May 2nd: On this day
1963, The Beatles were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘From Me To You’, the group’s first No.1 and the first of eleven consecutive No.1’s. The title of the song was inspired from a letters column called From You To Us that ran in the British music newspaper, The New Musical Express.
1964, The Rolling Stones self-titled debut album started a 12-week run at No.1 on the UK charts. The album spent a total of 51 weeks on the UK chart. Also on his day The Stones made their first appearance on the US singles chart when ‘Not Fade Away’ entered the chart at No.98.
1969, The Who gave a press preview of their new rock opera ‘Tommy’ at Ronnie Scott’s in London, England. The double album about a “deaf, dumb and blind boy” who becomes the leader of a messianic movement, was the first musical work to be billed overtly as a rock opera. In 1998 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical, artistic and significant value” and has now sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
1969, The Beatles recorded a re-make of the new George Harrison song ‘Something’ at Abbey Road Studios in London. They recorded 36 takes of the song, which included Billy Preston on piano. The track is featured on the Abbey Road album.
1969, Pink Floyd appeared at Manchester Chamber Of Commerce, England. The show was recorded for the forthcoming album ‘Ummagumma’.
1969, Led Zeppelin played the first of two nights at The Pasadena Rose Palace, California. Many other acts appeared here including The Byrds, Cream, Santana, The Grateful Dead, and Joe Cocker
1970, One Hit Wonder Norman Greenbaum was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Spirit In The Sky.’ Also a No.1 hit for Doctor and the Medics in 1986 and Gareth Gates in 2003.
1972, Bruce Springsteen auditioned for CBS Records A&R man John Hammond in New York. Springsteen played a short set for him in his office; Hammond was so impressed that he arranged a real audition that night at the Gaslight Club in New York for other Columbia executives. Bruce passed the audition.
1978, The Fall and Slaughter And The Dogs appeared at Band On The Wall in Manchester and at London’s Hackney, The Clash, The Tom Robinson Band and X-Ray Spec all appeared on the same night.
1978, Kate Bush was on the UK charts with her debut album ‘The Kick Inside’. The album which featured the singers No.1 hit ‘Wuthering Heights’ peaked at No.3 spent a total of 70 weeks on the UK chart.
1980, Joy Division played what would be their last gig with singer Ian Curtis when they appeared at Birmingham University, England. Curtis committed suicide two weeks later.
1981, Scottish singer Sheena Easton started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Morning Train (9 to 5)’. The title of the song was changed to avoid any confusion with the Dolly Parton hit ‘9 to 5’, in the same year.
1983, Spandau Ballet were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘True’, the group’s only No.1. The song spent four weeks at the top of the UK chart and was a hit in 20 other countries. Parts of the original version have been sampled and used in a number of songs – most notably PM Dawn’s 1991 US No.1 hit ‘Set Adrift on Memory Bliss’, which contains a sample of the song’s famous guitar hook.
1987, Cutting Crew started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘(I Just), Died In Your Arms’, a No.4 hit in the UK.
1989, A security guard alerted the police after a man wearing a wig, fake moustache and false teeth walked into Zales Jewellers, California. Three squad cars arrived and police detained the man, who turned out to be Michael Jackson in disguise.
1991, The video for the R.E.M. song ‘Losing My Religion’, was banned in Ireland because its religious imagery was seen as unfit for broadcast.
1991, Nirvana booked into Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California for 16 days. On a budget of $65,000 and with Butch Vig producing the band started recording what would become the Nevermind album.
1992, Little known UK duo Nirvana filed a suit against the American band of the same name claiming that they had been using the name since 1968. The dispute was settled out of court in the British bands favour.
1992, The Cure scored their first UK No.1 album with ‘Wish’, their 15th album release, featuring the top 10 single ‘Friday I’m In Love’.
1998, Japanese rock star Hideto Matsumoto was found hanged in the bathroom at his Tokyo apartment and died in hospital a short time later at the age of 33. His funeral, held on May 7th, was attended by over 70,000 people and required 100 police officers, 170 security guards, police boats and helicopters. 21 people were hospitalised for injuries caused by the massive crowd at his funeral.
1999, St Vincent and the Grenadines issued a *NSYNC postage stamp in honour of the boy band.
2003, Kings Of Leon played their first ever UK date when they appeared at The Empress Ballroom in Blackpool.
2004, Total Guitar magazine’s readers voted Guns N’ Roses’ anthem ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ as the greatest guitar riff ever ahead of Nirvana’s grunge anthem ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ came third, followed by Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke On The Water’. Total Guitar editor Scott Rowley said: “To a new generation of guitarist’s, Guns N’ Roses are more thrilling than the Sex Pistols”.
