U2's third studio album got released on this day in 1983 and a few weeks later it dislodged Michael Jackson's Thriller as the #1 album in the UK.
Rockers of note born on this day include Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones (1942) and Pittsburgh's Donnie Iris of Ah, Leah fame (1943).
George Harrison and his wife Patti were injured in a London car crash on Feb. 28. 1972. Keith Richards was arrested in Toronto in possession of cocaine and heroin on this day in 1977. The Doors were awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on 2/28/2007, and Neil Young played Long May You Run to close the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver on this night in 2010.
Happy birthday to guitar phenom Neal Schon, born on this day in 1954 on Tinker Air Force Base outside of Oklahoma City. He was tinkering with guitar when just five and got good enough by the age of 15 to be invited by two of the world's best to join their bands. Neal choose Santana over Eric Clapton's invite for him to join him in Derek & The Dominos.
In 1973, Schon and keyboard player Greg Rolie parted with Carlos to join a group being put together by Santana manager Herbie Herbert to do session work backing other Bay Area bands. By the end of that year, The Golden Gate Rhythm Section had decided to become a full-fledged band. Journey made its debut on New Year's Eve at Bill Graham's Winterland Ballroom.
George Harrison was born on this day in 1943 in his family's humble brick home with an outdoor privy in Liverpool. His father had worked as a steward for White Star Line, the company that operated the ill-fated Titanic before becoming a transit bus conductor. It's said George, who was a fan of scat, skiffle and American pop, soul and jazz performers, got introduced to Rock & Roll when he heard a recording of Elvis singing Heartbreak Hotel through an open window while on a bicycle ride. At 13, he got his first guitar and he auditioned for John Lennon and Paul McCartney's group the Quarrymen two years later. Concerns he was too young to become a member kept him an occasional fill-in before Lennon and McCartney granted him full-time status shortly before the group would morph into the Beatles.
Alice Cooper released Billion Dollar Babies on February 25, 1973. Peter Gabriel's debut solo album got released on this day in 1977, and Bob Seger's Against The Wind album dropped on this day in 1980.
Marshall Tucker Band guitar great Toy Caldwell passed away on this day in 1993 due to cardio-respiratory failure resulting from heart muscle inflammation.
It's inevitable that farewell tours by some of the biggest names in Classic Rock will become more frequent. Sad that Peter Frampton is doing one out of need rather than preference. He revealed that he is suffering from a rare degenerative muscle disease that will rob him of his ability to play guitar, so his upcoming tour will be his last. Our thoughts and appreciation go out to Peter.
John Warren Geils, namesake of one of the most deserving bands not to have gotten into the Rock Hall Of Fame, was born on this day in New York City in 1946. The future J. Geils Band guitarist's father was a big jazz fan and got his son interested in playing trumpet. While attending Northeastern, John played in the University's marching band. After transferring to Worcester Poly Tech and switching to guitar, Geils started a band with a bass player Danny Klein and harp player 'Magic Dick' Salwitz. After relocating to Boston, they brought drummer Steve Bladd and WBCN DJ Peter Wolf on as vocalist and began playing as the J. Geils Blues Band. Geils passed away on April 11, 2017.
Other Rockers of note born on February 20th include Steely Dan's Walter Becker (1950-2017), Spirit's Randy California (1950-1997) and Kurt Cobain (1967-1954).
Happy anniversary to Pat Benatar and her guitarist/producer/husband Neil Giraldo. The couple married on this date in 1982.
Bob Dylan was given the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Grammys on this night in 1991.
And on Feb. 20.2003, more than 100 died and 200 more injured when flammable acoustic foam ignited by pyrotechnics being used during a Great White set in a Warwick, Rhode Island night club started an inferno that consumed the entire structure.
AC/DC's legendary front man Bon Scott met his end on this day in 1980. He'd been left in a car to sleep off a night of revelry in a London club and was reportedly discovered dead the following day. While there has been some dispute over the details of his death, the official cause remains 'acute alcohol poisoning'.
Rockers of note born on February 19th include Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi and Spirit's Mark Andes, both on this day in 1948.
Ozzy Osbourne added another notch to his notoriety on 2/19/1982 when he relived himself on the base of The Cenopath, a San Antonio, Texas monument erected in 1939 to honor those who died in the Battle of the Alamo.
