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1977 - David Bowie and Iggy Pop perform together on Dinah Shore's daytime show on NBC.

“Iggy Pop is considered to be the originator of what is called punk rock today,” as the host introduces the former Stooges singer. While it may feel a bit churlish to us in 2023, back in ’77 the introduction was certainly needed.

Iggy Pop alongside bassist Tony Sales, Hunt Sales on drums and with Bowie on keys would slam through new tracks ‘Sister Midnight’ and ‘Fun Time’ for a stunned audience.

1980 - R.E.M. played their first ever gig when they appeared at St Mary's Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia. The show at this abandoned church was for a friend's birthday party.

The band had no name at this point - according to Michael Stipe, they had considered "Twisted Kites" and "Cans of Piss" - but they settled on "R.E.M." after Stipe selected it at random from a dictionary. Fortunately.

1988 - Tracy Chapman released her debut self-titled album. Firmly within the classic singer/songwriter tradition, sounding for all the world as if it was recorded in the early '70s -- that is, if all you paid attention to were the sonics, since Chapman's songs are clearly a result of the Reagan revolution. Even the love songs and laments are underscored by a realized vision of trickle-down modern life -- listen to the lyrical details of "Fast Car" for proof. Still, the juxtaposition of contemporary themes and classic production precisely is what makes the album distinctive -- it brings the traditions into the present.

1994 - Kurt Cobain of Nirvana committed suicide by firearm at his home in Seattle. Like Jimi, Janis, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones, he was 27 when he died. The infamous 27 Club.

Rock superstardom never did sit well with Kurt Cobain, a committed social outsider who was reluctantly dubbed the spokesman of his generation.

In his suicide note, Cobain wrote: “I have it good, very good, and I’m grateful, but since the age of seven, I’ve become hateful towards all humans in general….Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years. I’m too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.”

2002 - Layne Staley, lead singer of Alice in Chains, passed away at age 34. The band rose to international fame in the early 1990s during Seattle's grunge movement. He struggled for much of his adult life with depression and drug addiction, which ultimately resulted in his death.

2012 - Jim Marshall, inventor of the Marshall amplifier, died in London at age 88. His amplifiers and speakers known as 'Marshall stacks' were used by Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and almost every other major rock guitarist in the '60s and '70s and by the next generation of guitarists as well.


Peter Grant was born on this day in 1935. Best known for his association with Led Zeppelin. He was one of the shrewdest and most ruthless managers in rock history, Grant secured 90% of concert gate money and intimidated record store owners who dealt in bootlegs. The former wrestler also worked as a film extra and bodyguard.

Agnetha Faltskog from ABBA is 73. Although she had made a name for herself as a solo artist in Sweden, she will always be best known as one-fourth of ABBA, one of the most commercially successful and internationally beloved pop acts of all time.

Mike McCready, lead guitarist for Pearl Jam, is 57. Inspired by guitarist as wide ranging as Jimi Hendrix to Kiss' Ace Frehley, Stevie Ray Vaughn to Aerosmith's Joe Perry, McCready received his first guitar at 11 and was in his first band by the 8th grade. Eventually meets Stone Gossard and forms Pearl Jam.

Paula Cole is 55. Got her start as a singer in Peter Gabriel's live band. Won the 1998 Grammy for Best new Artist. Scored hits with 'Where Have All The Cowboys Gone' and 'I Don't Want to Wait' which was used as the theme song of the television show Dawson's Creek.

On this Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, History Channel, Far Out Magazine, Song Facts and Wikipedia.


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