This Day in History: 2023-02-20

FEBRUARY 20th
Nirvana’s Kurt Donald Cobain (front and center) enters the world for an all too brief engagement. 1967
Big night for Blur at the BRIT Pop awards in London. The group wins Best British Single (“Parklife”), Best British Video, Best British Album (“Parklife”) and (as if that weren’t enough) Best British Group. Soon to be arch-nemesis Oasis is named Best British Newcomer. 1995
Pearl Jam’s ’91 debut album “Ten,” reaches the 10-million mark in U.S. sales. “I just felt like it was a really cool record and that I was in a good band,” Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready tells Billboard. 2013
MORE TODAY IN ROCK…
Guitarist Jerome Geils, of the J. Geils Band, is born. 1946
Steely Dan’s singer/bassist Walter Becker enters the world. 1951
Spirit guitarist Randy California is born. 1951
One-time Cheap Trick bassist (’81-’87), Jon Brant, begins his life. The Chicago native replaces Pete Comita. In turn, Brant is later displaced by the return of the band’s original bassist Tom Petersson. 1954
Ian Brown, Stone Roses vocalist, is born in Ancoats, Lancs, England. 1963
The soundtrack for the Rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” tops the Billboard 200.  1971
KISS get to stick their platform boots into wet cement outside Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. 1976
Bob Dylan receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys and delivers a perplexing acceptance speech. It’s a loose paraphrase of Psalm 27, which is traditionally recited prior to Yom Kippur. 1991
Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World” peaks at #3 on the U.S. pop chart. It’s the group’s first Top 10 song in five years. 1993
The Strokes get the Best International Newcomer trophy at the BRIT Awards in London. 2002
Great White’s concert pyrotechnics ignite The Station in West Warwick, Rhode Island.  100 people perish including the group’s guitarist, Ty Longley. 2003
Elton John and pop diva Celine Dion perform onstage together in Las Vegas for the first time to help raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The pair perform two duets — “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” and “Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word.” The show raises $2.1 million. 2006
Dave Navarro’s divorce from actress Carmen Electra is finalized. The Panic Channel guitarist (also ex-Jane’s Addiction and ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers) and the actress/personality announced their separation seven months earlier after nearly three years of marriage. 2007
Beatles and Bond. Paul McCartney earns the Outstanding Contribution to Music trophy at the BRIT Awards. During the London ceremony he performs “Live And Let Die” (the Wings title track for a James Bond movie), “Hey Jude,” “Lady Madonna” and “Get Back.” Also, the Foo Fighters win the Best International Group and Best International Album honors.  2008
In L.A., the Foo Fighters sue Marvel Studios over the alleged unauthorized use of two of their songs, “Best Of You” and “Free Me,” in a trailer for the “Wolverine And The X-Men” animated series. 2008
Devon Townsend, the woman guilty of stalking and harassing Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and his wife, Talinda, gets a two-year sentence. Townsend used her work computer to obtain personal information about the couple. 2008
The White Stripes appear on the final episode of Late Night In New York before host Conan O’Brien takes over The Tonight Show in L.A. The Stripes play “We’re Gonna Be Friends” during their first appearance in two years. “It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally in show business you get exactly what you want,” says O’Brien. “It’s the inverse of the Rolling Stones song.” 2009
Muse kick off the annual BRIT Awards show in London with a 60-piece orchestra and pyrotechnics. “The Grammys are a bit more high-brow,” says Muse’s Matt Bellamy. “The BRITS is a bit more pop. Not as formal, I’d say.” Later, Coldplay beat out the Rolling Stones to be named the Best British Live Act. 2013
Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo tells fans a financial dispute has resulted in his being replaced for the group’s Australian tour. “(Slayer guitarist Kerry King) made it clear he wasn’t interested in making changes and said if I wanted to argue the point, he would find another drummer,” writes Lombardo, who claims the group only receives 10% or less of tour revenues.  Slayer disputes Lombardo’s accusations and brings back former member Jon Dette for the Aussie trek. 2013
It’s Kurt Cobain Day in his hometown of Aberdeen, WA. “Aberdeen residents may justifiably take pride in the role our community played in the life of Kurt Cobain,” says mayor Bill Simpson. Also, a statue is unveiled showing the Nirvana frontman shedding a single tear. For the record, Cobain made no secret of his animosity toward his hometown.  2014
A second DUI in as many years gets 3 Doors Down bassist and founding member Todd Harrell suspended indefinitely from the band. 2014
Paramore singer Hayley Williams marries, New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert, during an intimate ceremony in Franklin, TN. 2016
A lock of John Lennon’s hair, snipped from the Beatle’s head in ’66 and kept by a hairdresser for nearly 50 years, is auctioned by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions. It goes for $35,000. Also, a picture of The Beatles, signed by all four group members, fetches $42,000. 2016
Never before seen images of Nirvana taken onstage just days after the release of their breakthrough “Nevermind” album are sold as NFTs via Pop Legendz, marking what would have been Kurt Cobain’s 55th birthday (see above).   2022