His choice of facility inevitably led to the story getting turned into him having taken a leak on the Alamo itself and did manage to result in him being banned from setting foot at the fort for a decade.
And one of the oddest reasons for a concert's cancellation went down on this day in 1993 when a cricket infestation caused Elton John's Melbourne, Australia concert to get nixed.
Rush released its second album on this day in 1975. The album was the first with Neil Peart behind the kit. Peart took over from interim drummer Jerry Fielding and replaced original stick man John Rutsey, who got sidelined due to health issues and differences of opinion over the band's direction.
Other albums of note released on February 15th include Deep Purple's Burn (1975), and Get Happy from Elvis Costello and Warren Zevon's Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School, both in 1980.
The great guitarist Michael Bloomfield, inducted into the Rock Hall Of fame as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band posthumously in 2012, died of an overdose on this day in 1981. Stevie Ray Vaughan appeared on Saturday Night Live on this night in '86.
On Valentine's Day in 1970, the Who performed a ferociously raw set at the University Refectory, a 2,000 seat auditorium at the University of Leeds in West Yorkshire, UK. The concert was arranged expressly to record a live album that would dispel impressions the Tommy rock opera album created that the group was heading in an art rock direction. The intensely raw and hard rocking set delivered from the stage that night served notice and the album that followed 3 months later went on to become widely considered as the greatest concert recording ever made.
On February 14th, 1973, David Bowie was stretchered off the stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York after an overzealous fan rushed him on stage as he performed as Ziggy Stardust.
The B52's formed on this day in 1977 in Athens, Georgia. Dire Straits started recording the debut album it would release in October on this day in 1978. Heart's Bebe le Strange album dropped on 2/14/1980, and Frank Zappa appeared as a drug dealer on an episode of Miami Vice on this night in 1986.
Peter Brian Gabriel was born on this day in 1950 in Surrey. He took up piano at a young age with instruction from a musical mother, but played drums in the bands he was in before forming Genesis in 1967. Chris Stewart was the drummer in the early lineup that also included Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips. Peter was the lead voice of Genesis until 1975, when he parted to begin a solo career and drummer Phil Collins took over as lead vocalist. Ed Gagliardi, the original bass player in Foreigner, was also born on February 11 (1952).
Black Sabbath's self-titled debut dropped on 2/13/1970. On this day in 1972, Led Zeppelin was denied permission to deplane after arriving in Singapore because of their long hair. Lou Reed got smacked in the face by a brick thrown by a political activist during a concert in Milan, Italy on this night in 1975. The headstone at Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant's grave site was stolen on 2/13/1982, but was recovered and returned to the plot two weeks later. And a fan bought Paul McCartney's boyhood home for $231,000 during an auction at the Cavern Club on this day in 2015.
A couple of albums many fans of each band count among their favorites got releasd on this date almost a decade apart. The Allman Brothers put out the double album Eat A Peach on 2/12/1972 and Rush released Moving Pictures on the same date in 1981.
Steve Hackett of Genesis (1950) and Triumph's Gil Moore were both born February 12. On this night in 2012 (when the show was still somewhat worth watching), Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl combined forces to close the Grammy Awards with an Abbey Road medley.
The 12 string Fender XII that Bob Dylan used during sessions that produced his landmark 1966 double album Blonde on Blonde is heading to auction. Heritage will offer it as a featured instrument in its March 16th Entertainment Memorabilia Signature Auction. Also on the block is one of only six known copies of the Sgt. Pepper album to have been autographed by all of the members of the Beatles and a velvet robe that belonged to Jimi Hendrix.
February 11 was an eventful date in frenetic early days of the Beatles. On this day in 1963, the Beatles recorded 10 songs in a single session for the Please Please Me Album. A year later on the same date, the group made its live US debut, doing a brief set at the Washington, DC Coliseum in front of a delirious crowd. And on 2/11/1965, Ringo Starr married Maureen Cox.
On this day in 1977, Jethro Tull released Songs From The Wood, and the Police reunited to perform at the opening of the Grammy Awards on 2/11/2007.
Van Halen unleashed their debut album on this day in 1978. A mostly dismissive Rolling Stone Magazine review predicted the group would end up "..fat and self-indulgent and disgusting" within 3 years, but also credited Eddie Van Halen having better riffs than Joe Perry had produced in years. VH laughed all the way to the bank while their first became one of the best selling debut albums of the decade.
