Today in Music History: Queen filmed 'Bicycle Race'

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Freddie Mercury performs with Queen
Freddie Mercury (1946-1991), singer with Queen, standing in front of a drumkit as he sings into a microphone on stage during a live concert performance by the band at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, England, on June 5, 1982. (Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

History Highlight:

Today in 1978, the video for Queen's single "Bicycle Race" was filmed at Wimbledon Stadium in south London. It featured 65 naked female professional models racing around the stadium's track on bicycles that had been rented for the film shoot. When the rental company found out how the bikes had been used, it reportedly demanded payment to replace all the bicycle seats.

Also, Today In:

1931 - The first long-playing record, a 3313 rpm recording, was demonstrated at the Savoy Plaza Hotel in New York by RCA Victor. Given the high price of compatible record players, which started around $95 (about $1140 in today's dollars), the LP wasn't revived until 1948.

1967 - The Doors appeared on Ed Sullivan's Sunday-night variety program. Sullivan asked Jim Morrison to omit or alter the lyric, "Girl, we couldn't get much higher" in "Light My Fire." Morrison, to his credit, ignored Sullivan's request. As a result, however, the Doors were not invited back to the program.

1969 - Media on both sides of the Atlantic were running stories that Paul McCartney was dead. He was supposedly killed in a car crash in Scotland on Nov. 9, 1966, and that a double had been taking his place for public appearances ever since. It turned out that Paul and his then-girlfriend Jane Asher were on vacation in Kenya at the time of the purported crash. That, and the fact that Paul McCartney is alive proved the stories incorrect.

1982 - Pink Floyd's seminal double album The Wall makes it to the big screen as a feature-length musical. Few expected the sprawling concept album to be turned into a feature film, but the band's celluloid collaboration with director Alan Parker and animator Gerald Scarfe becomes a surprise box office hit and a cult classic.

1991 - Rob Tyner, lead singer of the incendiary Detroit band, MC5 ("Kick out the Jams, Mo-fos") died of a heart attack.

1996 - Björk avoided a potentially deadly run-in with a dangerous package. Miami police alerted Scotland Yard after discovering the body of stalker Ricardo Lopez, who had made a video of himself constructing an acid-spraying bomb, which he mailed to Björk's London home before killing himself. Detectives in London intercepted and destroyed the package.

2011 - Adele went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Someone Like You."

Birthdays:

Country music legend Hank Williams was born today in 1923.

Baz Luhrmann is 56.

Ned's Atomic Dustbin singer Jonn Penney is 50.

Panic! at the Disco bassist Jonathan Jacob Walker is 33.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.


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