Today in Rock & Roll History: July 15th

1965: Barry McGuire recorded “Eve of Destruction.” Writer P.F. Sloan produced the song and played guitar on the track along with Los Angeles sessions musicians Hal Blaine on drums and Larry Knecthel on bass. According to McGuire, the song was recorded in one take on a Thursday morning, in which he read the scrawled lyrics on a crumpled piece of paper. His vocal track had been added as a rough mix and was not intended for the final version, but the recording leaked to disc jockeys who started playing it by the following Monday. By the end of September, the song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it is McGuire’s only single to enter the top 70 on the chart.

1966: The Yardbirds released Yardbirds, the band’s only UK studio album. Issued in the US as Over Under Sideways Down, the LP has since been referred to as Roger the Engineer based on its cover illustration. It is the only Yardbirds album with all original material, the only with guitarist Jeff Beck on every track, and the only album by the group to appear on the UK chart, where it reached #20. In the US, the LP peaked at #52 on the Billboard pop chart.

1967: Stevie Wonder went to #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart with “I Was Made to Love Her.”

1968: The Beatles moved into their newly purchased headquarters for Apple Corps at 3 Saville Row in London after purchasing the Georgian townhouse for £500,000 in June. It was the first time they had an entire building to themselves, and each member had their own office, along with a recording studio in the basement, where the band’s final album, Let It Be, was made. Less than a year later, the band performed their famed rooftop concert on top of the building.

1971: Linda Ronstadt, who’d established herself with her band the Stone Poneys in the late 1960s, was booked to play a week of shows Disneyland. She didn’t have a touring band at the time, so Ronstadt and her manager recruited local musicians Don Henley and Glenn Frey, who she’d met through her regular appearances at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. Soon after, Randy Meisner, who’d been backing Ricky Nelson, and former member of the Flying Burrito Brothers Bernie Leadon also joined the group. It was the first time that Henley, Frey, Leadon, and Meisner performed together, and they shortly after formed the Eagles.

1972: Elton John began five weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart with Honky Château, his fifth studio LP and first #1 in the US.

1972: The Rolling Stones released “Happy” backed with “All Down the Line” as the second single from Exile on Main St., their tenth studio album in the UK. “All Down the Line” was initially slated to be the album’s lead single, but was ultimately released as a B-side.

1972: Neil Diamond released his eighth studio album, Moods.

1973: Grand Funk Railroad released their seventh studio album, We’re an American Band. The LP was the group’s first collaboration with producer and engineer Todd Rundgren, who went on to also produce the group’s next album, Shinin’ On.

1977: Between their first and second albums, The Jam released “All Around the World” backed with “Carnaby Street.”

1977: Yes released their eighth studio album, Going for the One. The album was recorded in Montreux, Switzerland after their 1976 North American tour and after each member had released a solo album. During sessions, keyboardist Patrick Moraz left and was replaced by Rick Wakeman, who had previously left to pursue a solo career.

1978: The Rolling Stones’ sixteenth American album, Some Girls, began two weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

1981: George Harrison released “Teardrops,” the second single from his ninth studio album, Somewhere in England.

1982: America released their tenth studio album, View from the Ground.

1983: Scottish band Big Country released their debut album, The Crossing. It reached #3 on the UK chart, #4 in Canada, and #18 in the US.

1984: “I’m Stepping Out” by John Lennon from his sixth and final studio album with wife Yoko Ono, Milk and Honey, was released in the UK.

1985: Phil Collins released “Take Me Home,” the fourth and final single from his third studio LP, No Jacked Required.

1989: An estimated 200,000 people turned out for a free Pink Floyd concert in Venice, Italy. Plans for the show immediately drew outrage from local residents, who feared vibrations from the band’s loud music would damage the city’s ancient monuments. Sympathetic to the city, Pink Floyd agreed to reduce the volume of their performance and play atop a floating barge two hundred yards from the city square. Despite a relatively well-behaved audience and very little damage, officials claimed concert-goers left behind over three hundred tons of garbage. Before the end of the week, public outrage over the event led to the resignation of the entire city council, who had approved the concert, as well as Venice’s mayor. The band’s Italian promoter had had the idea for the concert to coincide with the traditional celebration of Festa del Redentore, or the Feast of the Redeemer.

1993: R.E.M. released “Nightswimming,” the fifth single from their eighth studio album, Automatic for the People. Singer Michael Stipe is accompanied on the track by bassist Mike Mills on piano and features a string arrangement by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

1997: Sarah McLachlan released her fourth studio album Surfacing. It became her first LP to reach #1 in her home country of Canada as well as her first to two albums to peak at #2 on the Billboard chart in the US.

1997: The Dandy Warhols released their second studio album, …The Dandy Warhols Come Down.

2008: John Mellencamp released his twentieth studio album, Life, Death, Love and Freedom.

2009: After an interview on the Late Show with David Letterman, Paul McCartney played a free 22-minute mini concert above the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.

2011: Paul McCartney performed the first of two consecutive nights at New York’s Yankee Stadium as part of his On the Run tour. The concert setlists were slightly changed from previous concerts to include the Beatles songs “I Will,” “The Night Before,” and the Abbey Road medley “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End.” The performance of “The Night Before” was the first time McCartney had ever played the song live.

Birthdays Today

H.B. Barnum, pianist, arranger, record producer, and songwriter, who worked with artists such as Lou Rawls, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, the Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, and Gladys Knight, was born born Hidle Brown Barnum in Houston, TX in 1936.

Wes Wilson, graphic artist and one of the leading designers of psychedelic posters best known for designing posters that promoted shows at San Francisco venues such as the Fillmore Auditorium, the Fillmore West, and the Avalon Ballroom, was born in Sacramento, CA in 1937.

Peter Lewis, vocalist, guitarist, and founding member of Moby Grape, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1945.

Linda Ronstadt, eclectic singer and lead vocalist for the Stone Poneys, was born in Tuscon, AZ in 1946.

Peter Banks, original lead guitarist for Yes, was born in Chipping Barnet, London, England in 1947.

Roky Erickson, musician, singer-songwriter, and founding member of the 13th Floor Elevators, was born in Dallas, TX in 1947.

Trevor Horn, bassist, singer, songwriter, music producer, recording studio and label owner, one half of new wave duo The Buggles, and vocalist and bassist for Yes, who produced songs by acts such as Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, and Seal, was born in Durham, England in 1949.

Johnny Thunders, guitarist, singer, songwriter, member of the New York Dolls, and a solo artist, was born John Anthony Genzale in Queens, NY in 1952.

Ian Curtis, lead singer and lyricist for Joy Division, was born in Stretford, Lancashire, England in 1956.

Marky Ramone, drummer for the Ramones, was born Marc Steven Bell in Brooklyn, NY in 1956.

Joe Satriani, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, was born in Westburty, NY in 1956.

Jason Bonham, drummer and son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, was born in Dudley, West Midlands, England in 1966.