August 14, 1962 – The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein and the other three members of the band decide to fire drummer Pete Best. He plays his last gig the next night at The Cavern in Liverpool.
August 14, 1970 – Stephen Stills is arrested for possession of cocaine and barbiturates after being found crawling in a motel hallway in La Jolla, CA in an “incoherent state.” He is later freed on bail.
August 14, 1985 – While collaborating on 1983’s “Say Say Say” former Beatle Paul McCartney advises Michael Jackson to invest in music publishing. McCartney comes to regret giving that advice, as Michael Jackson purchases the publishing rights to the vast majority of the Beatles’ catalog for $47.5 million, outbidding McCartney and Yoko Ono. McCartney had been negotiating with Yoko Ono, who decided to withdraw her side of the deal because of “astrological” reasons. The catalog—estimated to be worth in excess of $1 billion—is now owned by Sony.
Paul McCartney tells the story (watch at 1:44):
August 14, 1999 – Former teen idol Leif Garrett pleads guilty to drug possession in Los Angeles and is ordered into rehab after the police find him in the MacArthur Park area allegedly trying to buy narcotics from undercover officers.
Classic Rock Birthdays
August 14, 1941 – David Crosby, vocals, guitar (The Byrds, Crosby Stills Nash & Young)
August 14, 1970 – Kevin Cadogan, guitar, vocals (Third Eye Blind)
August 14, 1951 – Slim Dunlap (born Bob Dunlap), guitar (The Replacements)
August 14, 1940 – Dash Crofts (born Darrell Crofts), vocals, guitar (Seals and Crofts)
August 14, 1948 – Bruce Thomas, bass (Elvis Costello and The Attractions)
Backstage Access: Byrds Reunion – Rejoice!
August 14, 2013 – Allen Lanier, guitarist and keyboardist for Blue Öyster Cult, dies from complications from C.O.P.D. He was 67. Lanier, a lifelong smoker, was a co-founder of BOC who also contributed to vital punk records by Patti Smith and the Clash. In fact, he and Smith became lovers, with Lanier giving her the pin seen on Smith’s jacket on the cover of Horses. He also recorded with poet-singer Jim Carroll and Iggy Pop.
August 14, 2002 – Dave Williams, lead singer of Drowning Pool, is found dead on the band’s tour bus in Manassas, Virginia. He was 30. The autopsy concludes that he suffered from a form of heart disease which went undiagnosed until his death. His lifelong dream was to buy his parents a house and the sales from Sinema fulfilled his dream posthumously.
August 14, 1988 – Robert Calvert, lead singer, poet and frontman of Hawkwind, dies of a heart attack. He was 43. Although Calvert was an erratic member of Hawkwind from 1972-1979, because he suffered from bipolar disorder, he was also credited with being the driving force behind the band. A favorite quote of his was,”Anyone who knows my work would realise that however bad they might think it is, it’s all intentional.”
August 14, 1988 – Roy Buchanan dies after hanging himself with his own shirt in a jail cell, after being arrested for public intoxication after a domestic dispute. He was 48. Buchanan released 16 solo albums while alive and influenced guitarists such as Jeff Beck and Gary Moore. He gained national notoriety after an hour-long PBS television documentary aired in 1971 and was lauded by the likes of John Lennon and Merle Haggard.
August 14, 1958 – Elvis Presley’s overly protective mother, Gladys, dies of a heart attack with complications of hepatitis. Elvis went into a deep depression and at her funeral two days later was so overcome with grief he was unable to stand. He said, “She’s all I ever lived for. She was always my best girl.” Some speculate that he never got over her death. He continued to send fresh flowers to her grave weekly until he died 19 years later.