1946: Michael Nyman
1949: Ric Ocasek (The Cars)
1953: Yvette Marie Stevens a.k.a. Chaka Khan
1967: John Stohm (The Lemonheads)
1968: Damon Albarn (Blur)
1961: Elvis Presley set a new UK chart record with three consecutive No. 1 singles: “It’s Now or Never”, “Are You Lonesome Tonight” & “Wooden Heart”.
1973: Roxy Music released their second album, ‘For Your Pleasure’.
1985: Former Creedence Clearwater Revival front man John Fogerty went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Centerfield’.
1997: Death of keyboard player, Craig Scott of Elastica & The Dylans.
2006: Death of singer / percussionist, Pio Leyva of Buena Vista Social Club [aged 88].
2008: The ROCK2WGTN concert, featuring Whitesnake & Ozzy Osbourne was held in Wellington ~ I was there!
Happy 70th Birthday to Ric Ocasek, singer / guitarist and principle songwriter for The Cars. Here’s one of the great songs from their debut LP, which was a big hit, back in 1978!
1943: George Benson
1943: Keith Relf (The Yardbirds)
1944: Chris Stainton (Joe Cocker Band, Eric Clapton, The Who, Leon Russell, Roger Waters, David Gilmour & many more)
1944: Tony McPhee (The Groundhogs)
1947: Harry Vanda (The Easybeats)
1948: Andrew Lloyd Webber
1948: Randy Hobbs (Johnny Winter Group / The McCoys)
1974: Ten Year After played their last concert, at the Rainbow Theatre, London.
1975: Led Zeppelin started a 6-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Physical Graffiti’.
1986: Roy Harper played a concert at His Majesty’s Theatre, Auckland ~ I was there!
1992: Buddy Guy played a concert at Auckland Town Hall ~ I was there!
1994: Death of multi-instrumentalist / singer / songwriter / producer, Dan Hartman of Edgar Winter Group [aged 43].
1996: The Smashing Pumpkins played a concert at the Supertop, Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland ~ I was there!
2008: Stark Raving played a special gig in Dunedin, with ex-Rose Bayonet members, Geoff Dunn & Jerry Pearse-Smith as guests. It was the first time they had performed together in over 24 years!
2017: Death of drummer, Sib Hashian of Boston [aged 67].
Singer / songwriter / harmonica player, Keith Relf of The Yardbirds would have been 76 today. Sadly, Keith died in 1976, after being electrocuted while playing his guitar at home. He certainly left his mark in music history though, having fronted the band from beginning in 1963 to their end in 1968. The group paved the way for all the hard rock / blues groups that were to follow. Of course, from the ashes of Yardbirds, Jimmy Page went on to form Led Zeppelin. Here’s one of the songs Keith Relf co-wrote…
1940: Solomon Burke
1943: Viv Stanshell (Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band)
1945: Rosemary Stone (Sly & The Family Stone)
1949: Edward Mahoney a.k.a. Eddie Money
1950: Roger Hodgson (Supertramp)
1951: Conrad Lozano (Los Lobos)
1967: Keith “Keeti” Palmer a.k.a. Maxi (The Prodigy)
1977: AC/DC released their fourth album, ‘Let There Be Rock’.
1987: U2 scored their 3rd UK No.1 album with ‘The Joshua Tree’. It stayed on the charts for 156 weeks.
1991: Death of Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender, designer / founder of Fender guitars [aged 81].
1994: Yes released their album, ‘Talk’.
1994: Bruce Springsteen won an Oscar for the song “Streets of Philadelphia”.
1996: John Squire quit The Stone Roses.
2002: Death of drummer / singer, John “Speedy” Keen of Thunderclap Newman [aged 57].
2009: The Who played a concert at North Harbour Stadium, Auckland ~ I was there!
2013: Neil Young & Crazy Horse played a concert at Vector Arena, Auckland ~ I was there!
Happy 69th Birthday to Roger Hodgson, a wonderful musician ~ songwriter, singer, guitarist, keyboard player, bassist… I saw him live at Taupo in 2019 and nine years earlier in Auckland ~ both were magical performances. I got to meet Roger that night in 2010 too and I can confirm that the Supertramp guy is a super nice guy! A founding member of Supertramp, Roger was with the band from 1969 to 1983 and was responsible for most of their best known songs. This brilliant piece is one of my favourites…
1917: Vera Lynn
1937: Jerry Reed
1949: Jimmie Vaughan (The Fabulous Thunderbirds)
1950: Carl Palmer (Atomic Rooster / Emerson, Lake & Palmer / Asia)
1953: Kristy Wallace a.k.a. Poison Ivy (The Cramps)
1961: James McDonnell a.k.a. Slim Jim Phantom (The Stray Cats)
1969: John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar. They spent their honeymoon in Amsterdam, campaigning for an international “Bed-In” for peace.
