Today in Rock History – May 7, 1994: Rush sets a Maple Leaf Gardens record
Rush set the record for most performances at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens with their 22nd concert at the venue. Rush were on tour in support of their 15th studio album Counterparts.
Today in Rock History – May 6, 1994: Pearl Jam files suit against Ticketmaster
Pearl Jam filed a memorandum with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice claiming that Ticketmaster has a monopoly, which led them to cancel their scheduled tour that summer.
Today in Rock History – May 5, 1968: Buffalo Springfield calls it quits
Buffalo Springfield performed their final concert at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California.
Today in Rock History – May 4, 1970: Kent State massacre; inspires Neil Young’s ‘Ohio’
Four students were killed and 11 were wounded at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, by the National Guard during an anti-Vietnam protest. This incident would inspire Neil Young to write “Ohio” the next day with Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Today in Rock History – May 3, 1969: Jimi Hendrix arrested in Toronto
Jimi Hendrix was arrested on drug charges at Toronto International Airport. He was later released after posting $10,000 bail.
Today in Rock History – May 2, 1980: Pink Floyd song banned in South Africa
Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Part II” is banned in South Africa, where it is blamed for inciting riots.
Today in Rock History – May 1, 1975: Rolling Stones announce U.S. tour on a flatbed truck
The Rolling Stones announce their Tour of the Americas while playing “Brown Sugar” on the back of a flatbed truck driving down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Today in Rock History – April 30, 1991: David Geffen signs Nirvana
Nirvana signed with David Geffen’s DGC Records. They received an advance of $290,000.
Today in Rock History – April 29, 1980: Against The Wind goes platinum
Against The Wind by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band was simultaneously certified Gold and Platinum by the RIAA. The album later went on to sell five million copies in the U.S. and became Seger’s first and only number one album in the U.S.
Today in Rock History – April 28, 1978: Cheap Trick plays Budokan
Cheap Trick began a two-night stand at the Budokan Arena in Tokyo where the concerts were recorded. Cheap Trick At Budokan was released the following year and went on to sell three million copies in the U.S. alone.
Today in Rock History – April 27, 2006: Keith Richards suffers a brain hemorrhage
Keith Richards suffered a brain hemorrhage after he fell out of a palm tree while on vacation in Fiji with his family. Richards later underwent cranial surgery in New Zealand which caused The Rolling Stones to postpone their European tour.
Today in Rock History – April 26, 1968: Beatles record ‘Octopus’s Garden’
The Beatles recorded “Octopus’s Garden.” The song was one of only two songs written by Ringo Starr that The Beatles recorded.
Today in Rock History – April 25, 1979: Rock ‘n’ Roll High School premieres in L.A.
The movie Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, which featured The Ramones, premiered in Los Angeles.
Today in Rock History – April 24, 1989: Tom Petty releases Full Moon Fever
Tom Petty released his solo album Full Moon Fever, which would go on to be the biggest selling non-compilation album of his career. It sold five million copies and contained the hit singles “I Won’t Back Down,” “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” and “Free Fallin’.”
Today in Rock History – April 23, 1983: U2 kicks off War tour
U2 kicked off the North American leg of their tour in support of War in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at Kenan Stadium.
Today in Rock History – April 22, 1978: Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi debut as Blues Brothers on SNL
Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi made their debut as The Blues Brothers on Saturday Night Live.
Today in Rock History – April 21, 1980: Pete Townshend releases ‘Empty Glass’
Pete Townshend released his first solo album, Empty Glass, which went on to reach No. 5 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart and sell one million copies in the U.S.
Today in Rock History – April 20, 1993: Aerosmith releases ‘Get a Grip’
Aerosmith released their eleventh studio album Get a Grip which went on to become their first No. 1 album in the U.S. where it went on to sell seven million copies. From that album, “Livin’ on the Edge.’
Today in Rock History – April 19, 1999: Neil Young billed as Bob Dylan
Neil Young performed at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, but the venue mistakenly billed him as Bob Dylan. During the concert, Young jokingly said, “That was Bob playing guitar with me on the last song.” Here’s Neil Young from that tour.
Today in Rock History – April 18, 1987: Lou Gramm peaks at No. 5 with ‘Midnight Blue’
Foreigner singer Lou Gramm peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart with his debut single as a solo artist, “Midnight Blue.”
Today in Rock History – April 17, 1991: Nirvana performs ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ for the first time
Nirvana performed “Smells Like Teen Spirit” live for the first time at the OK Hotel in Seattle.
Today in Rock History – April 16, 1974: Queen makes its live U.S. debut
Queen made their U.S. live debut at Regis College in Denver opening for Mott the Hoople.
Today in Rock History – April 15, 1978: “Dust in the Wind” peaks at No. 6
Kansas peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart with “Dust in the Wind” which was their first and only top 10 single in the U.S.
