This Day in History: 2023-01-20


After initially ignoring The Beatles’ U.K. popularity Capitol Records finally relents and releases “Meet The Beatles” with the hit single “I Want To Hold Your Hand” in the U.S. 1964
Soundgarden’s “Badmotorfinger” album goes platinum (1-million units moved). 1993
Paul Stanley Eisen is born in Queens. The guitarist drops “Eisen” by the time he joins KISS. 1950
Bassist Ian Hill is born in West Bromwich, England. He’s a founding member of Judas Priest. 1952
Radio station KWK in St. Louis declares Rock n’ Roll dead. After giving their Rock n’ Roll records a final play the station staff smashes them all in a useless effort to weed out “undesirable music.” 1958
The man credited with coining the term “Rock n’ Roll,” the legendary DJ and promoter Alan Freed dies just as the whole thing shifts into high gear. 1965
The Byrds cover Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.” However, only group leader Jim McGuinn is allowed to play on the track. CBS Records decides to use Hollywood session musicians rather than the group. 1965
Bob Dylan makes his first public appearance since his motorcycle accident in ’66. He appears with The Band at the Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 1968
Jerry Lee Lewis makes his debut at the Grand Ole Opry. Having gone Country to maintain his career, Lewis is told not to play Rock n’ Roll but does. Told not to swear, he does. 1973
Stevie Wonder makes his first public appearance since a near-fatal car accident a few months earlier. It’s at the MIDEM Music Festival in Cannes, France. 1974
Robert (Rob) Gregory Bourdon, Linkin Park’s drummer, is born in Calabasas, CA. He takes up the drums at age ten after attending an Aerosmith concert (with his mom). 1979
Matthew “Matt” Tuck, lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist for Bullet For My Valentine, has a birthday. 1980
The Police kick off their first world tour in Buffalo, NY, of all places. 1980
Batman. Ozzy Osbourne bites the head off a live bat during a concert at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, IA. He thinks it is a toy thrown to him by an audience member.  A tetanus shot and a rabies shot are required before Ozzy can continue the tour. 1982
The Beatles, Beach Boys and Bob Dylan are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a ceremony at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. Due to continuing legal issues among the ex-Beatles, Paul McCartney does not attend but George Harrison does. “I don’t have much to say ’cause I’m the quiet Beatle’,” deadpans Harrison in his speech. 1988
Following the departure of guitarist Terry Balsamo, who left to join Evanescence, Cold singer Scooter Ward insists his group will continue. “We are looking for a new guitarist,” says Ward. Evanescence ‘s Amy Lee adds she’s sorry for implying earlier that Balsamo’s absence meant the end of Cold. 2004
U2’s Bono introduces Product Red to help raise funds to combat HIV and AIDS in Africa. He teams up with several companies to sell a range of items – including T-shirts, shoes and sunglasses – with proceeds going toward anti-AIDS programs. “I think we’ve come up with a sexy, smart, savvy idea that will save people’s lives,” claims Bono. 2006
U2 are named the top-earning music act of ’05, according to Billboard’s inaugural Money Makers chart which ranks the most profitable artists of the past year based on album sales, digital downloads and box-office receipts. The group earns more than $255 million to rule the tally.  2006
Five Finger Death Punch announce that guitarist Darrell Roberts has exited the group and has been replaced by Jason Hook. According to a statement the split “was a mutual agreement between the band and Darrell. It was a swift and smooth transition and we all remain good friends.” 2009
Weezer return to the stage at Florida State University seven weeks after frontman Rivers Cuomo was seriously injured in a tour bus accident. Cuomo suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs and cut spleen in the 12/6/09 accident that occurred while the band was traveling from Toronto to Boston. 2010
Linkin Park, Slash and the Dave Matthews Band (DMB) donate songs to raise funds for Haiti earthquake relief efforts. The Music for Relief organization – founded by Linkin Park – joins the United Nations foundation, Habitat for Humanity and DMB’s BAMA Works to offer the music in exchange for donations. 2010
“No No: A Dockumentary,” with the score by Beastie Boys’ Ad Rock, is screened at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is about Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis who threw a no hitter in June, ’70 while tripping on LSD. 2014
Ex-Machine Head bassist Adam Duce files a lawsuit against his former bandmates alleging trademark infringement, breach of partnership agreement and defamation. Duce was fired by the band nearly a year earlier. 2014
Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” is featured in a video promoting the MV Agusta’s Dragster 800 motorcycle. 2014
Ringo Starr (The Beatles) receives the David Lynch Foundation’s Lifetime of Peace and Love Award at L.A.’s El Rey Theater. 2014
“No Cities To Love” is a comeback effort by Sleater-Kinney. It’s their first album in nearly a decade. 2015
A memorial concert for late Static-X frontman Wayne Static at the Whisky-a-Go-Go in West Hollywood is streamed online. Static passed away a couple months earlier (11/1/14). 2015
Black Sabbath embark on the North American leg of their farewell tour in Omaha. Tommy Clufetos replaces original drummer Bill Ward who is sidelined due to any one or all of the following: a) ill health, b) a contractual dispute, c) bitter exchanges with frontman Ozzy Osbourne. 2016
Following President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Audioslave perform at the Prophets of Rage and Friends Anti-Inaugural Ball at the Teragram Ballroom in LA. It’s Audioslave’s first concert since they disbanded in ‘07.  2017
Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney) and Doug Martsch (Built To Spill) contribute to “Battle Hymns,” a collection of “protest songs” with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and 2017
The Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN) present Lita Ford (The Runaways and solo) with the She Rocks Award, which recognizes women who stand out as role models in the music industry. Also, Ford and Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper) are among those heard on the “She Rocks, Volume 1” compilation.  2017
To mark the thirty-seventh anniversary of biting the head off of a bat during a concert in Des Moines (see above), Ozzy Osbourne unveils a plush bat toy with, yes, a detachable head.  2019
Meat Loaf dies at the age of 74. With a career spanning six decades he sold over 100-million albums worldwide and appeared in movies (including “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Wayne’s World”). His “Bat Out Of Hell” is one of the 10 top-selling albums of all time.  2022