This week in rock history (April 19-24)


Could Mellencamp, Neil Young and Willie Nelson have known Farm Aid would still be held today? Plus, a legendary concert film released, surf music debuts, and Saturday Night Live almost snags the Beatles.

April 19

The film T.A.M.I. (Teen-Age Music International) Show featuring The Rolling Stones, The Supremes, The Four Tops, James Brown, The Beach Boys and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles opened in 1965 London under the title Teenage Command Performance. It was recently re-released and is a spectacular time capsule look at where music was in the mid-60's. The Stones followed James Brown, and to this day, admit that was a mistake.

April 20

The Rolling Stones record "Jumpin' Jack Flash" in 1968, and it will reach #3 by July.

April 21

In 1971, Alice Cooper had the #1 album with "Billion Dollar Babies".

April 22

In 1969, The Who give their first complete live performance of the Rock opera Tommy at a show in Dolton, England.

April 23

Jan and Dean (who introduced James Brown in the video above) record "Surf City" in 1963, with The Beach Boys providing background vocals. Brian Wilson wrote the tune and it was the first surf song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and even crossed over to the R&B chart where it reached #3. (Huh?)

Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" is awarded a Gold record. The single sold two million copies in 1969 and 1970 and reached #3 in the US and #1 in the UK. Bar bands today pull this one off. Trash it if you like, all you music snobs, but it is a slice of distorted AM radio guitar rock that (still) works...

Dexys Midnight Runners went to the top of the Billboard singles chart in 1983 with "Come On Eileen", the group's only US #1.

April 24

During a 1976 airing of Saturday Night Live, producer Lorne Michaels makes an on-air offer to pay the Beatles $3,000 to reunite on the show. Lennon and McCartney were apparently watching the show together in New York and briefly considered walking down to the studio to accept the check.

Here's the video proof:

About 40,000 people attend Farm Aid 6 in 1993 in Ames, Iowa, a show that featured (and still includes) Willie Nelson, John Cougar Mellencamp and Neil Young.