Rockin' birthday wishes to Andy Summers of the Police, born on the last day of 1942. Others born 12/31 include Pete Quaife of the Kinks (1943), Patti Smith (1946), Burton Cummings of the Guess Who (1947), Aerosmith's Tom Hamilton (1950) and Paul Wasterberg of the Replacements (1960).
Jimi Hendrix debuted his post Experience group the Band of Gypsys on New Year's Eve of 1969 at the Fillmore East in New York. The pre Bon Scott AC/DC did its first concert to welcome in the New Year at a club in Sydney on 12/31/1973. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks became members of Fleetwood Mac on the final day of 1974.
Steve Winwood chose the last day of 1980 to release his solo album Arc Of A Diver.
Winterland in San Francisco closed with a Grateful Dead - New Riders of the Purple Sage concert on New Year's Eve, 1978. On this date in 1984, Def Leppard Drummer Rick Allen lost an arm in the crash of his Corvette. The following year on this day, Rick Nelson lost his life in a plane crash.
Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes tied the knot with actress Kate Hudson on 12/31/2000. Alex Lifeson of Rush and his son got arrested after an altercation with other guests at a Naples, Florida hotel on New Year's Eve in 2003.
And in a fittingly strange but true ending to its touring years, Motley Crue's final show in Las Vegas on this night in 2015 ended with Tommy Lee stuck upside down on an on-stage roller coaster built to carry him and his kit over and around the band as they played.
Felix Pappalardi, the energetic bass player and lead vocalist in Mountain, was born on this day in 1939 in The Bronx.
A graduate of New York's High School of Music and Art, Pappalardi added to his classical training while majoring in music at the University of Michigan. Finding no openings available in Big Apple symphonies and orchestras, Felix applied what he'd learned to arranging and producing material for Folk and Rock artists, the Youngbloods, Joan Baez and a band called the Vagrants among them. His production work on Disraeli Gears, the sophomore album by Cream, boosted his profile considerably.
The Vagrants disbanded and the group's guitarist, Leslie West, contacted Pappalardi about joining the new outfit he was putting together. By that time, Pappalardi was already working on Cream's Goodbye album, but he and West hit it off musically and one of the loudest bands in Rock history was born.
Pappalardi met an untimely and violent death in April of 1983 when his wife shot and killed him in the couple's New York apartment using a Derringer Felix had given her as a gift. She faced second degree murder charges but was convicted of criminally negligent homicide.
Other 12/30 musical birthdays of note; Bo Diddley (Ellas Otha Bates / Ellas McDaniel) (1928), and Jeff Lynne of the Move, Electric Light Orchestra and Traveling Wilburys ("Otis" WIlbury) (1947). Fellow Wilbury George Harrison was stabbed and his wife Olivia injured on this night in 1999 when an intruder broke into their Henley home. Ane Neil Young was honored with an Order Of Canada award on this day in 2009.
Almost five years ago, the US Postal service issued a Jimi Hendrix forever stamp (story). Soon, people wanting something postmarked in a post office bearing the name of the guitar legend will be able to get it done in Renton, Washington. A bill designating the renaming the postal outpost near where Jimi was born the James Marshall 'Jimi' Hendrix Post Office was signed last week.
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason becomes the latest Rocker to receive honorary recognition from the Queen. Buckingham Palace has announced that Mason will become a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in appreciation of his musical accomplishments. As the least controversial member of the group and maybe the only one with a suitable suit in his wardrobe for the ceremony, Mason was an easy pick.
Remembering the late, great drummer Cozy Powell, born on this day in 1947. Powell kept the beat for Jeff Beck, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Gary Moore, Robert Plant, Whitesnake, among others, and filled Carl Palmer's role in ELP after Carl's death. All told, Powell was a featured drummer on close to 70 albums. He lost his life in a high speed collision on an English motorway in April on 1998.
Also born 12/29, Rick Danko of The Band (1942), Ray Thomas of the Moody Blues (1942).
Edgar Holland Winter was born on this day in 1946 in Beaumont, Texas. The younger brother of guitar legend Johnny Winter is known mostly for his keyboard chops, but also plays a mean sax on some of his own albums and songs on other's (Meat Loaf's "All Revved Up With No Place to Go", David Lee Roth's "Just A Gigolo"). He was also credited with devising a shoulder strap attached keyboard that enabled him to be up and about on stage as he played it.
Box Tops and Big Star's Alex Chilton was also born 12/28 (1950). On this date in 1975 a 21 year-old was arrested after threatening to shoot Ted Nugent at a Spokane, Washington concert. In 2009, Van Morrison became a father again at age 64.
Musicians lost on this date... Blues great Freddie King (1976), Beach Boy Dennis Wilson (1983) and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead (2015).
