The Oregon Treaty established the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada today in 1846, running from the Rocky Mountains to the Straight of Juan De Fuca. This would later become important to Seattle’s Heart, who would go north so that guitarist Roger Fisher’s brother Mike could escape being sent to Vietnam, and to allow America to escape blame for the band Loverboy, who’s headband wearing lead singer Mike Reno would record a duet with Heart’s Ann Wilson that she is particularly embarrassed by.
ABBA’s second blistering rock album Waterloo entered the charts today in 1974, paving the way for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2010, before Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, or Steve Miller to name but a few.
The Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McClaren staged a party on a boat that sailed down the river Thames in London today in 1977, with the band playing their God Save The Queen and Anarchy In The UK in front of the Houses of Parliament, timed to coincide with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Members of the party, though not the band, were arrested when the boat docked.
Bruce Springsteen was in Rome today in 1988, when a paparazzi photographer got a shot of Bruce in his tighty-whities sharing an intimate moment with E-Street Band backup singer Patti Scialfa. Unfortunately Bruce was still married to Julliane Phillips at the time, and a tabloid scandal ensued. They would be divorced by August, and Bruce and Patti would marry in 1991.
It was today in 1989 that the first nail in the buttrock coffin was pounded when Nirvana released their first album, Bleach on Seattle’s Sub Pop record label. Recorded at a tiny triangular building on Leary Way in Ballard by Skin Yard guitarist Jack Endino, the album would sell nearly two million copies after the surprise success of the followup Nevermind, make millionaires of Sub Pop founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman. Interestingly, the $606.17 it cost to make the album was borrowed from newest member Jason Everman, who is credited as a guitarist though he didn’t play on it at all, and after cutting a brief tour short to fire him, he would briefly join Soundgarden, and after being booted from that band joined the U.S. Army where he served several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Green Beret.
Charges against an Atlanta Georgia man, Neil Horsley, of threatening the life of Sir Elton John were dropped today in 2010. In responding to Elton’s suggestion in a Parade magazine interview that “Jesus Christ was gay”, Horsley had written an angry interweb diatribe titled “Why Elton John Must Die“. The judge decided he was not a threat, just an angry little man.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Early Rock and Roll disc jockey, bass player for Buddy Holly, and later “Outlaw” country star Waylon Jennings would be 80 if he hadn’t been killed by diabetes at 64.
Harry Nilsson would be 76 today. A songwriter with several monster hits of his own and for other artists, Harry was hugely admired by The Beatles, and it was with Nilsson that John Lennon went on his famous Hollywood drinking binge while separated from Yoko Ono. Harry died of a heart attack at 52.
Muff Winwood is 74, big brother to Steve and fellow former member of The Spencer Davis Group. After quitting that band, Muff went on to become an executive and producer for Island and Columbia records, where he would sign artists like Sade and The Psychedelic Furs, and produce the first Dire Straits record.
Slade singer, guitarist, and principal songwriter John “Noddy” Holder is 71 and a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Kansas lead singer and keyboardist Steve Walsh is 66.
Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin drummer John and heir-apparent to the drum throne in that band when they make their infrequent appearances, is 51. His first public appearance playing drums was alongside dad on a kid-sized kit in Zeppelin’s movie The Song Remains the Same at age 4.