Today in Rock History – May 27


1963, The album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was released by Columbia in the USA. Establishing Dylan as a leader in the singer-songwriter genre and a supposed spokesman for the youth-orientated protest movement, it reached number 22 on the US charts and number one on the UK charts. The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan showcased Dylan’s songwriting talent for the first time and propelled him to national and international fame.

1964, Pirate radio station Sutch was started by Screaming Lord Sutch, broadcasting from former army fort Shivering Sands in The Thames Estuary.

1966, The Velvet Underground go west, as Andy Warhol brings his Exploding Plastic Inevitable, featuring the Velvets and the Mothers, to San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium.

1967,  The Who play one of their weirdest dates, the Oxford Pembroke College May Ball, in Oxfordshire, England.. They are expected to play dance music but most of the prom goers spend the evening with their hands over their ears as first Cream and then The Who perform their standard repertoire. Pete’s guitar is stolen after the show.

1967, To celebrate Cilla Black’s birthday, her manager Brian Epstein organized illuminated greetings at London’s Piccadilly Circus and sites in Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham.

1967, Pink Floyd appeared at the “Bank Holiday Beano” held at the Civic Hall, Nantwich, England. The supporting act was The SOS.

1968, Pink Floyd were at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, St. Johns Wood in London recording tracks for A Saucerful of Secrets.

1969, Led Zeppelin appeared at the Boston Tea Party in Boston, Massachusetts.

1971, “First Take” by Roberta Flack began the last of its five-weeks atop the US album charts.

1972, The Chi-lites went to number one on the singles chart with “Oh Girl.”

1972, Spirit and The J Geils Band played at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago.

1972, David Bowie appeared at Ebbisham Hall, Epsom, England on his Ziggy Stardust tour.

1973, The Allman Brothers Band played at the  Ontario Motor Speedway, Ontario, California.

1974, Aerosmith appeared at the JFK Coliseum, Manchester, New Hampshire.

1975, Wishbone Ash performed at Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan.

1976, Keith Moon arrives at Brecknock School in North London school to inspect the boys of the 51st Company of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. For the occasion, Keith dons full evening attire. Keith had spent £500 ($750) on brand new bugles and drums. “Blimey,” he tells the press, “I know just how they felt playing with rotten instruments. I was in the sea cadets as a boy.” That night he and John attend the Rolling Stones’ concert at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London.

1977, Declan McManus made his “live” debut at the Nashville in London as Elvis Costello.

1977, The Sex Pistols single “God Save The Queen” was released in the UK. Banned by TV and radio, High Street shops and pressing plant workers refused to handle the record. It sold 200,000 copies in one week and peaked at number two on the UK charts.

1978, Bruce Springsteen performed at The Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1979, Yes appeared at the Sports Arena, San Diego, California.

1980, Journey played at the Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois, a Chicago suburb.

1981, Van Halen headlined at the Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio

1983, The Smiths were at number one on the UK independent chart with their debut single “Hand In Glove.” The Smiths recorded the track after their manager Joe Moss paid £250 ($375) for a one-day recording session at Strawberry Studios in Stockport, England.

1984, Bob Dylan performed at the Arena di Verona, Verona, Italy.

1988, Def Leppard kicked off the third leg of their North American Hysteria world tour at George M. Sullivan Arena, Anchorage, Alaska.

1989, The Grateful Dead performed at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum in Oakland, California.

1990, The Stone Roses played at Spike Island, Widnes, Cheshire, England to a capacity crowd of 30,000. The event, considered a failure at the time due to sound problems and bad organization, has become legendary over the years as a “Woodstock for the baggy generation.”

1994, The Eagles played their first show in fourteen years when they played a show at Irvine Meadows in Irvine California. The two-and-a-half-hour show ended with three encores. The set list: Hotel California, Victim of Love, New Kid in Town, Wasted Time,  Pretty Maids All in a Row,  The Girl From Yesterday,  I Can’t Tell You Why,  Ordinary Average Guy, Lyin’ Eyes, One of These Nights, Silent Spring, Tequila Sunrise,  Help Me Through the Night, The Heart of the Matter,  Love Will Keep Us Alive, You Belong to the City,  The Boys of Summer, Funk #49, Dirty Laundry, Life’s Been Good,  All She Wants to Do Is Dance, Heartache Tonight, Life in the Fast Lane.  Encore: Get Over It, Rocky Mountain Way.  Encore 2:  Already Gone, Desperado.  Encore 3: Take It Easy.

2006, Red Hot Chili Peppers started a two-week run at number one on the US album chart with Stadium Arcadium the bands ninth studio album, also a UK chart topper.

2008, Sir Paul McCartney was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale’s president, Richard Levin, said MacCartney had “awakened a generation, giving a fresh sound to rock and roll and to rhythm and blues.”

2017, Gregg Allman died at his home in Richmond Hill, Georgia, due to complications from liver cancer. He and his brother, Duane formed the Allman Brothers Band in 1969. He was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia, beside Duane, and fellow band member Berry Oakley.

Born on May 27: Ruby Lewis, The Drifters and Ramsey Lewis (1935); Celia Black (1943); Peter Knight, violin, Steeleye Span (1947); and Siouxsie Sioux, Siouxsie And The Banshees and Eddie Harsch, keyboards, The Black Crowes (1957); Neil Finn, Split Enz, Crowded House (1956); Sean Kinney, drums, Alice in Chains (1966); Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, singer, TLC; and André 3000, rapper (1975)

Get more Today in Rock History

Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Cilla Black, David Bowie, Def Leppard, Elvis Costello, Journey, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Roberta Flack, Screaming Lord Sutch, Spirit, The Allman Brothers Band, The Eagles, The Grateful Dead, The J Geils Band, The Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols, The Smiths, The Velvet Underground, The Who, Van Halen, Wishbone Ash, Yes.