I always have fun looking back at happenings in rock & roll history. One could argue that doing this based on a specific date is rather arbitrary. It certainly is, as is the following list:
1964: Wallace Scowcroft, the president of the UK’s National Federation of Hairdressers, offered a free haircut to the next band to hit no. 1 on the pop charts. Reportedly, he said: “If pop groups had their hair well cut the teenagers would copy them – instead of just asking for a bit off the neck. The Rolling Stones are the worst. One of them looks as if he has got a feather duster on his head.”
1965: The Beatles’ Ticket to Ride was on top of the U.K. singles chart, their seventh consecutive no. 1 hit there. Written by John Lennon and, as usually, credited to him and Paul McCartney, the song was also included on Help!, the Fab Four’s fifth studio album, which appeared in August that year. The Beatles recorded Ticket to Ride on Feb. 15, 1965 at Abbey Road Studios in London, using a new approach. Instead of taping live versions of songs, select the best take, and overdub harmonies or solos, The Beatles now usually recorded a rhythm track first and then built an arrangement around it step by step.
1966: The Troggs released Wild Thing, a single from their debut album From Nowhere, which appeared in July that year. Written by American songwriter Chip Taylor, the song was originally recorded the prior year by The Wild Ones, an American rock band. But the Troggs’ cover became the most successful commercial version, hitting no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1966 and climbing to no. 2 in the U.K. singles chart. Undoubtedly, the wildest live performance of the tune was by Jimi Hendrix at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Here’s a nice clip of the spectacle. Wild Thing has been called a major influence on garage rock and punk. As performed by The Troggs, it’s ranked at no. 261 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
1972: Deep Purple scored their second no. 1 album in the U.K. official charts with Machine Head after Fireball, which was released the previous year. The band’s seventh studio album includes gems like Highway Star and Smoke on the Water. It remains my favorite Deep Purple album to this day and is perhaps the best classic hard rock album. Surprisingly, the record is not in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, though it scored no. 4 on a reader’s poll about the 10 best metal/hard rock albums of the 1970s, which the magazine published in August 2013.
Sources: This Day in Music, Rolling Stones: Off the Record (book by Mark Paytress, 2003), Rolling Stone