1970: David and Angela Bowie were married in London. They divorced in 1980.
1976: Vincent Furnier a.k.a. Alice Cooper married 19-year-old Sheryl Goddard. They are still married.
1977: T Rex played their final ever gig at The Locarno in Portsmouth, England.
2015: Death of drummer, A.J. Pero of Twisted Sister (aged 55).
2018: Death of bassist, Peter “Mars” Cowling of Pat Travers Band (aged 72).
Happy Birthday to Carl Palmer ~ he’s 69 today, still as fit as a fiddle and a phenomenal drummer! This is also a tribute to Carl’s former bandmates in ELP, both of whom sadly passed away in 2016 ~ the maestros Keith Emerson, (11th March) and Greg Lake (7th December). You will see above, that 20th March is also a popular day for rock weddings…
1930: Ornette Coleman
1946: Paul Atkinson (The Zombies)
1953: Billy Sheehan (Talas / David Lee Roth Band / Mr. Big / Niacin)
1959: Terry Hall (The Specials / Fun Boy Three)
1971: Jack Bessant (Reef)
1975: Brann Dailor (Mastodon / Lethargy)
1971: Yes released their third LP, ‘The Yes Album’.
1971: T. Rex topped the UK singles chart with “Hot Love”, their 1st of 4 UK No.1s.
1976: Death of guitarist, Paul Kossoff of Free [aged 25].
1982: Death of guitarist, Randy Rhoads of Quiet Riot / Ozzy Osbourne Band [aged 25].
1990: Death of singer, Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone [aged 24].
19th of March is a dangerous day for rock stars… we lost two brilliant guitarists, Paul Kossoff & Randy Rhoads, plus a very promising singer, Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone. The former and the latter were drug overdoses, while Randy was tragically killed in a plane crash, on tour with Ozzy. All three of them were only 25 years old or younger ~ a huge loss. Paul Kossoff was just 18 when he formed Free with Paul Rodgers, Andy Fraser & Simon Kirke. Between 1968 & 1973 they created some of the finest blues / rock to come out of England. Paul Kossoff wrenched so much soul and emotion out of his Les Paul Gibson and he has left a huge legacy in the world of guitar greats.
1941: Wilson Pickett
1952: Bernie Torme (Gillan / Ozzy Osbourne Band / Torme / Desperado / GMT)
1961: Grant Hart (Husker Du)
1963: Jeff LeBar (Cinderella)
1964: Courtney Pine
1966: Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains)
1967: Pink Floyd signed to EMI Records in the UK.
1976: The film ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ featuring David Bowie premiered in London.
1978: California Jam II Festival featuring Aerosmith & Santana drew a crowd of 250,000 people.
1996: The Sex Pistols announced their comeback in London, 20 years after they had split.
2001: Death of singer / songwriter / guitarist / arranger, John Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas [aged 65].
2014: Death of Joe Lala, drummer for CSNY, Manassas, Allman Brothers, Joe Walsh, etc. [aged 66].
2017: Death of legendary rock ‘n’ roll guitarist / singer / songwriter, Chuck Berry. [aged 90].
43 years ago, this wonderfully weird movie hit the screens…
Happy 53rd Birthday to Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains! He has kept the band going through thick and thin ~ good on him for doing that. Jerry can play some mean and heavy duty riffs, but also emotional acoustic numbers like this AiC classic…
1919: Nat “King” Cole
1941: Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane / Starship)
1944: John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful)
1948: Bobby Whitlock (Derek & The Dominos)
1951: Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy)
1959: Mike Lindup (Level 42)
1963: Michael Ivins (The Flaming Lips)
1967: Billy Corgan (The Smashing Pumpkins)
1972: Melissa Auf Der Maur (Hole)
1973: Caroline Corr (The Corrs)
1975: Justin Hawkins (The Darkness)
1973: Pink Floyd‘s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ LP was released in America. The album stayed on the chart for over 740 weeks.
1990: Death of bassist, Ric Grech of Traffic & Blind Faith [aged 43].