The Doors 5th studio album dropped on this day in 1970, A top 5 album, Morrison Hotel found the band getting back to basics after venturing in a different musical direction in The Soft Parade failed to impress many early and core fans of the group.
On this night in 1964, a record shattering 73 million viewers tuned in to the Ed Sullivan Show to see and hear the Beatles battle it out with an audience filled predominantly with screaming teenage girls.
Rock pioneer Bill Haley died on 2/9/1981. A former Beatle and Rolling Stones member's solo albums came out on this day in '93 when Paul McCartney released Off The Ground and Mick Jagger put out Wandering Spirit.
Soundgarden did its last concert before breaking up on this night in 1997.
2018 was a rough year for Lindsey Buckingham. He lost his spot in Fleetwood Mac to Mike Campbell. 2019 is not off to a good start either. Late last week, Buckingham underwent open heart surgery. During the operation he suffered vocal cord damage. It is apparently uncertain whether the vocal impairment is temporary or permanent. Buckingham's family medical history includes the deaths of both his father (56) and a brother (46) to heart related issues.
We wish Lindsey his best in battling back from this.
The short-lived supergroup Blind Faith formed on this day in 1969, its members coming from Cream (Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker), Traffic (Steve Winwood) and Family (Rick Grech). The group would stay together only long enough to release one studio and one live album. The studio album, released in August '69 caused more than a musical stir. The cover photo was of a quite young and topless girl, causing many countries to ban it. An alternate cover was released simultaneously in the UK and later replaced copies in countries and stores unwilling to sell the album with the original cover.
Another supergroup did its first concert on this date five years later. Bad Company, made up of Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke from Free, Mott The Hoople's Mick Ralphs and King Crimson's Boz Burrell, made its live debut in Newcastle on 2/8/1974.
David and Angela Bowie's 10 year marriage ended in a divorce on this day in 1980. In 1994, Tommy Lee of Motley Crue was arrested for carrying a loaded gun at LAX, and ACDC played the Grammy's on this night in 2015 with Chris Slade on drums in place of Phil Rudd.
An Indiana Sheriff's Department arrested a 48 year-old man early Thursday morning (2/7) and charged him with using a Jeep to ram a security barrier outside John Mellencamp's house near Bloomington and then kicking in a door of the home. The suspect apparently claimed he wanted to "arrest" the singer over his political views. Charges the Indianapolis man faces include criminal trespass and burglary. Mellencamp was not in the residence at the time of the incident.
On this day in 1964, thousands descended on London's Heathrow Airport for the send-off and New York's Kennedy Airport for the arrival of the Beatles for the group's first US visit. Their landmark Ed Sullivan Show appearance was viewed by 73 million two days later. The group also did concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Washington Arena in DC.
Musicians of note born on February 7th include King Curtis (1934), Wings drummer Joe English (1949), Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan (1962).
Tom Fogerty quit Creedence Clearwater Revival on this day in 1971. Carlos Santana and BB King did a concert for inmates in San Quentin Prison on 2/7/1997. 'Lonesome' Dave Preverett of Foghat died of cancer on this day in 2000, and the Who played half time at the Super Bowl at what was then the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on this day in 2010, a year the The Saints did not get cheated out of playing in it and defeated the Colts 31-17
Reggae legend Bob Marley was born on this day in 1945 on a farm in Nine Mile, Jamaica owned by his grandfather on his mother's side of the family. A museum honoring Marley's life and music occupies some original buildings on the site now. They include the house with his bedroom. Also born on February 6th was William Bailey, aka Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses.
.38 Special was out with their Tour De Force album on this date in 1984, and Dylan and the Dead, an album recorded during a 1987 stadium tour Bob did with the Grateful Dead, got its release on this day in 1989.
Billy Idol broke a wrist and leg in a motorcycle crash in LA today in 1990. Mick Jagger appeared as Keith Richards in a skit on Saturday Night Live on this day in 1993. And former Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore, who put out several fine solo albums following that group's end, died while vacationing in Spain on this day in 2011.
We flash you back to this day in 2006 when fans and viewers witnessed a better game and better music, judging from the reaction to last Sunday's game in Atlanta. The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched their 5th title, beating Seattle's Seahawks 21-10, and the Rolling Stones provided the entertainment on what was then the largest stage ever assembled mid field for the half time show. Super Bowl XL was played at Ford Field in Detroit.
