1921: Hal David
1942: Brian Davison (The Nice / Refugee)
1943: John “Poli” Palmer (Family)
1948: Klaus Meine (Scorpions)
1950: Robert Steinhardt (Kansas)
1951: Michael “Fane” Flaws (Artist / Director / Animator / Author / Songwriter / Musician with Blerta / Spats / The Crocodiles / The Bend / No Engine & many more projects)
1955: John Grimaldi (Argent)
1958: Paul Weller (The Jam / Style Council)
1965: Death of John “Sonny Boy” Williamson [aged 65].
1974: Rick Wakeman’s ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ went to the top of the U.K. album charts.
1978: David Gilmour released his self-titled debut album.
1983: Dio released their debut album, ‘Holy Diver’. Comprised of Ronnie James Dio, Vivian Campbell, Jimmy Bain & Vinnie Appice, the band recorded the tracks at the legendary Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA.
1990: Lou Gramm quit Foreigner to start a solo career.
2020: Death of pedal steel guitarist, William “Bucky” Baxter [aged 65]. Bucky played in Bob Dylan’s band for many years and contributed to classic albums by Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Old Crow Medicine Show and more.
Happy 64th Birthday, Paul Weller! He has made a huge contribution to the UK music scene over the last four decades, with his brilliant songwriting. Greatly enjoyed Paul’s concert at The Powerstation, Auckland in October, 2010. He played selections from his solo career, along with classic cuts from his earlier work with The Style Council and The Jam.
Also, Happy Birthday to John “Poli” Palmer of British progressive rock group, Family. Poli ~ who plays vibraphone, flute, piano, synthesizers and percussion ~ can be heard on this Family classic, “Burlesque” (from the ‘Bandstand’ album). It features a young John Wetton on bass, prior to his joining King Crimson, Uriah Heep, UK & Asia. Family gathered a sizeable following across Europe, but never hit the big time. They were a unique band and made some great music — check them out!
1938: Tommy Chong (Cheech & Chong)
1941: Robert Zimmerman a.k.a. Bob Dylan
1946: Steve Upton (Wishbone Ash)
1947: Albert “Alan” Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult)
1969: Rich Robinson (Black Crowes)
1963: Death of blues guitarist / singer / songwriter, Elmore James [aged 45].
1969: Bob Dylan scored his fourth # 1 U.K. album with ‘Nashville Skyline’.
1970: Peter Green played his last gig with Fleetwood Mac, in Bath, England.
1974: David Bowie released his eighth studio album, ‘Diamond Dogs’.
1991: Death of jazz band leader, Edward “Duke” Ellington [aged 75].
1991: Death of singer / songwriter, Gene Clarke of The Byrds [aged 49].
1995: Yes announced that Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye were no longer members of the group.
2018: Death of guitarist, Phil Emmanuel [aged 62].
Happy 81st Birthday to Bob Dylan ~ undoubtedly one of the greatest lyricists of all time! The master songsmith has written so many classics… so hard to choose just one, but this is a fav! Bob, may you stay “Forever Young”.
1934: Robert Moog (Inventor of the synthesiser)
1944: Raymond Fulwood (Parliament)
1946: Ruth Underwood (Frank Zappa Band)
1953: Rick Fenn (10cc)
1974: Jewel Kilcher a.k.a. Jewel
1974: Richard Jones (Stereophonics)
1975: K.T. Tunstall
1970: ‘Let It Be’ by The Beatles began a 3-week run at the top of the U.K. album charts.
1975: Led Zeppelin played the first of three consecutive concerts at Earl’s Court, London.
1992: Iron Maiden had their third number one on the U.K. album charts with ‘Fear of the Dark’.
1992: The Meat Puppets played a concert at The Powerstation, Auckland ~ I was there!
1996: The Smashing Pumpkins played a concert at the Supertop, Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland ~ I was there!
2006: The King of Sweden presented Led Zeppelin with the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm.
