1959, Buddy Holly was buried in Lubbock, Texas. His tombstone reads “Holley”, the correct spelling of his given surname and includes pictures of a guitar. On Feb 3rd 1959, after a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly chartered an airplane to travel to his next show in Moorhead, Minnesota. Soon after takeoff, the plane crashed, killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper and the pilot, an infamous milestone in rock history known as The Day the Music Died.
1959, New Orleans blues guitarist Guitar Slim died of pneumonia aged 32. Born Eddie Jones he is best known for the million-selling song ‘The Things That I Used to Do’. Slim had a major impact on rock and roll and experimented with distorted overtones on the electric guitar a full decade before Jimi Hendrix. He became known for his wild stage act and had an assistant who followed him around the audience with up to 350 feet of cord between his guitar and his amplifier, and occasionally rode on his assistant’s shoulders or even took his guitar outside the club, bringing traffic to a stop.
1963, The first Beatles single ‘Please Please Me’ was released in the US on the Vee Jay label. Capitol Records, EMI’s United States label, were offered the right to release the single in the US, but turned it down. Dick Biondi, a disc jockey on WLS in Chicago and a friend of Vee-Jay executive Ewart Abner, played the song on the radio from February 1963, thus becoming the first DJ to play a Beatles record in the United States.
1964, Pan Am flight 101 was greeted by over 5,000 Beatles fans as it arrived at New York’s JFK airport, bringing The Beatles to the US for the first time and causing riotous scenes as they touched down.
1967, Robin, Maurice and Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees returned to the UK after living in Australia for nine years.
1969, The Who recorded ‘Pinball Wizard’ at Morgan Studio’s, London, England. The song is one of the band’s most famous live songs, being played at almost every Who concert since its debut live performance on 2 May 1969. The track which featured on their 1969 rock opera album Tommy was released as a single in 1969 and reached No. 4 in the UK charts and No. 19 in the US.
1969, Doors singer Jim Morrison was arrested for drunk driving and driving with no license in Los Angeles, California.
1970, Led Zeppelin scored their first UK No.1 album with Led Zeppelin II. Released in November 1969, and featuring the US No. 4 single ‘Whole Lotta Love’, it went on to stay on the UK chart for 136 weeks. Also reaching No. 1 in the US, the RIAA in the US has now certified it as having sold over 12 million copies in the US alone.
1970, One Hit Wonders Shocking Blue went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Venus’, making them the first Dutch act to top the US charts. It made No.8 in the UK; Bananarama took the song to No.8 on the UK chart in 86.
1973, The Stooges released their third studio album Raw Power. The album gained a cult following in the years following its release and, like its predecessor (1970s Fun House), is generally considered an influential forerunner of punk rock. Kurt Cobain said on numerous times that Raw Power was his favorite album of all time.
1976, Paul Simon started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ’50 Ways To Leave Your Lover’, the singers first solo US No.1.
1979, Stephen Stills became the first rock performer to record on digital equipment in Los Angeles’ Record Plant Studio.
1981, Kool & The Gang started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Celebration’ the group’s first No.1 and 8th top 40 hit, a No.7 hit in the UK.
1981, John Lennon was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Woman’, an ode to his wife Yoko Ono. It was Lennon’s third No.1 in seven weeks after his death on December 8, 1980.
1985, Matt Monro, 60s UK ballad singer died from liver cancer at the Cromwell Hospital, Ealing, London. 1964 UK No.4 & US No.23 single ‘Walk Away’ plus 10 other UK Top 40 hits including the 1965 hit with his version of The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’.
1987, George Michael and Aretha Franklin were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)’. Written by Simon Climie it gave Aretha her first UK No.1 almost 20 years after her first hit.
1994, Blind Melon’s lead singer Shannon Hoon was forced to leave the American Music Awards ceremony for his loud and disruptive behaviour. Hoon was later charged with battery, assault, resisting arrest, and destroying a police station phone.
1999, Blondie went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Maria’, giving the group their sixth UK No.1 single, 20 years after their first No.1 ‘Heart of Glass.’ At the age of 54, lead singer Debbie Harry became the oldest female to make No.1 in the UK.
2000, American rapper Big Punisher (better known by his stage name Big Pun), died of a heart attack, aged 28. The rapper had weighed 318kg (50 stone) when he had the attack. His second album, Yeeeah Baby, completed before his death, was issued as scheduled in April 2000. It peaked at No.3 on the Billboard charts.
2000, English guitarist and singer Dave Peverett died from kidney cancer aged 56. He had been a member of the English blues rock band Savoy Brown and Foghat who had the Seventies hit singles ‘My Babe’, and ‘Slow Ride’.
2004, Queen’s single ‘We Will Rock You’ topped a poll of music fans to find the greatest rock anthem of all time. The 1977 song beat the band’s classic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ into second place in a survey of 1,000 people carried out for the UCI cinema chain. The poll was carried out to mark the release of new Jack Black comedy ‘School of Rock.’
2005, Michael Jackson’s Thriller was named the top pop video in a poll of Channel 4 viewers in the UK. The 1983 video, which depicts the singer as a werewolf and a zombie, beat videos by Madonna and Robbie Williams. Animated videos for Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer and A-Ha’s Take On Me were in second and third place respectively. 4th was Queen with Bohemian Rhapsody, 5th, Madonna Like a Prayer, 6th, Robbie Williams, Rock DJ, 7th, Michael Jackson, Billie Jean, 8th, The Verve, Bittersweet Symphony, 9th, Madonna Vogue and 10th Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit.
2008, Amy Winehouse was told she could not perform at this year’s Grammy awards ceremony because her US visa application has been rejected by the embassy in London. The singer was arrested for marijuana possession in Norway last year. Winehouse has been nominated for six Grammy awards ahead of the ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday.
2013, Music venues and fans criticised “heartless” touts and agencies selling tickets for guitarist Wilko Johnson’s farewell tour at inflated prices. The former Dr Feelgood guitarist, was suffering from terminal cancer and was playing a series of farewell dates in February and March. Originally tickets sold for £20, but were now being offered online at prices of £225.
2015, American bass player, songwriter, Joe B. Mauldin died aged 74. He was best known as the bassist for the early rock and roll group The Crickets and later became a recording engineer at Gold Star Studios, the Los Angeles studio which became the “hit factory” for Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and other major 1960s rock performers.