Human Be-In, San Francisco, 1967

January 14, 2012 by staff 

Human Be-In, San Francisco, 1967, Today is Jan. 14:

In 1790, the first operatic work to be performed in Canada, “Colas et Colinette ou le Bailli Dupe,” premiered in Montreal.

In 1900, Puccini’s opera “Tosca” had its world premiere in Rome.

In 1925, renowned Canadian baritone Louis Quilico was born in Montreal. He spent 25 years at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and appeared in over 500 performances of the Verdi opera “Rigoletto.” He died July 25, 2000.

In 1935, Rosario Bourdon conducted the opening concert of the Societe des Concerts symphoniques de Montreal — the forerunner to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra — at Plateau Hall.

In 1952, the Modern Jazz Quartet was formally incorporated, beginning a career that lasted more than 40 years. The group signed a unique partnership agreement, stipulating that the quartet would have no leader.

In 1954, the first documented use of the abbreviated term “rock ‘n’ roll” was used to promote disc jockey Alan Freed’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Jubilee,” held in New York City.

In 1963, Bob Dylan sat in on a recording session in London for an album by folk singers Richard Farina and Eric Von Schmidt. Dylan was billed as “Blind Boy Grunt.”

In 1966, British singer and musician David Jones changed his name to David Bowie in order to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of “The Monkees.”

In 1966, rock promoter Bill Graham leased the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. The Fillmore became the prime venue for psychedelic rock in the late ’60′s.

In 1967, the first “Human Be-In” was held on the polo field of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Thousands gathered to listen to psychedelic music, love each other and take drugs, not necessarily in that order. Among the performers were the “Grateful Dead” and “Jefferson Airplane.”

In 1969, rock singer, guitarist and drummer Dave Grohl of “Nirvana” and “Foo Fighters” was born in Warren, Ohio. He played in several rock and punk bands in high school, but hit the big time playing drums for grunge pioneers “Nirvana” in the early ’90′s. His heavy drumming helped shape “Nirvana’s” ground-breaking sound but his talents were truly embraced by the public after the tragic death of frontman Kurt Cobain. He moved on to form the “Foo Fighters,” where he switched to guitar and vocals, and became the chief songwriter. While popular for hits like “The One” and “Times Like These” with the “Foo Fighters,” Grohl often gigs on the side with bands like “Queens of the Stone Age.” “Tenacious D,” and supergroup “Them Crooked Vultures.”

In 1970, Diana Ross performed for the last time with “The Supremes” at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. The show began with a medley of hits and ended with “The Impossible Dream.”

In 1970, a display of John Lennon’s ertc “Bag One” lithographs opened in London. Scotland Yard seized prints two days later as evidence of prnography.

In 1973, Elvis Presley’s TV special “Elvis – Aloha From Hawaii” was beamed by satellite to an estimated one billion viewers in 40 countries. At the time, it was a record audience for a TV program. The show was also released as a two-record album, and became one of Elvis’ top-selling LPs of the decade.

In 1978, the “Sex Pistols,” leaders of the 1970′s punk rock movement, played their last concert, in San Francisco. The brainchild of manager Malcolm McLaren, the “Sex Pistols” performances were deliberately calculated to offend. Their records, such as “Anarchy in the U.K.” and “God Save the Queen,” were usually banned by radio stations. Their lead singer, John Lydon, was given the stage name Johnny Rotten by MacLaren, apparently because of Rotten’s lack of personal hygiene. Another member of the “Sex Pistols,” Sid Vicious, killed his girlfriend, then died of a heroin overdose before he could be tried.

In 1981, Canadian composer, conductor and arranger Ben McPeek died in Toronto at 46. A native of Trail, B.C., McPeek became one of the busiest commercial jingle writers in Canada. By 1979, he had composed more than two thousand. McPeek’s record company also signed “The Guess Who,” whom the company developed into international stars.

In 1984, Madonna made her debut on “American Bandstand,” singing “Holiday.”

In 1984, the BBC banned “Relax” by “Frankie Goes to Hollywood” because of what the British network called the song’s “overtly obscene lyrics.” “Relax” was a hit in North America a year later.

In 1985, the superstar recording session “Do They Know It’s Christmas” became the best-selling single of all time in Britain — since surpassed by Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997.”

In 1986, Hank Snow refused to perform on the CBS television tribute to the Grand Ole Opry after the producers would only let him sing one verse of a song.

In 1987, Dolly Parton signed with CBS Records after nearly 20 years with RCA.

In 1990, international opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa drew the largest concert audience in the history of her native New Zealand when she performed there for the first time in five years. About 140,000 people gathered in Auckland’s Domain Park for the open air concert.

In 1992, drummer Jerry Nolan of “The New York Dolls” died of a stroke in New York. He was 40.

In 1999, the heavy-metal band “Metallica” filed a trademark infringement suit in Los Angeles against Victoria’s Secret. The group was upset the lingerie company was selling lip pencils bearing the “Metallica” name.

In 2006, Eminem re-married Kim Mathers in Detroit. He filed for divorce 82 days later.

In 2009, “Run DMC,” “Metallica,” Jeff Beck, Bobby Womack, “Little Anthony and the Imperials” and Wanda Jackson were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2010, singer-songwriter Bobby Charles (born Robert Charles Guidry) died at his home in Abbeville, La. He was 71. He penned such hits as Fats Domino’s “Walking to New Orleans” and “See You Later Alligator” by “Bill Haley and the Comets.” He was inducted into the Lousiana Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

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