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March 18


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3-18-1978 California Jam II held in Ontario, California


On this day in 1978 an estimated 350,000 fans attended California Jam II at Ontario Motor Speedway in California. Aerosmith, Santana, Foreigner and Heart led a lineup that also included Ted Nugent, Save Mason, Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush, Bob Welch and Ribicon.

Rockers of note born on this day include Wilson Pickett (1941), Bobby Whitlock (1948), original Doobie Brothers drummer John Hartman (1950), James McMurtry (1962) and Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains (1966).

Members of the Rolling Stones got arrested for relieving themselves on the wall of a gas station in Essex, England after the owner refused to let them use the restroom on this night in 1965.

Asia released its debut album on 3/18/1982. Darryl Jones was introduced as Bill Wyman's replacement in the Stones today in 1994 and in 1997, Aerosmith released Nine Lives.


3-17/1967 Grateful Dead release Debut Album


The Grateful Dead's debut album dropped on this day in 1967. Recorded in a matter of just a few days in hastily arranged sessions in Los Angeles, the album included a number of tracks the label insisted be shortened in hopes the release would get more airplay. Six of the nine songs on it clocked-in under 3 minutes. Despite that, the album failed to get much radio time beyond the band's Bay Area home turf. Drummer Bill Kreutzmann once remarked that Viola Lee Blues, a 10 minute long song, was the only tune on the record that came close to capturing what the band really sounded like.

Musicians of note born on March 17 include the Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian (1944) and Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins (1968).

Bad Company released Desolation Angels on this day in 1979 and Van Halen III, the only release with Gary Cherone out front, came out on 3/17/1998.

And Eddie Vedder joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers on Shine On You Crazy Diamond on this night in 2017 when the RHCP's played Key Arena in Seattle.


3-16-1954 Nancy Wilson born

Heart's younger sister Nancy Wilson was born on this day in 1954 in San Francisco. When she and sister Ann watched the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, Nancy said it was like a '...lightning bolt came out of the heavens and struck' the two of them. The pair's first band was The Viewpoints. Nancy moved to the Seattle area and Ann to Vancouver, where the two eventaully reunited in a band known as Hocus Pocus before becoming Heart.

Other musicians of note born on 3/16 include Jerry Lee Lewis (1926), Jerry Jeff Walker (1942) AND Sly Stone (1943).

REO Speedwagon released You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can't Tuna Fish on this day in 1977. The Who's Face Dances came out on 3/16/1981 and Dire Straits album Alchemy landed in record stores on this day in '84.

Blues Breaker and Free veteran Andy Fraser passed away on this day in 2015 after battling AIDS and cancer. Blues great James Cotton died of pneumonia and Ray Davies of the Kinks was knighted by Prince Charles in Buckingham Palace on this day in 2017.

3-15-1940 Phil Lesh born


A Happy birthday to Grateful Dead bass player Phil Lesh, born on this day in Berkeley, California. Lesh played violin and trumpet before meeting Jerry Garcia and agreeing to pick up bass to secure a spot in the Warlocks, the group that would morph into the Grateful Dead. Other musicians of note born on this day include Blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins (3/15/1912 - 1/30/1982) the Beach Boys Mike Love (1941) and Ry Cooder (1947).

the Talking Heads released Naked on 3/15/1988. Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Billy Joel headlined the group of musicians inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame on this night in 1999, and the Hall inducted Genesis, the Stooges and the Hollies on 3/15/2010.

RIP Michael Porcaro, bassist with Toto, who passed away on this day in 2015 after a battle with ALS.







3-14-1980 Def Leppard releases debut album


Def Leppard got introduced to the world on this day in 1980 with the release of its debut album, On Through The Night.
On 3/14/1971 the Rolling Stones staged a farewell to the UK concert in London before a move to southern France to escape heavy taxation.
Metallica did its first concert at a venue named Radio City in Anaheim, California on this night in 1982.
U2, the Pretenders and Buddy Guy got inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame on 3/14/2005.
An SONY Music paid $750 million on this day in 2016 to buy back the 50% stake in the Beatles catalog that had sold to Michael Jackson for $47 million in 1985.

Rock Hall announces presenting lineup

The Rock Hall Of fame has announced the lineup that will induct this year's honorees at the March 29th Induction ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Queen's Brian May welcomes in Def Leppard. Harry Styles does the honors for Stevie Nicks. The Cure is brought in by Trent Reznor. David Byrne inducts Radiohead. The Bangles Susanna Hoffs initiates The Zombies and Roxy Music gets enshrined by Simon Le Bon and John Taylor of Duran Duran.
HBO will carry highlights of the event on April 27. The special exhibit honoring this year's inductees can be viewed starting March 22.