Today in Rock History – April 13, 1970: Led Zeppelin sells out the Montreal Forum
Led Zeppelin became the first band to sell out the Montreal Forum which drew an estimated 17,500 fans.
Today in Rock History – April 12, 1975: David Bowie retires for a second time
David Bowie announced that he was retiring for the second time. Bowie was quoted saying “I’ve rocked my roll. It’s a boring dead end for me, there will be no more rock n’ roll records from me.” His retirement wouldn’t last six months, as he returned to the studio to record Station to Station.
Today in Rock History – April 11, 1992: Pearl Jam appears on Saturday Night Live
Pearl Jam made their debut on North American television as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live where they performed “Alive” and “Porch.”
Today in Rock History – April 10, 1975: Frampton Comes Alive! hits No. 1
Frampton Comes Alive! by Peter Frampton reached the top of the Billboard 200 Album Chart for the first of ten non-consecutive weeks on top and became the biggest selling live album of all time. Today it’s still the fourth biggest selling live album of all time. Here’s Peter talking about hearing the news.
Today in Rock History – April 14, 1980: Bill introduced to make “Born to Run” the official state song of N.J.
A member of the New Jersey State Assembly introduced a resolution to make “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen the official state song. The resolution didn’t pass.
Today in Rock History – April 9, 1997: Soundgarden calls it quits
Soundgarden announced that they were breaking up due to dissatisfaction within the band. They would later reunite in 2010. Lead singer Chris Cornell committed suicide on May 18, 2017.
Today in Rock History – April 8, 1994: Kurt Cobain discovered dead of suicide
Nirvana singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain was found dead of a gunshot wound to his head at his home in Seattle by electrician Gary Smith who had been doing work in Cobain’s house. It was later discovered Cobain had been dead for three days.
Today in Rock History – April 6, 1991: Black Crowes peak at No. 4
Over a year after its release, The Black Crowes peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart with their debut album Shake Your Money Maker which included this song, “Hard to Handle.” The album went on to sell five million copies in the U.S.
Today in Rock History – April 5, 1980: Genesis hits No. 1 in the U.K. for the first time
Genesis went to No. 1 on the U.K. Album Chart for the first time with Duke, which began a two reek run on top. The album includes this smash hit, “Misunderstanding.”
Today in Rock History – April 4, 1981: Styx reaches No. 1 with Paradise Theater
Styx reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart for the first and only time with their concept album Paradise Theater which began the first of three non-consecutive weeks on top. The album includes this video, “Too Much Time on My Hands.”
Today in Rock History – April 3, 1973: Lynyrd Skynyrd records “Free Bird”
Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded “Free Bird” at Studio One in Doraville, Georgia, during sessions for their debut album.
Today in Rock History – April 2, 1977: Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours hits No. 1
Rumours by Fleetwood Mac began the first of 31 non-consecutive weeks on top of the Billboard 200 Album Chart. As of 2003, Rumours had been certified Platinum 19 times and it’s the ninth biggest selling album of all time in the U.S.
Today in Rock History – April 1, 1985: David Lee Roth leaves Van Halen (for the first time)
David Lee Roth left Van Halen to begin a solo career. Roth later re-joined Van Halen briefly in 1996 & 2000 before re-joining permanently in 2006.
Today in Rock History – March 31, 1967: Jimi Hendrix sets fire to his guitar for the first time
Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar onstage for the first time during a concert at the Astoria in London. Hendrix burnt his hands during the stunt and was taken to a hospital.
Today in Rock History – March 30, 1978: Members of The Clash arrested for shooting pigeons
The Clash’s bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Topper Headon were arrested after shooting racing pigeons from the roof of Chalk Farm Studios in London. Four police cars and a helicopter were required to make the arrest. They were fined the equivalent $1,360.
Today in Rock History – March 29, 1979: Supertramp releases Breakfast in America
Supertramp released their sixth album Breakfast in America which went on to become their most successful album selling four million copies in the U.S. and landing at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart for six weeks.
Today in Rock History – March 28, 1980: Rush peaks at No. 3 on the Billboard chart
Rush peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart for the first of three consecutive weeks with their eighth studio album Moving Pictures.The album is their most commercially successful album in the U.S. where it has sold four million copies.
Today in Rock History – March 27, 1987: U2 films video on LA rooftop, causing traffic problems
U2 performed on the rooftop of a liquor store in Los Angeles while filming the music video for “Where the Streets Have No Name.” Concerned about traffic, the LAPD shut down filming.
Today in Rock History – March 26, 1980: Van Halen releases Women and Children First
Van Halen released their third album Women and Children First which went on to reach number six on the Billboard 200 Album Chart and sell three million copies in the U.S. This single, “And the Cradle Will Rock,” was one of two singles from the album.
Today in Rock History – March 25, 1986: Guns N’ Roses signs with Geffen
Guns N’ Roses signed a worldwide record contract with Geffen Records after A&R executive Tom Zutaut only saw them in concert once.