Today In Music History - October 26
1958 - Bill Haley Concert Sparks Mini-Riot In Germany
Today In Music History - October 26



Bill Haley, famous for his 1954 hit "Rock Around The Clock," played a concert in Berlin, Germany, on October 26, 1958, that erupted into a mini-riot.

The singer's German tour - claimed to be the first rock n' roll shows in the country - sparked a violent reaction in fans.

The gig was played in a tightly-packed Sportpalast venue (used during World War II for propaganda speeches, including the one in 1940 when Hitler announced the beginning of the London Blitz). A large contingent of the audience was teenagers in leather jackets and greased-back hair, with the audience a sharp contrast with Haley, 33-years-old at the time, clad in a bow tie and a checkered coat.

The event got out of hand, with five policemen beaten and six members of the audience seriously hurt. The damage total reached 50,000 Deutsche Marks. Another stop on the tour in Hamburg had a similar reaction, including fights between fans and the police and 20,000 Deutsche Marks in damage.

The tour wasn't all havoc though. Haley's show in Stuttgart was attended by an army private by the name of Elvis Presley, who had been stationed in Germany as part of his famous stint in the military.