3-3-1971 Allman Brothers Live At Fillmore East recorded

An album many consider to be the greatest double live album ever released was recorded on this and the previous night in 1971 at the Fillmore East in New York City. Released in July of '71, the Allman Brothers Band Live At Fillmore East established the group as a must-see live band. 
Since the ABB was just an added act on a nights billed as "Johnny Winter and Elvin Bishop Group, with Extra Added Attraction: Allman Brothers" the band only received $1250.00 for doing the gigs but crowd response got them elevated to headline status for the third night.
U2's Adam Clayton was born on 3/13/1960. Eric Clapton parted with the Yardbirds on this day in 1965. The Eagles started recording their debut album on 3/13/1972.
John Lennon and Harry Nilsson got ejected from the Troubador in LA for being disruptive during a Smothers Brothers appearance on this night in 1974. And Bob Seger was honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 3/13/1988



3-12-1971 Elton John releases 11-17-70


In November of 1970, Elton John did a 13 song live broadcast set for a New York City FM station. Recordings of that concert began to surface as bootlegs almost overnight. Within weeks, so many were getting sold that Elton's label started thinking about releasing an official album. Simply titled with the date of the original performance, 11-17-70 got released on 3-12-71.

Rockers of note born on this day include Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane and Starship (3/12/1947-1/28/2016) and Little Feat's outstanding keyboard player Billy Paine (1949).

Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman on this day in London in 1969. Two Years later, a British court would officially dissolve the Beatles partnership on March 12.

R.E.M. released Out Of Time on this day in 1991.

Van Halen, R.E.M. and Patti Smith were inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame on this day in 2007.


Drummer Hal Blaine passes


Hal Blaine, the drummer a staggering number of artists counted on to provide the beat on many of the biggest songs of several decades, passed on yesterday at 90. The member of the fabled Wrecking Crew of session players is heard on many of the biggest songs from Simon & Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean the Mamas & the Papas, Sam Cooke, several of the top tracks of artists Phil Spector produced and on albums by the Byrds, Steely Dan, Neil Young, America,Warren Zevon, Buffalo Springfield, JJ Cale, Leonard Cohen, John Lennon and countless others. Blaine became one of the first session players inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame.

3-11-1975 Welcome To My Nightmare released


Alice Cooper's Billion Dollar Babies arrived in record stores on this day in 1975. Cooper's 8th studio release, recorded after the breakup of the band that bore his name, presented nightmares of a boy named Steven. Alice Cooper concerts have included more songs from this release than any other.

Crosby, Stills & Nash won the Best New Artist Grammy on 3/11/1970. Eric Clapton released Behind the Sun on this day in 1985. U2 did a small theater concert and live broadcast on this night in 2009 from the Somerville Theater, near Boston.

3-10-1972 Thick As A Brick released


Jethro Tull's 5th album got its US release on this date in 1972. Thick As A Brick was conceived as a spoof concept album by Ian Anderson in reaction to critics that believed the group's previous album, Aqualung, had been one. Anderson's writing credits for songs on Thick As A Brick were listed as Gerald Bostock, a made-up 12 year-old character that supposedly wrote a long poem included in the multiple page faux newspaper that folded out of the album's cover.

Other albums of note released on March 10th include Billy Joel's Glass Houses (1980), There Goes The Neighborhood from Joe Walsh (1981) and Pilgrim, the 1998 release by Eric Clapton.

Boston's Tom Sholz (1947) and Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament (1963) were born on this day. Ian Gillan left Black Sabbath to reunite with Deep Purple on 3/10/1984.

Danny Joe Brown of Molly Hatchet died of pneumonia on this day in 2005. And keyboard genius Keith Emerson, depressed over nerve impairment to his hand, took his life in his southern California home on 3/10/2016.

3-9-1987 The Joshua Tree released


U2 released The Joshua Tree on this day in 1987. The Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois produced album was the group's 5th studio album and broke from the gate at a pace that made it the fastest selling album in UK history. The album landed Album Of The Year and two other Grammy's and more than 30 million copies of it have sold world wide.

Rockers of note born on this day include Trevor Burton of The Move (1944) and Procol Harum guitar great Robin Trower. Bad Company did its first concert on 3/9/1974. The Who postponed US tour dates on this day when Keith Moon collapsed during a concert in Boston. And Boston's Brad Delp was found dead on 3/9/2007 in his New Hampshire home after taking his own life.

3-8-1977 Foreigner releases debut album


After briefly going under the name Trigger, the group decided Foreigner was a better name for a group comprised of American and British musicians. The debut album of the band made up of UK members Mick Jones (Spooky Tooth), Ian McDonald (King Crimson) and Dennis Elliot (Ferris Wheel & Ian Hunter) and US members Lou Gramm (Black Sheep), Ed Gagliardi and Al Greenwood got released on this day in 1977. The opening notes of Feels Like The First Time signaled the arrival of a band with a signature sound. Cold As Ice, Long, Long Way From Home, Headknocker and Starrider also got plenty of radio play, establishing the group as one of the decade's top new acts.

Randy Meisner, the veteran of Poco, Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band and the Eagles from 1971-'77, was born 3/8/1946 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

The Fillmore east opened on this night in 1968 in New York City with a concert featuring Janis Joplin with Big Brother & The Holding Company.

Ron 'Pig Pen' McKernan, the first of the many keyboard players in the Grateful Dead to die before their time seemed due, passed away on this day in 1973.

Beatles producer George Martin died alter a long and remarkable career on this day in 2015.