studio in London. The song went on to be a No.1 US and No.2 UK hit in June the following year. The track was recorded in one complete take (take two).

1966 : John Lennon bought a copy of Timothy Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience and The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, where he read near the beginning of the book’s introduction; “When in doubt, relax, turn off your mind, float downstream,” which captured Lennon’s imagination and became the first line of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, (which he recorded 5 days later).

1969 : Ambrose Slade (Slade) made their live debut at Walsall Town Hall, Walsall, England.

1969 : The Beach Boys announced they were suing their record label Capitol for $2m in unpaid royalties.

1970 : 50 musicians recorded the orchestral scores for The Beatles tracks ‘The Long And Winding Road’ and ‘Across The Universe’ for the Phil Spector produced sessions. The bill for the 50 musicians was $1,914.

1970 : Earls Court in London received over one million postal ticket applications for The Rolling Stones forthcoming six concerts as part of the group’s European tour.

1970 : As an April Fool’s joke, John Lennon and Yoko Ono issued a statement to the press that they were having dual sex change operations.

1970 : The Woodstock movie premieres in Hollywood.

1972 : The three-day Mar Y Sol festival in Puerto Rico took place, featuring Rod Stewart, Dr John, The Allman Brothers, Osibisa, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Alice Cooper, The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Security was simple as the event took place on an island accessible by ticket only.

1976 : Making their live debut in the UK, AC/DC played at The Red Cow in Hammersmith, London.

1976 : Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s house was broken into with thieves taking guitars valued at over £7,000.

1977 : Elvis Presley is admitted to a Memphis hospital where he ends up staying for six days suffering from fatigue and intestinal flu.

1977 : Led Zeppelin begin their largest American tour at Memorial Auditorium in Dallas. After playing their first show in nearly two years, Robert Plant says, “I was so happy. I don’t think I’ve ever sung better in America.”

1978 : Elvis Costello and The Attractions appeared at The Bracknell Sports Centre, Berkshire, England.

1984 : Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father at his parent’s home in Los Angeles, California. The argument started after his parents squabbled over misplaced business documents, Gaye attempted to intervene, and was killed by his father using a gun he had given him four months before. Marvin Sr. was sentenced to six years of probation after pleading guilty to manslaughter. Charges of first-degree murder were dropped after doctors discovered Marvin Sr. had a brain tumour.

1985 : David Lee Roth quit Van Halen shortly after releasing his version of The Beach Boys’, ‘California Girls’, (which featured Carl Wilson on background vocals). He was replaced by Sammy Hagar later in the year.

1986 : Bruce Hornsby and the Range release The Way It Is, an album that would produce four hits (including the title track) and be certified multi-platinum.

1989 : Madonna scored her third UK No.1 album with ‘Like A Prayer.’ Also a US No.1 the album spent 70 weeks on the UK chart.

1990 : Willie Nelson’s tour bus crashed into a car in Riverdale, Canada, killing the car driver.

1990 : A little-known northwest punk band called Nirvana begins a 15-date US and Canada tour at the Cabaret Metro in Chicago.

1992 : Billy Idol pleads no contest to charges of misdemeanor assault and battery and is fined $2,000. The incident happened in October, 1991, when Idol ended up in a car with two women and allegedly punched one of them. Alcohol was involved.

1992 : Metallica’s …And Justice for All is certified for sales of two-million copies, and Ride the Lightning is certified for sales of three-million.

2000 : Santana started a nine week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with, ‘Maria Maria.’

2002 : Paul McCartney kicked off the first leg of his 19 date Driving USA North American tour at The Oakland Arena, Oakland.

2004 : Paul Atkinson guitarist with The Zombies died aged 58 due to liver and kidney disease. They scored the 1964 US No.2 & UK No.12 single ‘She’s Not There’. He later became an artists and repertoire executive, working for Columbia and RCA discovering and signing such bands as ABBA, Bruce Hornsby, Mr. Mister, Judas Priest, and Michael Penn.

2005 : KISS and Ted Nugent headline a show at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California for the Marine Corpes and their families.

2005 : During the first leg of their Vertigo World tour, U2 appeared at the Arrowhead Sports Arena in Anaheim, Southern California, with Kings Of Leon as the opening act. By the end of the 131 date tour, 4,619,021 tickets had been sold with a total gross of $389 million.

2013 : A signed copy of The Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band sold at Dallas-based Heritage Auctions for $290,500. The selling price far exceeded the $30,000 originally estimated for the rare LP record. The UK Parlophone copy of the album included a high gloss cover and vinyl gatefold sleeve.

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