ON THIS DAY IN MUSIC HISTORY: 5.4.21


1970 - Four students at Kent State University were killed and 11 wounded by National Guard troops at a campus demonstration protesting the escalation of the Vietnam War. The incident inspired Neil Young to compose "Ohio", which became a hit for Crosby Stills Nash & Young. Jimmy McDonough writes in the Neil Young Biography "Shakey" about the song "Ohio": "In ten lines, Young captured the fear, frustration and anger felt by the youth across the country and set it to a lumbering D-modal death march that hammered home the dread."

Young considers this the best song he wrote with CSN&Y. "It's still hard to believe I had to write this song. It's ironic that I capitalized on the death of these American students. Probably the most important lesson ever learned at an American place of learning.

David Crosby cried after this take."

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for the Global Citizen Festival)

1973 - Led Zeppelin opened their 1973 North American tour, which was billed as the 'biggest and most profitable rock & roll tour in the history of the United States'. The group would gross over $4 million from the dates, flying between gigs in 'The Starship' a Boeing 720 passenger jet, complete with bar, shower room, TV and video in a 30' lounge and a white fur bedroom.

1990 - David Bowie's ex-wife Angela goes on The Joan Rivers Show and says that she once walked in on Bowie and Mick Jagger naked in bed. Angela signed a gag order when she divorced Bowie that kept her from talking for 10 years, and was taking advantage of the opportunity. But Angie Bowie also says she doesn’t think the two rock stars were involved in any serious love affair, and that she believes what she saw was the result of too much alcohol rather than deep-seated love. "They were so hungover they could hardly speak. I took pity on them.”

2012 - Adam Yauch (aka MCA of the Beastie Boys) died of cancer at age 47 in New York City. Though he was best-known as being a founding member of the Beastie Boys, he also founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, an independent film production and distribution company based in New York City. And as a Buddhist, he was involved in the Tibetan independence movement and organized the Tibetan Freedom Concert.

More Birthdays:

The King of Surf Guitar Dick Dale was born today in 1937.

Mick Mars, guitarist for Motley Crue, is 70.

Sharon Jones was born today in 1956.

Gregg Alexander of The New Radicals is 51.

Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt is 49.

On This Day In Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Thrashers Wheat, Gigwise, Song Facts and Wikipedia.