October 26, 1991 – Ozzy Osbourne breaks his foot onstage after doing one of his famous “frog leaps” during a concert at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. After three more shows, infection sets in causing him to postpone the Theatre of Madness tour.
October 26, 1970 – Alta Mae Anderson, mother of Meredith Hunter, The Rolling Stones fan who was killed at the Stones’ Altamont show by Hells Angel Alan Passaro, sues the band for hiring the biker club as security. Hunter, who was holding a gun and according to his girlfriend “enraged, irrational and so high he could barely walk,” tried to breech the stage twice, before he was stabbed six times. Passaro was later acquitted on grounds of self defense.
October 26, 1965 – The Beatles receive their MBE’s at Buckingham Palace from Queen Elizabeth II. The MBE, or Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, rewards an achievement or service in or to the community which is outstanding in its field and has delivered a sustained and real impact which stands out as an example to others. At the time, several former recipients give their MBE’s back in protest, to which John Lennon quipped, “Lots of people who complained about us receiving the MBE received theirs for heroism in the war, for killing people. We received ours for entertaining other people. I’d say we deserve ours more.” Harrison and Paul McCartney later put the awards on their jackets for the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover; Lennon sends his back in 1969 as an act of protest against the Vietnam war.
October 26, 1980 – Paul Kantner of Jefferson Starship suffers what he thinks is a stroke while recording; it’s later revealed to be a brain embolism. He recovers after being hospitalized for two weeks.
October 26, 1968 – The San Francisco Pop Festival begins its 2-day run at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. The Animals, Procol Harum, Iron Butterfly, Deep Purple, The Grass Roots, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Canned Heat all perform.
October 26, 2006 – Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor quits the band for the second and final time. The band releases a statement saying, “The four of us have dissolved our partnership and will be continuing as Duran Duran without Andy, as we have reached a point in our relationship with him where there is an unworkable gulf between us and we can no longer effectively function together.”
Classic Rock Birthdays
October 26, 1946 – Keith Hopwood, guitar, vocals (Herman’s Hermits)
October 26, 1944 – Alan Henderson, bass (Them) (d. 2017)
October 26, 1963 – Natalie Merchant, vocals (10,000 Maniacs)
October 26, 1953 – Keith Strickland, guitar, keyboards, drums (The B-52’s)
October 26, 1991 – Bill Graham (born Wulf Wolodia Grajonca) dies in a helicopter crash. He was 60. Graham was returning home from a Huey Lewis and the News concert at the Concord Pavilion when during bad weather, the helicopter flew directly into a high-voltage tower and burst into flames on impact, killing Graham, pilot Steve Kahn and Graham’s girlfriend, Melissa Gold. Graham was a legendary concert promoter who founded the Fillmore theaters in San Francisco and New York and later broke numerous artists by promoting major concerts with his company Bill Graham Presents (BGP). Graham had been sent to the U.S. from Germany in order to escape the Holocaust. When he was 10, he settled into a foster home in the Bronx, NY, where he got his schooling and went on to get a college business degree.