2004: Ray Davies of The Kinks received a CBE medal for services to the music industry.
2019: Death of singer / songwriter, Andre Williams [aged 82].
2019: Death of guitarist / singer / songwriter, Bernie Torme of Gillan / Ozzy Osbourne Band / Torme / Desperado / GMT [aged 66].
Happy 52nd Birthday to Billy Corgan! This shot of Billy was taken when I met him on 5th February, 1994, after The Smashing Pumpkins had played at the first Big Day Out Music Festival, Mt. Smart Stadium in Auckland. He wasn’t keen on being photographed, but instead asked for my camera and took the photo of his own face (years before the word “selfie”).
Billy has written so many cool songs. Always love this one… a great year!
1975: Death of innovative blues guitarist, Aaron “T-Bone” Walker [aged 64].
2008: Death of singer, Daniel MacMaster of the group, Bonham [aged 39].
2015: Death of drummer, Bruce Crump of Molly Hatchet [aged 57].
2015: Death of bassist, Andy Fraser of Free & Sharks [aged 62].
2017: Death of blues harmonica player / singer / songwriter, James Cotton [aged 81].
2019: Death of guitarist, Dick Dale [aged 81]. Dick was a true original, known as “The King of Surf Guitar”.
2019: Judas Priest & Halestorm played a concert at Spark Arena, Auckland ~ I was there!
Happy 71st Birthday to Michael Bruce, original guitarist for Alice Cooper! Michael is on all those classic Coop LPs from 1969 to 1974 and made a guest appearance on Alice’s latest album, ‘Paranormal’.
Also, Happy Birthday to guitarist / singer / songwriter, Nancy Wilson of Heart, who is 65 today! I took the above photo of her at the concert at Taupo Amphitheatre on Saturday, 24th of January, 2015. It was a scorching hot day and Heart rocked!
1940: Phil Lesh (The Grateful Dead)
1944: Sylvester Stewart a.k.a. Sly Stone
1946: Howard Scott (War)
1947: Ry Cooder
1955: Daniel “Dee” Snider (Twisted Sister)
1962: Terence Trent D’arby
1969: Cream started a two-week run at No.1 on the UK chart with their album ‘Goodbye’ .
1975: Led Zeppelin went to No.1 on the UK chart with the double album ‘Physical Graffiti’, the first on their own ‘Swan Song’ label. The album spent six weeks at No.1 on the US chart.
1977: Pink Floyd played the first of six sold-out nights at Empire Pool, Wembley, London.
1993: David Coverdale & Jimmy Page released their ‘Coverdale / Page’ album.
2014: Death of Scott Asheton of The Stooges [aged 64].
2015: Eagles played a concert at Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland ~ I was there!
2015: Death of bassist, Mike Porcaro of Toto [aged 59].
2017: Death of New Zealand folk singer / songwriter / guitarist, Phil Garland [aged 75].
Happy 72nd Birthday to Ry Cooder! Apart from being one of the greatest slide guitarists ever, Ry is also well known as a singer / songwriter / film score composer / record producer and for his association with world music artists, such as Ali Farka Toure, Hans Theessink & Buena Vista Social Club. He also appeared on albums by The Rolling Stones, Captain Beefheart, Little Feat and many more.
Also on this day 26 years ago, David Coverdale & Jimmy Page released their mighty good ‘Coverdale / Page’ album. This was the first taste we got of it ~ debut single, “Pride and Joy”.
1933: Quincy Jones
1943: Jim Pons (The Turtles / Frank Zappa Band)
1965: Billy Sherwood (Yes / Conspiracy / Circa)
1980: Def Leppard released their debut album, ‘On Through the Night’.
1982: Metallica played their first gig, at Radio City club in Anaheim.
1984: Rainbow played their final concert, prior to Deep Purple reforming with Ritchie Blackmore.
1986: Frank Zappa appeared on ‘Miami Vice’ as a crime boss, named “Mr. Frankie”.
1991: Death of blues singer / songwriter, Jerome Felder a.k.a. Doc Pomus.
Happy Birthday to the very talented Billy Sherwood of Yes — he’s 54 today! Billy has been associated with Yes since the early ’90s and he was the only person considered for the bassist position in the band, after the legendary Chris Squire died in 2015. He has also helmed Conspiracy, Circa and numerous other projects, playing guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and taking care of production duties. Here is a fantastic Yes Medley, performed live with Alan White, Tony Kaye & Jimmy Haun. Rock on, Billy!