Reginald Kenneth Dwight was born on this day in 1947. He went from being a weekend piano player in a local pub at the age of 15 to being in a band that got backup gigs for UK appearances by the Isley Brothers, Patti LaBelle and Long John Baldry just a few years later. The future Elton John got acquainted with Bernie Taupin after the two responded to the same classified ad in the New Musical Express seeking songwriters for Liberty Records artists. Taupin handed off lyrics fro Elton to compose the music. The two eventually began collaborating on songs Elton would end up recording.
Elton's 1970 self-titled debut album, Tumbleweed Connection (1970), Madman Across The Water (1971), Honky Chateau (1972), Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player (1973) and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) contained songs that earned John and Taupin standing as one of the great songwriting teams of all time.
The late, great Canadian guitarist Jeff Healey was born on 3/25/1966.
The Who opened a 9 day series of concerts doing 3 sets a night at the RKO 58th St. Theater in New York City on this night in 1967.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono opened their Bed-In For Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton on 3/25/1969.
Deep Purple released Machinehead on this day in 1972.
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder was rescued from a riptide while swimming in New Zealand on 3/25/1995.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's third studio album hit record stores on this day in 1975. Nothin' Fancy was the first Skynyrd release with Artimus Powell on drums and the last with guitarist Ed King.
On March 24, 1986 Van Halen unleashed 5150, the debut album with Sammy Hagar in place of David Lee Roth. The album was produced in part by Mick Jones of Foreigner.
The Talking Heads double live release The Name Of The Band Is The Talking Heads came out on this day in 1982, and the Rolling Stones put out Dirty Work on 3/24/86.
The Black Crowes lost their opening slot on ZZ Top's 1991 tour after bad mouthing tour sponsor Miller Beer.
Macon, Georgia honored Duane Allman and Berry Oakley by naming a bridge after the two late Allman Brothers band mates on this day in 2001.
And a Beatles fan bought Ringo Starr's childhood hoe for $99,000 on this day in 2016.
Ric Ocasek, front man and rhythm guitarist for The Cars, was born today in Baltimore. After moving to Cleveland with his family at 16, Ocasek met bass player Ben Orr and the pair began promoting concerts together in the Columbus area in the early 70's. The two also played together in a few other bands before relocating to Boston and starting a harmony based folk rock group named Milkwood. A subsequent group called Cap'n Swing added guitarist Elliott Easton and caught some airplay on WBCN. After recruiting Modern Lovers drummer David Robinson to join them and re-adding Milkwood member Greg Hawkes on keys, the group shifted gears, becoming The Cars in 1976.
ZZ Top released a couple of albums on March 23. On this day in 1983 the blockbuster Eliminator got its release and on 3/23/90 Recycler came out.
The Red Rocker, Sammmy Hagar, earned his spot on the Bay Area Music Walk Of Fame during a ceremony on this day in 2018.
Keith Relf of the Yardbirds was born on this day in 1943.
Bob Dylan's Bringin' It All Back Home got released on 3/22/1965.
On The Border was released by the Eagles on this day in 1974. The group's third studio album introduced a shift into a more of a Rock mode with the addition of Don Felder to the group and the decision mid-way through the recording to replace Glyn Johns as producer with Bill Szymczyk, who had impressed them with his production on future Eagle Joe Walsh's 1973 album The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Are.
Aerosmith played on Saturday Night Live 3/22/1997.
Happy birthday to The Money Man, born on this day in 1949 in New York City. With his father, a grandfather and brother int eh NYPD, a young Edward Mahoney enrolled as a trainee in the department, but the lure of music proved stronger than the appeal of a career in law enforcement. Moving to the Bay Area of California, Eddie established a solid performing reputation playing San Francisco and East Bay clubs in the mid 70's and landed a recording contract with Columbia Records.His debut album, released in December of 1977, remains the biggest release of his career, which includes 10 additional lps.
David Bowie and Iggy Pop got popped in a drug bust in the Americana Hotel in Rochester, NY after a concert in the city on this night 0n 3/21/1976.
Bruce Springsteen won an Oscar for Streets Of Philadelphia on this night in 1994.
AC/DC's Brian Johnson joined Billy Joel on Highway To Hell during one of the Piano Man's concerts at Madison Square Garden on 3/21/1994. For some reason, David's mug shot was not taken until days after the arrest.
