On This Day In Rock & Roll History: August 5

1957: The music program American Bandstand debuted on U.S. national television. It was hosted by Dick Clark who had joined the show the previous year when it still had been known as Bandstand and aired on Philadelphia TV station WFIL-TV (now local ABC affiliate WPVI-TV). The program, which ran until 1989, featured many artists who lip-synced their latest hits. While as such it was chart-oriented, it coincided with time periods when great music was part of the mainstream. So it’s perhaps not a surprise to see which artists appeared on the show. According to Wikipedia, American Bandstand  helped introduce famous artists to Americans, such as Prince, Michael Jackson and Aerosmith. Some of the other acts who were on the program included The Animals, The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, The Doors, Marvin Gaye, B.B. King, Van Morrison, R.E.M., Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder and even Pink Floyd. Here’s a clip of a 1966 appearance of Roy Orbison performing Oh, Pretty Woman, featuring one of the coolest ’60s guitar riffs that still sounds awesome to this day.

1966: The Beatles released their seventh studio album in the U.K., Revolver, which many fans consider the band’s best record. While it’s undoubtedly a great album, if I had to choose, I would go with the follow-on release Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Revolver, apart from gems like Taxman, Eleanor Rigby and Got To Get You Into My Life, stands out for the introduction of various new recording techniques, including tape loops, backwards recordings, varispeeding and, most significantly, Artificial Double Tracking (ADT). George Martin’s string arrangement on Eleanor Rigby broke conventions by blending classical and pop music. George Harrison, who took on a bigger role in the album’s songwriting, introduced another Indian instrument to pop music after the sitar on predecessor Rubber Soul: the tambura. Here’s a clip of Eleanor Rigby.

1978: The Rolling Stones hit no. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 with Miss You, their eighth and last no. 1 single in the U.S. Credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the song was written by Jagger while jamming with Billy Preston during rehearsals in 1977. It became the lead single for Some Girls, the band’s 14th and 16th British and American studio album, respectively. Apparently, there is some disagreement between Jagger and Ronnie Wood who maintain the track wasn’t supposed to be a disco song, while according to Richards, “Miss You’ was a damn good disco record; it was calculated to be one.” To me it’s obvious that Richards hates the tune. In my humble opinion, there’s no question the Stones have released much better songs.

1984: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band played the first of 10 gigs at Brendan Byrne Arena, now called Meadowlands Arena, in East Rutherford, N.J. during the Born In The U.S.A. Tour, Springsteen’s longest and most successful tour to date. The show included two sets and an encore, with a total of 28 tracks. As is typical for The Boss, he went far beyond the album that the tour supported and dug deep into his catalog. He also played a number of covers. Here’s a cool clip of the Detroit Medley captured during the same tour two months later in Vancouver, Canada. The medley includes Devil With The Blue Dress, Good Golly Miss Molly, CC Rider, Jenny Jenny and Travelin’ Band, among others. The band is absolutely killing it – rock & roll simply doesn’t get better than this! The crazy thing is that Springsteen pretty performed with the same intensity 32 years later when I saw him last in August 2016 at MetLife Stadium, right across the highway from Meadowlands.

1992: Jeff Porcaro, best known as co-founder and drummer of Toto, passed away at the young age of 38 years. The circumstances of his death remain ambiguous. According to the band history on the official Toto website, Porcaro died from a heart attack that resulted from a severe allergic reaction to chemicals in pesticide he had sprayed in his garden earlier that day. But the Los Angeles Times reported the heart attack stemmed from atherosclerosis triggered by years of cocaine use. One thing is clear: Porcaro was an excellent, sought after session drummer, who apart from Toto worked with Steely Dan, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and Boz Scaggs, among others. Here’s a clip of Rosanna from Toto IV, which I think features some of Porcaro’s finest drum work.

Sources: Wikipedia; This Day In Music.com; Billboard Hot 100 chart history; setlist.fm; Toto website; YouTube

11 thoughts on “On This Day In Rock & Roll History: August 5”

  1. Roy Orbison war Anfang der Sechziger der einzige amerikanische Rockstar, der der über Nacht einsetzenden sogenannten „British Invasion“ widerstand. Doch nicht nur in Amerika, auch in Europa wurde er immer beliebter. Im Gegensatz zu vielen Musikern aus den Fünfzigern hatte Orbison nämlich die Zeichen der Zeit erkannt und ging in England u.a. mit den Beatles und Gary & The Pacemakers auf Tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicely done! Re: Bruce you are right he still was rocking as hard during the last tour with the E St. Band as he was back in the day. I remember this medley from back then, when I would experience contradictory emotions of total bliss with total physical exhaustion. He would finish the Detroit Medley and you thought you were fulfilled, then he would kick into Twist and Shout and you would continue to ride the wave, and then think, ok now I’m fulfilled, then he would keep going. The phrase I remember from back then is between songs him saying “Do you think this is a free ride?!!??” Like I am busting my ass up here, what are you doing? Bruce always gives his all during his concerts, that you as a fan feel the obligation to return the emotion – beautiful example of artist and audience on same wavelength.

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    1. Thanks. I know of no other artist who leaves it all on stage for his audience like Springsteen does.

      I’ve been fortunate to witness it twice, during the River tour in New Jersey in 2016 and in Frankfurt, Germany in 1987/1988.

      With just under four hours, the Jersey show set a new record only for Springsteen to break it by a few additional minutes in Philly a week thereafter. At times, he almost appeared to be in a trance!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately no. By the time you add up tickets and hotel is a bit pricey for me. His last performance will be on Netflix. Obviously not the same but at least will be able to see what he has been doing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know folks who participated in some lottery and won. This didn’t give them free access but the right to purchase regular tickets and avoid the ripoff secondary market. No idea how much they still ended up paying.

        While I dig Springsteen, there are so many other artists I’ve yet to see, so frankly, there’s only so much I’m willing to pay for any given show.

        At least I’ve seen the Boss twice, though of course I understand the Broadway experience is unique. I guess Netflix will have to do for me as well for this one!😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes I was in that lottery and ‘won’ the chance to buy tickets. Problem is with exception of 1 row in back of theater that is $75 tickets all the others were from $250 to $800! Not secondary market but regular price. I have heard a lot of Broadway shows are like that.

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  3. Interesting fact re: Jeff Porcaro and Bruce – I think when Bruce was starting to record songs that would end up on Human Touch / Lucky Town, and playing with new artists, Porcaro did some work with Bruce. There were rumors that he would be the drummer for Bruce’s new touring band. But then he died, and history turned out different.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting but perhaps not entirely surprising. Porcaro was a highly sought after session drummer.

      The fact that hyper-perfectionists Donald Fagen and Walter Becker “accepted” him for Steely Dan’s “Katy Lied” album speaks volumes. Porcaro was only 20 years at the time!


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