Would have loved to have been there ~ 47 years ago today! Led Zep at Earl’s Court, 1975, that is…
1939: Ian Underwood (Frank Zappa’s Mothers)
1942: Calvin Simon (Funkadelic)
1950: Bernie Taupin
1955: Jerry Dammers (The Specials)
Happy 65th Birthday to Jerry Dammers, who was keyboard player and principal songwriter in The Specials, from 1977–84. Jerry founded 2 Tone Records, wrote the song “Free Nelson Mandela” and helped create Artists Against Apartheid.
1955: Iva Davies (Icehouse)
1955: Mary Black
1959: Steven Morrissey (The Smiths)
1967: Dan Roberts (Crash Test Dummies)
1964: The Beatles 2nd LP went straight to #1 U.S. album charts, displacing their debut LP from top spot.
1966: Bruce Springsteen recorded his first song (“That’s What You Get”) at a studio in New Jersey.
1971: ‘Sticky Fingers’ by The Rolling Stones topped the U.S. album charts (& stayed there for 4 weeks).
1972: The Guess Who recorded their legendary live album at the Paramount Theater, Seattle, Washington.
1975: Peter Gabriel performed his final concert with Genesis, in France.
1980: The Boomtown Rats played a concert at Dunedin Town Hall ~ I was there!
Happy 72nd Birthday to fine lyricist, Bernie Taupin! The album ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ is the ultimate combination of his skills with Elton’s. The opening song couplet, “Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding” always reminds me of a friend / Elton John fan, who sadly died in a car accident several years ago. Rest in Peace, Claire.
1904: Thomas “Fats” Waller
1941: Ronald Isley (The Isley Brothers)
1943: Vincent Crane (Atomic Rooster)
1943: John Dalton (The Kinks)
1943: Hilton Valentine (The Animals)
1955: Stan Lynch (The Heartbreakers & Record Producer)
1967: Pink Floyd recorded “See Emily Play”.
1970: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released the protest single “Ohio” (composed by Neil Young), in reaction to the Kent State shootings of 4 May, 1970.
1971: English rock band, Free announced their disbandment.
1976: Blue Oyster Cult released their fourth album, ‘Agents of Fortune’, featuring a guest appearance by Patti Smith and the smash single, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”.
1983: David Bowie hit the number one spot in America and U.K. with his single “Let’s Dance”.
1991: Yes played a concert at Seattle Coliseum ~ I was there and met them after the show! Another day and concert I will never forget. Below is a link to 90 minutes of highlights from the Union tour (the shows were generally over 150 minutes long).
2013: Death of bassist / songwriter, Trevor Bolder of Uriah Heep / The Spiders From Mars / Wishbone Ash [aged 61].
2016: Death of drummer, Nick Menza of Megadeth [aged 51].
2017: Death of singer / songwriter, Jimmy LaFave [aged 61].
This was my second journey to a Yesshow (the first being at The Forum in L.A. the week before) and it was truly a magical experience ~ the stars aligned to make 21st May 1991 a very memorable evening. Being a writer for Ripitup music magazine, an interview with one of the band was arranged by the local representative of the Yes label. I was faxed a detailed message from the record company in the States, describing where to meet the tour manager (Rex King) before the show — I would receive a complimentary ticket and an interview would be possible before the band performed that night!
I duly arrived at the Seattle Center Coliseum at the said time and made my way around to the backstage area. From where I was standing, I could plainly see the whole band around a large table, having a laugh and enjoying their dinner — quite a surreal sight! (I couldn’t quite tell who was eating vegetarian food). Unfortunately, the security guard promptly informed me that in no way was I getting through to the “restricted” area, despite my official fax, outlining the interview. Bitterly disappointed, I made my way around to the ticket office in the hope that my details would be listed there, so I could at least get in to the show — but alas, they didn’t know anything about the arrangements either. I then stood around for a while at the gates (of delirium), feeling rather down and wondering what to do next. I’d traveled halfway around the globe to witness this show and there was no way I was going to miss it.