It looks like there will be dueling Woodstock 50th anniversary concerts this summer. Michael Lange, one of the original organizers of the 1969 festival, made a preliminary announcement about his plan to stage an anniversary concert months ago. Now, Live Nation, the concert conglomerate with tentacles that reach into multiple sectors of the entertainment and live performance industries, has confirmed that it will stage a three day festival on the original site. Dubbed the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival, the August 16,17 & 18 lineup of the Live Nation event is likely to benefit from the business associations the company has established with many of the world's biggest touring acts. It will be interesting to see whether they aim to book kind of homogeneous Rock acts that brought so many like minded people together and kept things peaceful, or diversify the lineup by adding some of their big alternative, pop, country and other genre artists, an approach that backfired badly for the organizers of Woodstock '99. That festival, staged at a former air force base in Rome, New York, ended in chaos with arson and numerous assaults.
One thing is all but certain with Live Nation in control; unless they can prevail on acts to accept offers that allow them to keep ticket prices reasonable, the price of attending will reflect the prices the lineup commands. It's easy to forget or never to have know that most of the bands at the original concert were in their very early stages and not that expensive to book and several of the biggest bands at the time were not affordable or looked at the location and took a pass, thinking it was too remote to draw a big enough crowd to be worth playing at. Of course, many of the original festival's acts have retired or passed on.
If the 2019 event at Bethel is loaded with A list acts playing for the fees they are accustomed to commanding, count on a beer costing something approaching the cost of a 3 day ticket $24) to the 1969 Woodstock.
How does Michael Lange counter, if he does at all? Are there enough artists with an allegiance to him and appreciation of the vibe of the original festival for him to put together an event much more in keeping with the original festival? Neil Young comes to mind. The 1969 Woodstock was only Young's second appearance as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Neil has a pretty steady history of being willing to thumb his nose or flip a middle digit at corporations. A few others in the original lineup and a good number of up-and-comers could think doing a solid for a guy who risked so much to put together the biggest party the planet had ever seen 50 years ago would be a good thing to do.
Led Zeppelin opened its first US tour on the day after Christmas in 1968 as the opener for Vanilla Fudge at the Denver Auditorium. The now imprisoned Phil Spector, who devised the 'wall of sound' production technique and was reputed to be equally inventive in structuring contracts with artists, was born on this day in 1939.Metallica's Lars Ulrich was born 12/26/1963. Jimi Hendrix wrote Purple Haze on this day in 1966, and Queen, the Who, the Pretenders, the Clash and Paul McCartney played the first of four Concerts for Kampuchea at the Hammersmith Odeon in London to raise money to relief those suffering in the internal strife in Cambodia on 12/26/1979.
Ian "Lemmy" Frasier Kilmister arrived in this world on Christmas Eve, 1945 and exited it four days after it in 2015. The founder and front man for Motorhead, was and will remain a heavy metal icon. Also born on 12/24, Henry Vestine of Canned Heat (1944)and Jan Akkerman, the guitarist that co-founded Focus, the group that had a left field hit with the 1973 wild instrumental Hocus Pocus. On this night in 1964 the Beatles performed a Christmas show at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.
Pearl Jam's front man was born on this day in 1964 in Evanston, Illinois. Edward Louis Severson III, would later swap his biological father's last name for his mother's maiden name, Vedder. She gave him a guitar on his 12th birthday. Other musicians of note born on 12/23 include Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna veteran Jorma Kaukonen (1940), Tim Hardin (1941), Derek Small of Spinal Tap (1943), Mott The Hoople's Ariel Bender and Iron Maiden's Dave Murray (1956).
The J. Geils Band remains on the list of deserving bands to not get the credit it deserves from the Rock Hall Of Fame. They've earned ours. Lead singer Peter Wolf, who has also put out some fine solo albums, dishes on his past and and present in this recent interview before a home town area concert.
Happy birthday to Cheap Trick's guitar magician, born on this day in 1948. Small Faces drummer Kenny Jones was announced as the Who's choice to take the place of the irreplaceable Keith Moon on 12/22/1978. On this date in 1991, Gregg Allman appeared in the role of a drug kingpin in the movie Rush. Clash guitarist Joe Strummer suffered a heart attack and died on this day in 2002.
“There’s no single ideal listener out there who likes my orchestral music, my guitar albums and songs like ‘Dyna-Moe-Hum,’ That’s why sometimes I’ll do an orchestral album, and the people who like guitar stuff can’t stand it. And then a guitar album comes out, and the people who liked the orchestral album can’t stand that. But you know, they’re all my friends in their own way. So why not accommodate them all?” Frank Zappa
Rockers born on this day include Peter Criss of KISS (1945) and Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes (1966). George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh album was released on 12/20/1971. Joe Walsh officially became a member of the Eagles on this date in '75. In 2016, the Rock Hall of Fame announced Journey, ELO, Yes and Pearl Jam as the 2017 inductees. And on this date last year, Billy Joel invited Steve Miller to join him to do one of Steve's classics on stage at Madison Square Garden.
