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 April 1
1961 | The Beatles began a three-month residency at The Top Ten Club, Hamburg, playing 92 straight nights.The group played for seven hours a night on weekdays and eight hours at weekends with a 15-minute break every hour.
1970 | As an April Fool’s joke, John Lennon and Yoko Ono issued a press release claiming they were having dual sex change operations.
1984 | Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father at his parent’s home in Los Angeles. When his parents squabbled over business documents, Gaye intervened and was killed by his father, using a gun Gaye had given him four months before.
1985 | David Lee Roth quit Van Halen after releasing his version of The Beach Boys’ California Girls. Good move.
2015 | Cynthia Lennon — John’s first wife — died at her home in Spain following a battle with cancer.
Tuesday April 2
1939 | Marvin Gaye was born. Yep, he was killed the day before his 45th birthday.
1947 | Singer-songwriter Emmylou Harris was born.
1987 | Jazz drummer Buddy Rich died at 69 of complications from a brain tumour.
1990 | Nirvana went into Smart Studios in Madison, Wis., and started work on demo versions of In Bloom, Dive, Lithium, Pay To Play, Imodium, Sappy and Polly with Butch Vig producing.
1998 | Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli was found dead in a Frankfurt Hotel room after taking a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol.
Wednesday April 3
1938 | Songwriter Jeff Barry was born. He wrote Tell Laura I Love Her, Da Doo Ron Ron, Be My Baby, Baby I Love You and many other hits.
1949 | Singer-guitarist Richard Thompson was born.
1956 | Elvis Presley appeared on The Milton Berle Show live from the flight deck of the USS Hancock in San Diego, Calif. He performed Heartbreak Hotel, Shake Rattle And Roll and Blue Suede Shoes. It was estimated one out of every four Americans saw the show.
1975 | Steve Miller was charged with setting fire to the clothes of a friend, Benita Diorio. When police arrived at Miller’s house, Diorio was putting out the flames. Miller then got into a fight with some of the policemen and was charged with resisting arrest.
Thursday April 4
1913 | Blues icon Muddy Waters was born.
2008 | Beyonce Knowles married Jay-Z at his New York apartment. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and wife Gwyneth Paltrow, along with Beyonce’s former Destiny’s Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams all attended the ceremony.
Friday April 5
1973 | Pharrell Williams was born.
1979 | Duran Duran played their first gig at Birmingham Polytechnic. They went on to sell over 100 million records worldwide.
1980 | R.E.M. played their first show when they appeared at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Athens, Ga.
1994 | Kurt Cobain committed suicide by shooting himself in the head at his home in Seattle. Cobain’s body wasn’t discovered until April 8, by an electrician who had arrived to install a security system.
1998 | British drummer Cozy Powell was killed when his car smashed into crash barriers on the M4 motorway near Bristol, England.
2002 | Singer Layne Staley of Alice in Chains was found dead from a mixture of heroin and cocaine in his home.
2006 | Gene Pitney was found dead at age 65 in his bed in a Cardiff hotel. The American singer was on a U.K. tour and had shown no signs of illness.
Saturday April 6
1979 | Rod Stewart married actor George Hamilton’s ex-wife Alana Hamilton in Beverly Hills. They divorced in 1984.
1998 | Wendy O. Williams of The Plasmatics died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
1998 | Country singer Tammy Wynette died at age 55.
1937 | Country singer-songwriter Merle Haggard was born. He died on his birthday in 2016 of complications from pneumonia at his home.
1965 | Pixies frontman Frank Black (real name: Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV) was born.
Sunday April 7
1915 | Jazz singer Billie Holiday was born. Her real name was Elinore Harris.
1962 | Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met Brian Jones for the first time at Ealing Jazz Club, in Ealing, West London. Jones was calling himself Elmo Lewis and was playing guitar with singer Paul Jones.
1988 | During a European tour, Alice Cooper accidentally hanged himself in a rehearsal when a safety rope snapped; he dangled for several seconds before a roadie saved him.
1994 | Courtney Love was arrested on drugs and theft charges after a reported overdose. At this time, she was unaware her husband Kurt Cobain was dead at their home.