By chance, I overheard the conversation of a group of people beside me as they spoke of someone called Alan and how they were looking forward to seeing him. An elderly lady was talking to a woman with a couple of children, and she said the name “Gigi”. Suddenly, my years of studying Yes album liner notes paid off — this must be Alan White’s wife, children and mother-in-law! At an appropriate moment I shyly introduced myself and explained my predicament to Gigi. She read the fax and said something like “Oh dear, you better follow me”… She led me through the building and left me to wait in a vacant area while she tracked down the road manager. I was thrilled enough to be inside the Coliseum now, but unbelievably there, right in front of me on a stand, was Chris Squire’s Rickenbacker bass!!! I didn’t even dare touch it, but stared in awe at the instrument that had been played by the greatest bass player on the planet, on all those amazing Yes albums that are so dear to my heart. (And no, I didn’t think for one second of running off with it ~ a sacrilege that would surely result in eternal damnation with an awful muzak soundtrack!)
Anyway, Gigi soon returned with one of the Yes managers (I think the band members had one each for the ‘Union’ tour!) and he explained how sorry that this had happened, but the record company had not informed them. The bad news was that the interview would not happen, as the band was due on stage soon. The good news was “here are two tickets plus passes to meet Yes after the concert” ! I was overjoyed and am eternally grateful to Gigi for being so friendly, helpful and understanding.
And the show was amazing (of course). More details & photos at Forgotten Yesterdays.
1944: John “Joe” Cocker
1946: Cherilyn Sarkisian-LaPierre a.k.a. Cher
1947: Steve Currie (T. Rex)
1952: Warren Cann (Ultravox)
1954: Jimmy Henderson (Black Oak Arkansas)
1958: Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Gos)
1960: Jay Schellen (Hurricane / Asia / Circa / World Trade / Unruly Child / Conspiracy / GPS / Yes)
1963: Brian Nash (Frankie Goes To Hollywood)
1966: Thomas Gorman (Belly)
1954: Bill Haley & The Comets released their single “Rock Around the Clock”.
1972: T. Rex were at No.1 on the UK single & album charts with “Metal Guru” & ‘Bolan Boogie’.
1980: Peter Criss quit Kiss.
2006: Tool were at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘10,000 Days’.
2013: Death of keyboardist, Ray Manzarek of The Doors [aged 74].
Joe Cocker sadly didn’t make it to his 78th birthday today. Eight years gone… Miss ya, Joe ~ what a GREAT singer!
1945: Pete Townshend (The Who)
1949: Joe “Dusty” Hill (ZZ Top)
1950: Mike Wedgwood (Curved Air)
1951: Jeffrey Hyman a.k.a. Joey Ramone (Ramones)
1952: Grace Jones
1954: Philip Rudd (AC/DC)
1968: Paul Hartnoll (Orbital)
1970: Stuart Cable (Stereophonics)
1967: The Beatles held a press party in London for the launch of the ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ album.
1969: Death of jazz saxophonist, Coleman Hawkins [aged 64].
1972: Uriah Heep released their breakthrough fourth album, ‘Demons and Wizards‘.
1976: Keith Richards crashed his car near Newport Pagnell, Bucks, after falling asleep at the wheel.
1979: Supertramp went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Breakfast in America’.
1986: Peter Gabriel released his fifth album, ‘So’.
2015: Yesworld made the shock announceement that Billy Sherwood would be standing in for Chris Squire on the upcoming Yes tour, due to Chris being diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. ☹
2018: Death of guitarist / songwriter / producer, Reggie Lucas (Miles Davis / Madonna etc.)
Pete Townshend ~ genius songwriter / guitarist / multi-instrumentalist / singer is 77 today! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PETE!!! (Have to yell it, as he’s a bit deaf these days). Here is one of the greatest songs ever, performed by The Who.
1949: Rick Wakeman (Yes)
1949: William Wallace (The Guess Who)
1950: Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo)
1954: William Goulden a.k.a. Wreckless Eric
1956: Jim Moginie (Midnight Oil)
1958: Victoria (Toyah) Wilcox
1961: Russell Senior (Pulp)
1967: Martin Duffy (Primal Scream / The Charlatans)
1975: Jack Johnson
1967: Pink Floyd started recording their forthcoming single at Sound Techniques Studios, Chelsea, London. Syd Barrett was inspired to write “See Emily Play” by the “looning about” of Pink Floyd fan Emily Young, (who is now a renowned sculptor). Guitarist David Gilmour, playing gigs in France with his own band in that period, visited Floyd in the studio during a trip to London.