Former Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver member Michael Andrew 'Duff' McKagan was born on Feb. 5 in 1954 in Seattle. More recently he's been playing bass in the occasionally together Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp.
Tom Petty and Bob Dylan opened a co-headlining tour world on this day in 1986 in New Zealand.
Queen released Innuendo, its last album with Freddie Mercury, on 2/5/1991.
One of Rock's most entertaining people on or off the stage celebrates a birthday today. Vincent Damon Furnier was born in Detroit on February 4th in 1948. His family relocated to Phoenix when the soon-to-become Alice Cooper was in his late teens. He first performed in a high school talent show in a band he put together with other members of the cross country running team to do spoof covers of Beatles songs. Winning top prize inspired them to get real instruments and learn to play. Formed in his Junior year, The Spiders developed a solid regional following and released a couple of singles. After graduating, they began touring more widely, changed the group's name to Nazz and moved to LA. Learning that Todd Rundgren was using that name for his own band, Furnier's group came up with Alice Cooper as their new name. Their manager, Shep Gordon, himself one of the most creative and entertaining people in the business, decided one of the band members needed to be Alice Cooper, and picked Vincent. Determined to make a greater impact and be more memorable than the large pack of bands vying for attention in SoCal at the time, Alice and Gordon decided that adding theatrical elements to the band's performances and developing Cooper's character into one parents would find objectionable would make the group irresistible to young Rock fans was the way to go. Was it ever! Happy birthday Alice!
Other Rockers of note born on Feb. 4 include Animals drummer John Steel (1941), Phil Ehart of Kansas (1950) and Humble Pie's Jerry Shirley (1952).
Fleetwood Mac released Rumours on this day in 1977. The Police opened their Synchcronicity tour on 2/4/1984 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY, and Black Sabbath wrapped up its reunion tour on this night in 2016 in Birmingham, UK.
The new operators of Hunter Mountain, the ski area on the western edge of New York's Hudson Valley, have apparently opted out of hosting the annual festival that has rocked it's base area the last 14 summers. Organized by and run by area radio station WDST in association with Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers and Gov't Mule, it grew into a highly anticipated and well attended event. The festival's web site prominently proclaims "The Jam is Back", so a 2019 Mountain Jam presumably is still on track with a new site either secured or being sought.
A pair of VERY different albums dropped on this day in 1976. The 4th studio album from Lynyrd Skynyrd and the 7th from Genesis. Trick of the Tail was the first post Peter Gabriel album and marked the debut of drummer Phil Collins as the lead singer.
Rockers of not born on February 2 include Hollies, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Graham Nash (1942) and Journey bassist Ross Valory (1949).
Keith Emerson was injured in a pyro effects malfunction during an Emerson, Lake & Palmer concert in San Francisco on this night in 1974.
Sid Vicious (John Simon Ritchie), bass player in the Sex Pistols ODed on heroin and died on this day in 1979. He was scheduled to go to trial in the stabbing death of his girlfriend in the Chelsea Hotel in New York City at the time of his death.
And on Feb. 2, 2014 the Red Hot Chili Peppers got a bit red faced when criticism started flying over the group appearing with Bruno Mars during his half time set at the Super Bowl with their instruments not plugged in.
Heartbreakers and now Fleetwood Mac member Mike Campbell was born on this day in 1950 in Panama City, Florida. A scorching version of Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode earned Mike an added guitarist spot in Mudcrutch, the Gainsville based group Tom Petty formed in the early 1970's. That group fell apart after moving to LA and getting a record deal in 1974 that only produced one single that got little traction.
Campbell and Benmont Tench from Mudcrutch reunited with Tom in 1976 to form Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The debut album released in November of that year on the same label that gave up on Mudcrutch got off to a slow start in the states, but interest and sales started to kick in after Petty and the band toured the UK and sales there took off. Tom gave a good deal of credit for the group's eventual success to Jon Scott, a promotion man that worked the debut album record relentlessly. Jon's book, Tom Petty and Me is a great read about his four decade friendship and association with Tom and the Heartbreakers.
Five months after Petty's tragic passing Campbell was invited to join Fleetwood Mac, replacing Lindsey Buckingham.