According to Geddy Lee, Neil Peart has not only retired from Rush, he's given up playing the drums entirely. Speaking with SiriusXM hos Eddie Trunk, Lee said that he thinks Rush drummer is content living his life without any future time behind a drum kit. As lee put it, "He hasn't just retired from Rush; he's retired from drumming. He's not drumming anymore,and he's living his life.' If that's the case, Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson have no issues with it. Geddy does expect he and Lifeson will work together in the future, but no firm plans are in place for what they might come out with.
The incendiary performance of I'm Going Home proved to be one of the most remarkable performances at the original Woodstock Festival, but Ten Years After's Alvin Lee gets overlooked by many when it comes to recognition as one of the greatest guitarists of his generation. His band and solo catalogs contain ample evidence of why he deserves more consideration than he often gets - and had a better voice than most of the ones that get it. Lee was born Graham Anthony Barnes on this day in 1944. He died in Spain in March of 2013 due to complications following a relatively routine operation to address a heart arrhythmia. The Rolling Stones announced former Faces guitarist Ron Wood as a full-time member on 12/19/1975. BB King performed for the Pope at the Vatican on this day in 1997. And musical guest Bruce Springsteen was joined by Paul McCartney on Santa Claus Is Coming To Town to close the Saturday Night Live Christmas Special on 12/19/2015.
Happy birthday to Keith Richards! Born on this day in 1943, the Rolling Stones guitarist recently decided to cut way back on his drinking. He just might outlive us all. Today is also the anniversary of Keith's marriage to Patty Hanson in 1983. Other Rockers born 12/18 include Chas Chandler, bassist for the Animals and Jim Hendrix's first manager (1938), Be Bop Deluxe's Bill Nelson (1948) and Elliot Easton of the Cars (1953). On 12/18/2015 Ray and Dave Davies of the Kinks performed together for the first time in 20 years. Rumors of a longer reunion tour have reignited almost every year since. Could 2019 be the year? And Carlos Santana this week said that he's in if the organizers of a 50th anniversary Woodstock festival on the original site want him.
One of Rock's strongest front men has a birthday today. Free, Bad Company, The Firm and, occasionally,Queen lead vocalist Paul Rodgers. Also born 12/17, Blues-Rock legend Paul Butterfield (1942 and Mike Mills of R.E.M. (1958). On this day in 1971, David Bowie released Hunky Dory. In '76 Wind and Wuthering from Genesis got its releases. Elvis Costello performed on Saturday Night Live on 12/17/1977. The Who closed out their 1982 Farewell Tour on this night in 1982 at Maple Leaf Garden in Toronto. And ZZ Top's Dusty Hill sustained one of the most unusual and embarrassing injuries in Rock on this day in '84 when the Derringer he had concealed in his boot discharged while he was taking the boot off,shooting him in the foot.
Sightings of Ringo Starr before and during Paul McCartney's tour closing concert at London's 02 ArenaSunday (12/16) had many in the crowd anticipating an on stage reunion of the bass player and drummer last night, so the surprise came when Paul welcomed Ronnie Wood of the Stones to join them on Get Back during the encore.
William Frederick Gibbons was born on this day in Houston, Texas in 1949. The future ZZ Top guitarist's dad was a conductor and pianist for MGM Studios. Billy was in three groups before forming the Moving Sidewalks, a bad that got enough recognition that the then 18 year old Gibbons got to meet and establish a friendship with Jimi Hendrix. ZZ Top's formation followed in 1969, and the Texas trio released its debut album two years later.
Also born on 12/16 was Tony Hicks of the Hollies (1943). The Who announced one of their break-ups on this date in 1983, and the Rock Hall Of Fame announced Peter Gabriel, KISS, Hall & Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens as its 2014 inductees on this day in 2013.
The former Capricorn Records offices and studios in Macon, Georgia have been shuttered several years and the tawny townhouses recently sprouting up right behind the building made it seem likely it would get torn down soon to make room for more. But good news came in the nick of time when funding was announced this week to restore the building where so many legendary Southern Rock artists recorded.
The comprehensive plan will preserve the site and transform the building into a museum with restored equipment and memorabilia tied to the artists and the albums they recorded within its walls.
Studio album #3 from the Who got its release on this day in 1967 and was met with a flurry of legal objections to the bands use of actual brand names in artwork and in parody commercials that were slotted between some of the songs on the album, which was conceived to sound as though it was a pirate radio broadcast.
