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This Day in Music History: Elton John & Bernie Taupin sign their first contract, Alice in Chains release their self-titled album

Alice in Chains

1963 – The Beatles make their only two appearances ever in Ireland, playing at the Adelphi Cinema in Dublin. The group hooks up with screenwriter Alun Owen, who has been appointed to write the screenplay for their as-yet-untitled first motion picture. Owen spends three days with them, observing their hectic lifestyle.

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Watch Donovan make a surprise appearance at SXSW

An unexpected addition on the final night of this year’s South by Southwest festival, 60s pop icon (and recent Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductee) Donovan played a surprise set at The Palm Door in downtown Austin on Saturday. Though he was not mentioned in the SXSW itinerary or on its website, an unceremonious listing of his name on the festival calendar in Friday’s Austin Chronicle drew a few hundred fans to the tiny venue: “I didn’t come to South by Southwest this year expecting to perform,” Donovan explained to the crowd. “But somebody dropped out, and they dropped me in.” His hour-long acoustic performance mixed more recent material with Donovan classics; the ecstatic audience sang along loudly to both, and Eric Burdon of The Animals joined Donovan onstage for “Season of the Witch.” Check out a photo gallery above, watch three videos from the performance below.