Today in rock history: on this date in 1976, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels made a memorable on-air offer on the show’s telecast. Comically enticing former members of The Beatles to reunite, Michaels offered John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr a whopping $3,000 to get back together to perform on the show. The stipulation was that the band was to appear on the program and perform three songs together. Michaels held a check in his hand for the duration of the memorable skit and pleaded with the band to consider his offer. The irony was that, while visiting John Lennon at his New York City apartment, McCartney and Lennon sat and watched the skit from less than two miles away from the television studio and considered showing up at the NBC television studio to surprise the show’s cast and producer but decided against it at the last minute.
SNL ROCK HISTORY
Today in rock history; Nirvana's SNL debut, "Louie Louie" intrigues the FBI and more
Today in rock history: on this date in 1989, Tom Petty released his album Full Moon Fever, which is considered to be his first solo album. Although several members of his band made appearances on the record, Full Moon Fever was intended to be Petty’s first solo outing that featured several guest musicians. Also appearing on the album were members of The Traveling Wilburys, the supergroup Petty formed and achieved great success with just before the release of this album. George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne (who also co-produced the record) all made guest appearances on Full Moon Fever which went on the be an enormous hit. Featuring the hit singles “I Won’t Back Down,” “Runnin’ Down a Dream” and “Free Fallin’,” Full Moon Fever climbed as high as No. 3 on Billboard’s pop albums chart in America and went on to sell in excess of 5 million copies.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1974, David Bowie released his eighth album, Diamond Dogs. The record contained songs inspired by George Orwell’s famous novel 1984 and contained songs that dealt with visions of a post-apocalyptic world. Viewed as Bowie’s official last foray into glam-rock, the album contained essential selections like the massive hit single, “Rebel Rebel,” “Sweet Thing” and the epic title track. Diamond Dogs was a hit in both America (where it rose to No. 5 on album sales charts) and in England where it went all the way to No. 1. The album’s colorful, fold-out, gatefold sleeve depicts Bowie as a half-man, half-dog and a small number of the covers from the very first pressing illustrated the dog portion’s genitalia. Quickly scrapped, the cover artwork was soon amended to remove that part of the lavish illustration. Copies of the original cover are scarce and often go for thousands of dollars on collector’s markets on the rare occasions when they become available.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1961, the very first recorded appearance of future folk-rock star Bob Dylan emerged. The young, up-and-coming singer songwriter made his recorded debut on an album entitled "The Midnight Special" by Jamaican crooner and entertainer, Harry Belafonte. The collection of songs with Belafonte's unmistakable voice at the forefront made for a popular album. The record peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s pop albums chart. Dylan played harmonica on the album’s opening cut, its title track, and paid a total of $50 for his work.