London authorities are investigating a break-in at Paul McCartney's London home. The burglary reportedly took place last Friday (12/7), but the news was kept under wraps for several days. McCartney was wrapping up Scandinavian tour dates and preparing to return to the UK for a Liverpool concert at the time of the break-in. No details have been released about what may have been taken.
Fan vote toppers Def Leppard headlines the class of 2019 entering the Rock Hall Of fame. They are joined by Stevie Nicks, Roxy Music, the Cure, Radiohead and the Zombies. The Hall continued its unfortunate tradition of enshrining at least one totally inappropriate nominee. Janet Jackson is this year's. The ceremony takes place March 29th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Brilliant guitarist and a self-taught expert in missile systems, Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter, was born on this day in 1948. A member of Ultimate Spinach for their last album, Baxter then joined Steely Dan for their first 3 releases before settling in as a Doobie Brother member in 1974. His fascination with technical aspects of audio algorithms and high capacity storage led to an interest in ways that technology could be a bridge developing defensive missile systems. He has been a go-to consultant for the Pentagon and several other agencies and companies involved in notional defense. Also born 12/13, Ted Nugent (1948) and the band Television's Tom Verlaine (1949). On this day in 1985, Phil Collins appeared on an episode of Miami Vice. In 2002 Zal Yanofsky of the Lovin' Spoonful died of a heart attack, and in 2010 Paul McCartney played the Appollo Theater in Harlem.
Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler is joining forces with ex GNR drummer Matt Sorum, Billy Idols long time guitar slinger Steve Stevens and Apocalyptica front man Franky Perez in a new group named Deadland Ritual. Here's a look & listen.
Today marks the anniversary of the release of Beggar's Banquet in 1968. It was the last full Stones album recorded with Brian Jones, who showed up only occasionally for sessions and often wanting to play instruments other than guitar (sitar on Street Fighting Man, harmonica on Dear Doctor and Prodigal Son, Mellotron on Jigsaw Puzzle and Stray Cat Blues). The following year on December 6th, the Stones headlined the ill fated Altamont Speedway concert near San Francisco. And on 12/6/1970, Gimme Shelter, the remarkable film documenting that concert, had its premier in New York City. Jackson Browne's Running On Empty got released on this day in 1977. Roy Orbison died on 12/6/1988, and the Eagles ended their 13 year hiatus, getting together for a video shoot that would be step on in reuniting for the Hell Freezes Over tour.
Band On The Run was an apt title for the album Paul McCartney put out on this day in 1973. The initial recordings were done in Nigeria, but two Wings members balked on going, resulting in Paul playing drums and doing a good bit of lead guitar, as well. Then, Paul and Linda where held-up at knife point in Lagos, losing a satchel containing lyrics and some of the recordings. It was back to the UK to complete the album.
Also released on 12/5, Pearl Jam's Vitalogy (1994) and the Pink Floyd Pulse DVD (2005). Rockers born on this date include JJ Cale and Buffalo Springfield, Loggins & Messina member Jim Messina. And on 12/5/2005 actress Valerie Bertinelli file for divorce from Eddie Van Halen.
Today in 1980 marked the official end of Led Zeppelin. The announcement came a couple of months after John Bonham's death. Chris Hillman of The Byrds and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson were both born on December 4th, 1944, as was Lynyrd Skynyrd mainstay Gary Rossington in 1952. The doors opened on the Beatles Abbey Road Boutique on this date in 1967. Guitarist Tommy Bolin, who had stints in the band Zephyr, the James Gang and Deep Purple, OD'ed on this day in 1976 and Bob Marley suffered a gunshot wound during a robbery of his Jamaica home on the same day. And we lost Frank Zappa to pancreatic cancer 12/4/1993.
Happy birthday to the Prince of Darkness. John Michael Osbourne made his earthly entrance on this day in 1948. Molly Hatchet's Duane Roland was born 12/3/1952. Rubber Soul got its UK release on this day in 1965. The fire at the Montreux casino during a Frank Zappa concert that inspired Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water happened 12/3/1971. In '79 11 fans lost their lives in a stampede for a general admission Who concert in Cincinnatti. Also lost on this date were Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan (2014) and Scott Weiland (2015).
Bruce Springsteen will close out 2018 with the final performance of his three times extended run of sold out shows at the Walter Kerr Theatre (12/15), the release of a double album culled from those performances (12/14) and a Netflix special filmed during Springsteen On Broadway shows (12/16). Initial indications he would tour Europe with the E Street Band were walked back by The Boss in a statement on Twitter saying, “Just a note to quell some of the rumors over here on E Street. While we hope to be back with you soon, the E Street Band won’t be touring in 2019. Before I go back to my day job, the year will be consumed with a break after our Broadway run and various recording projects I’ve been working on. We do hope to see you soon, and until then, we have some mighty E Streeters out there regularly performing with their own projects who’d love and deserve your support.”