2005, Eric Clapton joined former Cream members drummer Ginger Baker and bass player Jack Bruce for the first of four nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall 36 years after they had split up. Tickets were changing hands for more than £500 on eBay and fans had flown over from the USA to witness the reunion, which Clapton aged 60, is said to have agreed to because of the failing health of the other former members of the band.
2006, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards was released from hospital in New Zealand after the 62 year-old suffered “mild concussion” when he fell out of a coconut tree while on holiday in Fiji. He was airlifted to Auckland’s Ascot Hospital for observation, where he underwent a brain scan.
2007, Almost 2,000 musicians gathered in the Polish city of Wroclaw to play a rock anthem by Jimi Hendrix. The guitarists were aiming to set a new Guinness World Record by gathering 1,876 guitarist’s in the city’s market square to play ‘Hey Joe’. Organisers say it was the biggest guitar ensemble in recorded history.
2008, Chad Kroeger was banned from driving for a year after being convicted of drink-driving in the Canadian city of Vancouver. The 33-year-old Nickelback singer had almost twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system when he was stopped by police speeding in his Lamborghini.
2009, A rare Motown seven-inch single sold for £25,742, ($38,378), setting a new world record. Kenny Burrell, from Fife in Scotland, put the unreleased 1965 single ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’ by Frank Wilson up for auction; the single was one of only two in the world. Motown boss Berry Gordy had all other copies destroyed after Wilson moved into songwriting and producing. British Record dealer John Manship, who organised the sale, said the buyer wished to remain anonymous. Wilson went on to write hits for The Supremes and The Four Tops.
2009, Bob Dylan mingled unnoticed with other Beatles tourists during a minibus tour to John Lennon’s childhood home. He was one of 14 tourists to examine photos and documents in the National Trust-owned home, where Lennon grew up with his aunt Mimi and uncle George. Dylan who was on a day off on a European tour paid £16 for the public trip to the 1940s house in Woolton, Liverpool.
2013, It was announced that the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! was to close at the end of June 2013. The production, which was written by Jennifer Saunders, suffered poor ticket sales after damning reviews.
2013, Jeff Hanneman, founding member of rock band Slayer, died at the age of 49. The guitarist had been suffering from necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that he is believed to have contracted from a spider bite in 2011. Hanneman was being treated in a local hospital when he “suffered liver failure.”
May 2nd: Born on this day
1935, Born on this day, Link Wray, guitarist, (1958 US No.16 single ‘Rumble’). Wray was credited with inventing ‘fuzz’ guitar after punching a hole in a speaker giving him a distorted sound. Wray died on 5th Nov 2005 aged 76.
1936, Born on this day, Engelbert Humperdinck, (1967 UK No.1 and US No. 4 single ‘Release Me’, plus 12 other UK Top 40 hits).
1945, Born on this day, Goldy McJohn, Steppenwolf, (1968 US No.2 and 1969 UK No.30 single ‘Born To Be Wild’).
1945, Born on this day, Randy Cain, The Delfonics, (1968 US No.4 & 1971 UK No.19 single ‘La- La Means I Love You’). Died on 9th April 2009 at the age of 63.
1946, Born on this day, Bob Henrit, drums, Argent, 1972 UK No.5 single ‘Hold Your Head Up’), also a member of The Kinks.
1946, Born on this day, American singer, songwriter, actress and activist, Lesley Gore, who had the 1963 US No.1 & UK No.9 single ‘It’s My Party’. Gore died on February 16, 2015, at the NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, New York City, of lung cancer.
1950, Born on this day, Lou Gramm, vocals, Foreigner, (1985 UK & US No.1 single ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’).
1951, Born on this day, Jo Callis, Synthesizer, keyboards, guitar, Human League, (1981 UK No.1 & 1982 US No.1 single ‘Don’t You Want Me’ plus over 15 other UK Top 40 singles). Callis had been a member of the Rezillos and wrote their 1978 hit ‘Top Of The Pops’.
1954, Born on this day, Prescott Niles, The Knack, (1979 US No.1 & UK No.6 single ‘My Sharona’).
1961, Born on this day, Dr Robert, The Blow Monkeys, (1987 UK No.5 single ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way’).
1962, Born on this day, Alain Johannes multi-instrumentalist, producer and vocalist, who has worked with Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Chris Cornell, and Arctic Monkeys.
1967, Born on this day, David McAlmont, singer, (1995 UK No.8 with Bernard Butler, ‘Yes.’)
1969, Born on this day, Ben Leach, The Farm, (1990 UK No.4 single ‘All Together Now’).
1985, Born on this day, Lily Allen, UK singer, (2006 UK No.1 single ‘Smile’, 2006 UK No.2 album ‘Alright, Still’).