Mike Campbell and Neil Finn rehearsed with Fleetwood Mac for the first time on this day in 2018 after having been invited to replace Lindsey Buckingham in the group.
One of the greats behind the kit was born on this day in 1950. Carl Palmer played drums with several groups before gaining wider recognition when he took over for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown when the band's beat keeper left the band in the middle of its 1969 tour. After a brief stint in Atomic Rooster, a band that also included Arthur Brown alum Vincent Crane on keyboards, Keith Emerson, then in the Nice, invited Palmer to audition for a new band he was putting together. Carl proved to be a good fit, and became the Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Carl joined up with Steve Howe of Yes and Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music and Uriah Heep and UK veteran John Wetton to form Asia after ELP called it quits in 1980.
John Lennon married Yoko Ono on 3/20/1969 at the British Consulate in Gibraltar, during a crazy week recounted in the song The Ballad of John and Yoko. On the same day the following year, David Bowie married Angela Barnett, a union that lasted 10 years. And Eric Clapton's 4 year-old son Conor died in a fall from a New York apartment after a window was left open during a cleaning on this day in 1991. The tragedy moved Eric to write Tears in Heaven with Will Jennings.
Woodstock 50 at Watkins Glen lineup reminds us of a cable TV package... pay for 150 channels when there are only 15 you really want to watch.
Friday Aug. 16
Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Run The Jewels
The Head and The Heart
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Saturday, Aug. 17
Dead & Company
Chance The Rapper
The Black Keys
Greta Van Fleet
Protugal. The Man
Gary Clark Jr.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
David Crosby & Friends
Nahko & Medicine For The People
Country Joe McDonald
Sunday, Aug. 18
Cage The Elephant
Young The Giant
Judah & The Lion
The Marcus King Band
Amigo The Devil
A pair of solid albums from bands that it's a crime were not long ago inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame dropped on this date. Jethro Tull's 4th studio album introduced the Rock world to Aqualung on 3/19/71. Five years later, the Doobie Brothers came out with Takin' It To The Streets, their 6th.
We lost a couple outstanding guitarists on flights on March 19th. Free guitarist Paul Kossoff suffered a pulmonary embolism when a blot clot in his leg moved to a lung during a flight from LA to New York in 1976. On 3/19/1982, Randy Rhoads, guitar wizard with Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne, lost his life near Leesburg, Florida when Rhoads and some others went to a nearby airstrip while work was being done on an Ozzy Osbourne tour bus that was carrying the band from a concert in Knoxville to a festival in Florida. A pilot took the keyboard player and manager on a short flight. Rhoads and the tour's make-up artist boarded the single engine Beechcraft next. They made a couple of close passes over the tour bus. The third pass cut it too close, the wing clipping the bus, sending the small plane into a spiraling and tumbling crash that ended with an explosive fire, killing the pilot, Rhoads and the make-up artist instantly.
Queen, Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Richie Valens and Solomon Burke were inducted into the RHOF on this night in 2001.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A lot both has and hasn't happened since we learned there would be competing Woodstock 50th anniversary concerts going head-to-head on the same August, 2019 weekend (story).
Live Nation, which had secured rights to the original site by virtue of the fact it has been booking events at Bethel Woods, the amphitheater adjacent to it, announced it would do a few headlining concerts instead of a multi-day, multi-act festival. Michael Lang, one of the organizers of the 1969 event, made arrangements to host his anniversary event at Watkins Glen, the Finger Lakes region home of the road race course that hosted the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band and The Band in 1973.
Original festival highlight Carlos Santana elected to opt-in with Live Nation. Ringo Starr and the Doobie Brothers will also appear there.
Speculation grew that Lang's event could get scuttled due to funding problems got walked back today when Billboard reported that a Japanese company backing the Watkins Glen site concert had come through with the dollars needed to ink The Dead and Company, Santana, the Black Keys, Imagine Dragons and The Killers and rappers Jay-Z and Chance The Rapper. Negotiations are also reportedly underway between Lang's group and Robert Plant, Gary Clark Jr., The Raconteurs, Greta Van Fleet, Portugal The Man, Dawes and several other groups.
Lang has promised a line-up of 80+ artists for the Watkins Glen event.