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1968 - Working at Abbey Road studios, The Beatles recorded "Helter Skelter." Paul McCartney had read a magazine interview with Pete Townshend where the Who guitarist described their latest single, "I Can See For Miles," as the loudest, dirtiest, most aggressive song possible; when McCartney heard it, he thought Townshend had exaggerated considerably, and decided he'd take on the challenge of writing such a song. "Helter Skelter" was the result. The Beatles did so many takes in the studio - at one point recording a 20-plus-minute version during the session - that Ringo exclaimed, "I've got blisters on me fingers!", which can still be heard in the version that was ultimately put on The White Album.

1973 - Bruce Springsteen played the first of four nights at Max's Kansas City in New York City, New York, supported by Bob Marley and The Wailers who were on their first ever North American tour.

1980 - Closer, the second and final album from Joy Division, is released just two months after the suicide of founding member and singer Ian Curtis. Closer was the sprawl, the chaotic explosion that went every direction at once. Who knows what the next path would have been had Ian Curtis not chosen his end? Its claustrophobic, synth-laden sound, combined with Curtis's nihilistic lyrics make it a defining moment in England's post-punk scene.

1991- The very first Lollapalooza happened. Originally dreamed up by Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour, the touring festival ran annually until 1997, and was revived in 2003. Performing on the mainstage in its initial year was Jane's Addiction, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Living Colour, Nine Inch Nails, Violent Femmes , Fishbone, Ice T & Body Count, Butthole Surfers, Rollins Band and Lords of Acid.

The word dates from a late 19th-century/early 20th-century American idiomatic phrase meaning "an extraordinary or unusual thing, person, or event; an exceptional example or instance".

Interesting note, Nirvana was scheduled to headline at the festival in 1994, reportedly being offered nearly $10 million to do it. However, Kurt Cobain turned it down, and the band officially dropped out of the festival on April 7, 1994. Cobain's body was discovered in Seattle the next day.

It is now an annual festival held in Grant park, Chicago. (Photo by Mauricio Santana/Getty Images)


Screamin' Jay Hawkins was born today in 1929. A Golden Gloves boxing champion at 16, he was married nine times, fathered over 30 children, spent two years in jail and was temporary blinded by one of his flaming props on stage in 1976. He recorded 'I Put A Spell On You' in 1956, (which was covered by many acts including The Animals, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Nina Simone).

Lonnie Mack, was born on this day in 1941. In the early 1960s, he was a "pioneer" in virtuoso rock guitar soloing whose recordings were pivotal to the emergence of the electric guitar as a lead voice in rock music. For this, it has been said that he launched the era of "modern rock guitar". He scored the hit single instrumentals, 'Memphis' and 'Wham!'

Country/bluegrass singer Ricky Skaggs is 69.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Records and the Virgin Empire is 73.

Terry Chambers (drummer for XTC) is 68.

Dion is 84.

Keith Levene, early member of The Clash and founding member of Public Image Ltd., was born today in 1957.


1988 - Nico died after suffering a minor heart attack while riding a bicycle on holiday with her son in Ibiza, Spain. The German born singer-songwriter and keyboard player with the Velvet Underground also worked as a fashion model and actress. She was one of Andy Warhol's "Superstars", which meant she appeared in Warhol's artworks and accompanied him in his social life.

1966 - Bobby Fuller leader of The Bobby Fuller Four was found dead in his car in Los Angeles aged 23. Fuller died mysteriously from gasoline asphyxiation, while parked outside his apartment. Police labelled it a suicide, but the possibility of foul play has always been mentioned. Had the 1966 US No.9 single 'I Fought The Law' written by Sonny Curtis of Buddy Holly's Crickets and covered by The Clash.

1938 - Ian Stewart, keyboard player, The Rolling Stones. Lovingly referred to as the sixth stone, pianist Ian Stewart was actually a founding member of the original group, pre-dating both Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman as members. After manager Andrew Loog Oldham took over the reigns of the Stones' career he deemed Stewart unfit for the group because the straight-laced Stewart didn't "have the right look." Thankfully for the rest of the band Stu agreed to stay on as their road manager and sometime piano player.

His playing is heard on Led Zeppelin's "Rock & Roll and "Boogie with Stu".

On This Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Allmusic, Song Facts and Wikipedia.


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