On This Day in Rock & Roll History: May 7

It’s time for another installment of this recurring feature.

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As I’ve said on previous occasions, I always enjoy looking back at events that have happened in rock history over the decades. Let’s see what May 7th had in store:

Beatles at Star-Club

1962: The Beatles played their 24th of 48 nights at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany. It was part of the Fab Four’s first of three residencies at what was then the city’s newest rock & roll venue. The first residency included a whooping 172 hours over seven weeks and performances every night, except for Good Friday (April 20). The band’s performances (from their third residency) at the Star-Club were captured in the 1977 double album, Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962. While the sound quality is poor, the record is a great testament to the raw rock & roll music The Beatles played in those early pre-‘Beatle mania’ days. The intense performance schedule was the perfect preparation for the band to become one of the best live acts of the ’60s.

The Mamas and the Papas_Monday Monday Single 2

1966: The Mamas and the Papas hit the top of the U.S. charts with Monday, Monday, the band’s only no. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Released as a single from their debut album If You Can Believe Your Ears and Eyes, the song also proved to be popular in the UK where it climbed to no. 3. Reportedly, except for John Philipps (“Papa John”) who wrote the tune, the remaining members of the band hated it. During an interview in 1969 for the radio series Pop Chronicles, Philipps said he wrote the song in about 20 minutes. In March 1967, it won the band a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group or Group with Vocal. It never continues to amaze me what categories they come up with for the Grammys.

Eagles Hotel California Single

1977: The Eagles hit no. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 with Hotel California, one of the defining ’70s classic rock songs, which had been released as a single in Feb that year. It was the band’s fourth no. 1 hit in the U.S., after Best of My Life (1974), One of These Nights (1975) and New Kid in Town (1976). The title track of The Eagles fifth studio album also became the band’s biggest hit in the UK, climbing to no. 8. Writing credits for the tune are shared by Don Felder, Don Henley and Glenn Frey. The song’s signature feature, the epic electric guitar solo at the end, is a fantastic interplay between Felder and Joe Walsh.  Rolling Stone ranked Hotel California no. 49 on its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Readers of Guitarist magazine also voted the solo as the best of all time in 1998. Here’s a great clip of an Eagles live performance of this gem.

Sources: The Beatles Bible, The Day in Music.com, Rolling Stone, Guitarist, Wikipedia

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