1973: Yes released their triple live album, ‘Yessongs’.
1980: Death of singer, Ian Curtis of Joy Division [aged 23].
1993: Alan McGee attended a gig by Oasis and signed them to his label, Creation Records.
1999: Death of reggae musician, Horace Swaby a.k.a. Augustus Pablo [aged 44].
2004: Death of jazz drummer, Elvin Jones [aged 76].
2017: Death of singer / songwriter / guitarist, Chris Cornell, of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog & Audioslave. [aged 52].
Happy Birthday, Rick!!! Yes, Mr. Wakeman celebrates his 73rd today. The photo above was taken on 7 October, 2012, when I met him (for the fourth time) after his concert in Auckland. In case you are wondering, Rick’s shirt says “No Job, No Money, No Car… But I’m In A Band!”. For me there is no doubt that Rick is the best keyboard player on Earth!
1949: Andy Latimer (Camel)
1950: Bill Bruford (Yes / King Crimson / UK / Bruford)
1955: Claude Schnell (Dio)
1959: Paul Dianno (Iron Maiden)
1964: Russell Gilbrook (Uriah Heep)
1965: Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails)
1973: Josh Homme (Kyuss / Queens of the Stone Age / Eagles of Death Metal / Them Crooked Vultures)
1974: Andrea Corr (The Corrs)
1976: Rainbow released their second album, ‘Rising‘. I will never forget when it happened, as I loved the first LP, ‘Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow‘ and was hanging out for the new one. Happened to hear on the radio (4XO in Dunedin) that they had a pre-release copy, which they were going to give away! First person to call in and answer the question won the record… the tough question was “Who is the keyboard player in Deep Purple?”. Yes, I won… a few days before it was actually released! I reckon ‘Rising‘ is the best Rainbow album and is still one of my favourite records. 🙂
1996: Johnny “Guitar” Watson died on stage at Yokohama Cafe, Japan [aged 61].
2017: Death of guitarist, Kevin Stanton, of Mi-Sex [aged 61].
2022: Death of composer / keyboardist, Evangelos Papathanassiou a.k.a. Vangelis [aged 79].
Happy Birthday to drummer supreme, Mr. Bill Bruford! He’s 72 today… and since Robert Fripp celebrated his birthday yesterday, it’s only fitting that we have a clip which features both gentlemen (late great bassist / singer / songwriter, John Wetton was on the original version too). The mighty “Red” from prog royalty ~ King Crimson!
1944: Billy Cobham (Miles Davis / Mahavishnu Orchestra)
1945: Nicky Chinn (Songwriter / Producer)
1946: Robert Fripp (King Crimson)
1946: Roger Earl (Savoy Brown / Foghat)
1947: Darrell Sweet (Nazareth)
1951: Jonathan Richman (The Modern Lovers)
1965: Krist Novosolic (Nirvana)
1953: Death of guitarist, Django Reinhardt [aged 43].
1974: Brian May of Queen collapsed in New York, on tour. He flew back to UK suffering from hepatitis.
1980: Yes announced that Trevor Horn & Geoff Downes of The Buggles had replaced Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman in the group.
1986: Robert Fripp married Toyah Wilcox.
2001: Death of guitarist, Brian Pendleton of The Pretty Things [aged 57].
2005: Peter Frampton played a concert at Aotea Centre, Auckland ~ I was there!
2010: Death of singer, Ronnie James Dio of Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell [aged 67].
Eleven years gone… Rest in Peace, Ronnie ~ we really miss ya. m/ What an amazing singer!
Written by Ritchie Blackmore & Ronnie James Dio, “The Man on the Silver Mountain” was the debut single from their 1975 debut album, ‘Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow’. The song became one of Rainbow’s greatest hits and a live favourite for any Dio fronted band. Ronnie has these words inscribed on his grave stone: “The Man on the Silver Mountain ~ Ronnie James Dio”.