1965 - Bob Dylan's single "Subterranean Homesick Blues" was released in the U.S. The lead track from his Bringing It All Back Home album, gave Dylan his first top 40 hit. This song skips from one cultural reference to the next and the lyrics resemble a stream of consciousness, a writing technique championed by beat poets such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, both of whom were a major influence on Dylan. Musically, Dylan told the LA Times the song was inspired by Chuck Berry: "It's from Chuck Berry, a bit of 'Too Much Monkey Business' and some of the scat songs of the forties."
Subterranean Homesick Blues is also noted for its innovative film clip, in what became one of the first 'modern' promotional film clips. The clip was shot in an alley behind the Savoy Hotel in London, the cue cards which Dylan holds were written by Donovan, Allen Ginsberg, and Dylan himself.
1969 - The Small Faces split up after singer Steve Marriott announced he was leaving the band. Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan and Kenny Jones linked up with Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart and formed The Faces.
1973 - Grateful Dead keyboard player Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, a founding member of the band, dies at age 27. A lifetime of alcoholism combined with hepatitis he contracted during the band's 1972 European tour had severely damaged his health. Jerry Garcia said Pigpen could have been "a Van Morrison" if he had more ambition and discipline. "Pigpen was the only guy in the band who had any talent when we were starting out. He was genuinely talented. He also had no discipline, but he had reams of talent... He also had great stage presence. The ironic thing was that he hated it — it really meant nothing to him; it wasn't what he liked." The song "He's Gone," which was first featured on the Europe '72 live album, becomes the band's "anthem" or "eulogy" for Pigpen.
1973 - Paul McCartney was fined $170 for growing cannabis at his farm in Campbeltown, Scotland. McCartney claimed some fans gave the seeds to him and that he didn't know what they would grow.
1993 - Beavis and Butt-Head, a show about two animated idiots who watch MTV, debuts on MTV. Creator Mike Judge lived near a destructive 12-year-old who went by the title "Iron Butt" due to apparently feeling no pain when being kicked there. Judge and his friends nicknamed one of this kid's friends "Butt-head." A few doors down there was another boy named Bobby Beavis, who is apparently nothing like the character.
1994 - Two seminal albums from the '90s are released: Soundgarden's Superunknown and Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral. With Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains all making inroads in the previous few years, the groundwork is laid for more alternative bands to break into the mainstream. When Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails each release a new album on the same day, they are snapped up in stores, proving that audiences are ready to embrace a deeper, darker musical sound as the century winds down. When the US Albums chart comes out, they hold the 1-2 spots, with Soundgarden on top. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)
2016 - Record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician, Sir George Martin died at age 90. He worked as EMI records in-house record producer and became known as the "fifth Beatle". Martin produced all but one of The Beatles albums. Martin’s genius with the Beatles lay in his understanding of orchestral arrangements and musical scores that elevated songs and entire albums from rock music to rock standards. But his genius went beyond his groundbreaking arrangements. As one publication noted, “He and his engineers worked tirelessly with the Beatles in their experiments with loops, tape speeds, backward recording and editing to create the psychedelic masterpieces Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
George Michael "Micky" Dolenz, singer and drummer for The Monkees, is 76.
Singer/songwriter Carole Bayer Sager is 74.
Peter Gill, drummer of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, is 57.
Shawn Mullins is 53.
Gareth "Gaz" Coombes, lead singer for Supergrass, is 45.
Tom Chaplin of Keane is 42.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts, Beatles Daily, Throwbacks, and Wikipedia.