Tommy’s Coffee Break Calendar for July 31st
7/31/1957 – (57 years ago today) Y’know, Ringo was the first to get onstage there, actually: Richard Starkey plays The Cavern Club in Liverpool for the very first time, drumming for The Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group. One week later, it’s John Lennon‘s turn to make his Cavern debut, gigging with The Quarry Men. Paul McCartney doesn’t get to play the legendary hall until later in 1958 (with The Quarry Men).
7/31/1971 – (43 years ago today) Didn’t matter he didn’t write it, he had a friend: Boston-born James Taylor hits No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with Carole King‘s “You’ve Got A Friend”. (Sure sounded like he wrote it, doncha think?) The song gets James the 1971 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male. This marks the start of a real nice run in the Seventies for J.T., including another nine solo U.S. Top 40 classics. In fact, you could argue that “James Taylor’s Greatest Hits” release is one of the few collections by anybody anywhere that’s actually made up of real/bona-fide hits (including “Fire And Rain”, “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight”, and “Country Road”.) In the end, it really is good stuff.
7/31/1980 – (33 years ago today) The other band members should have put them in a “time-out”: At an Eagles concert in Long Beach, California, Glenn Frey and Don Felder spend the entire time onstage threatening to beat each other up backstage afterwards. Over the monitors, you can clearly hear Frey telling Felder, “Only three more songs until I kick your ass, pal!” Pretty embarrassing for all concerned.
7/31/1958 – Happy Birthday Bill Berry, original drummer and founding member of R.E.M., who turns 58 today. A couple of years after suffering an aneurysm onstage with the band during a performance in Switzerland, Bill decides to retire to his hay farm in Georgia in 1997. A quick look at the bands catalog shows that, well, frankly, R.E.M. was never the same after he left. Just the way it is.
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