1976 - Warren Zevon releases his self-titled album, produced by Jackson Browne. Even though Warren Zevon was on good terms with L.A.'s Mellow Mafia, he sure didn't think (or write) like any of his pals in the Eagles or Fleetwood Mac; Zevon's music was full of blood, bile, and mean-spirited irony, and the glossy surfaces of Jackson Browne's production failed to disguise the bitter heart of the songs on Warren Zevon. But for all their darkness, Zevon's songs also possessed a steely intelligence, a winning wit, and an unusually sophisticated melodic sense.
1980 - Joy Division singer and guitarist Ian Curtis died by suicide at the age of 23. Curtis was known for his bass-baritone voice, dance style, and songwriting. Joy Division released the critically acclaimed debut album Unknown Pleasures in 1979, and recorded their follow-up Closer in 1980. Curtis's death resulted in the band's dissolution and the subsequent formation of New Order.
1985 - Simple Minds were at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Don't You Forget About Me." A year later, the track was featured in the 1985 American teen drama film The Breakfast Club.
According to song co-writer Keith Forsey, Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music was his first choice to record this song, but Ferry turned it down. Forsey was also a big fan of the Scottish band Simple Minds, so he tried to get them to record it by delivering a cassette demo.
Simple Minds weren't keen on it either:
1) They didn't want to record a song they didn't write.
2) Jim Kerr didn't like the lyric (especially the "vanity... insecurity" line).
But after given a screening of the movie, which put the lyric in better context, they said OK.
2017 - Chris Cornell died by suicide in Detroit after performing at a show with Soundgarden and struggling with depression for most of his life. Cornell was known for his role as one of the architects of the 1990s grunge movement, and for his near four-octave vocal range as well as his powerful vocal belting technique. He was also famous for working with Audioslave and Temple of the Dog. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Activision)
British Keyboardist Rick Wakeman is 74. One of the premier rock keyboardists of the progressive era, Rick Wakeman cut his teeth as a London session musician at the tail-end of the 1960s before earning star status as a member of prog rock superstars Yes in 1971. He played piano on David Bowie's "Life On Mars" and "Changes".
Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo is 73. While best known as one of the founders of the iconic new wave band Devo, One of new wave's most innovative bands, Their jerky, robotic rhythms, bizarre uniforms, and focus on technology were like nothing else on the pop landscape. Mothersbaugh would also transformed himself into a prolific and in-demand film and television composer. His compositions could sound quirky but playful in his music for Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Rugrats, mature but coolly emotive in his string-driven scores for Wes Anderson's Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums.
Jack Johnson is 48. A professional surfer turned chart-topping rocker, Jack Johnson rose to fame in the 2000s with an easygoing, acoustic singer/songwriter style punctuated by an unassuming voice and a mellow, beach-bum demeanor.
On this Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Allmusic, Song Facts and Wikipedia.