I wouldn’t want to live in the past. But I still like to visit every now and then. Here are the musical birthdays we’ll be celebrating and the anniversaries we’ll be marking over the next week:
Monday February 4
ADDITIONS: In 1966, The Rolling Stones released their single 19th Nervous Breakdown. In 1968, The Beatles recorded the trippy Across The Universe. And in 1972, David Bowie recorded Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide, Starman and Suffragette City, completing his Ziggy Stardust album.
SUBTRACTIONS: Too many artists died on this day. Jump-blues giant Louis Jordon passed in 1975 at age 66. Rocker Alex Harvey succumbed to a heart attack at 46, shortly after playing a gig in 1982. Pop star Karen Carpenter died at 32 of cardiac arrest linked to anorexia in 1983. A heart attack also took Lux Interior of rockabilly ghouls The Cramps at age 62 in 2009. Reg Presley of The Troggs died in 2013, followed in 2016 by Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire.
Tuesday February 5
BIRTHDAY SUIT: In 2004, Janet Jackson’s right breast became the most searched-for image in Internet history. You know why.
BIRTHDAY BOYS: Rocker Alex Harvey was born in 1935 — that’s right, he died one day before his birthday. Also born on this date: Guitarist Al Kooper (1944) and Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan (1964).
Wednesday February 6
ENTRANCES: Reggae icon and future dorm-room poster mainstay Bob Marley was born in 1945. Canadian folksinger Kate McGarrigle arrived in 1946, Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose debuted in 1962, Tragically Hip vocalist and Canadian hero Gord Downie showed up in 1964 and Rick Astley rolled into the world 1966. Another good beginning: In 1958, George Harrison joined Liverpool group The Quarrymen, which included John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Len Garry, Eric Griffiths and John Lowe.
EXITS: Guitarist Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys died of lung cancer in 1998 on the same day that Rock Me Amadeus singer Falco was killed in car crash; and blues guitarist Gary Moore passed after a heart attack in his sleep in 2011. Also making an exit: Don Felder was turfed from Eagles.
Thursday February 7
HELLO: In 1964, The Beatles arrived in New York on Pan Am flight 101, beginning their first trip to the U.S. More than 5,000 teenagers greeted them at the airport. I bet Cinnabon did a booming business that day. In 1969, The Who recorded Pinball Wizard. And in 1962, country superstar Garth Brooks was born. GOODBYE: Buddy Holly was buried in Lubbock, Tex., in 1959, four days after dying in a plane crash en route to a gig in Moorhead, Minn. His tombstone reads Holley, the correct spelling of his given surname.
Friday February 8
GOOD MOVES: In 1964, The Beatles (minus George, who had a sore throat), went for a walk around Central Park in New York City, followed by 400 teenage girls. In 1981, R.E.M. recorded Radio Free Europe, Gardening at Night and (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville at their first studio session. And in 1961, Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe was born.
BAD MOVES: Runaway singer Del Shannon died of self inflicted gunshot wounds in 1990. And in 1994, Oasis were deported from Holland after a drunken brawl on a ferry. And in 2009, Chris Brown was questioned by L.A. police after assaulting Rihanna during an argument in his car following a pre-Grammy party.
Saturday February 9
DEBUT: In 1964, The Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, three years to the day after their first Cavern Club Show. They played five songs on the air, including I Want To Hold Your Hand. In 1942, Carole King was born. You might have heard of her album Tapestry. And in 2009, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss won five Grammys for their album Raising Sand. FINALE: In 1981, Bill Haley died of a heart attack at his Texas home; in 1997, Sweet singer Brian Connolly died of kidney and liver failure.
Sunday February 10
IN: In 1942, Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller became the first song to be awarded a Gold Record. It was an actual record painted gold. In 1971, one day after her birthday, singer-songwriter Carole King released Tapestry. It proved to be fairly popular, selling about 25 million copies. In 1977, The Clash started recording their debut album, which did not sell 25 million copies but should have. And in 2006, Amy Winehouse won five Grammys for her second album Back to Black and the single Rehab.
OUT: In 1974, Phil Spector was injured in a car crash and had to get plastic surgery that altered his face. The cause of the accident was kept secret, so you know that story must be a doozy. In 1975, Stooges bassist Dave Alexander died from pneumonia at age 27.