This Day in History: 2023-03-23

MARCH 23rd
A little more than a year after their self-titled debut album, Van Halen issue their sophomore set, appropriately titled, “Van Halen II.” 1979
It includes the singles “Dance The Night Away” and “Beautiful Girls.”
John Fogerty’s “Centerfield” is #1 on the Billboard 200.
His third solo album but first in nine years contains the title track, “The Old Man Down The Road” and “Rock And Roll Girls.”  1985
The Cars’ main driver Ric Ocasek is born. 1949
Keyboardist Phil Lanzon (Uriah Heep) has a birthday.  1950
Elvis Presley auditions for Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. He performs “Good Rockin’ Tonight.” The scouts pass on Elvis preferring Pat Boone. 1955
John Lennon publishes In His Own Write. The title was originally In His Own Write and Draw (since it also contains sketches). The book becomes an instant best-seller. 1964
Singer-songwriter Damon Albarn is born in Leytonstone, London. Though best known for fronting Blur, his resume also includes Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad And The Queen. 1968
Following The Doors’ infamous Miami concert (with singer Jim Morrison facing numerous criminal charges) several conservative entertainers appear at the Rally For Decency In Miami. Jackie Gleason, the Lettermen and future gay basher Anita Bryant show up. A few days later President Nixon sends a letter of appreciation to the organizers. Guess you can’t drop you pants in Miami anymore. 1969
Bill Kelliher, rhythm guitarist for Mastodon, enters the world.  1971
“The Concert For Bangladesh,” a film featuring George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, premiers in New York.  The benefit concert, led by Harrison, followed by the film and soundtrack, raises money for the war-torn country. 1972
Community service. The Band appears at the Students Need Athletics Culture & Kicks (SNACK) benefit at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium. Proceeds go toward covering an education budget shortfall. 1975
Judas Priest release their sophomore album, “Sad Wings Of Destiny.”  1976
Don Henley’s “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” is #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart.  1985
Billy Joel marries model Christy Brinkley. Brinkley inspires a couple Joel hits but she eventually dumps the crooner after nine years. 1985
Tave Wanning, lead singer for Adrenaline Rush, has a birthday.  1992
“Guns N’ Roses Greatest Hits” is out. Vocalist Axl Rose did not sanction the track selection which results in an online petition in protest. A suit filed by Rose and ex-bandmates Slash and Duff McKagan also fails to halt the album. 2004
A Los Angeles judge grants Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland permission to take a nine-hour break from drug rehab to shoot a video for “Slither,” the first single from the band’s debut album, “Contraband.” 2004
Tough times for the paparazzi. Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty lashes out in a violent rampage as he leaves court after pleading guilty to seven charges of possessing heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis. He kicks reporters and knocks a photographer’s camera. 2006
More trouble. A photographer files a complaint against Kid Rock. According to the charges, the shutter bug was beaten by Rock’s bodyguards a day earlier as he attempted to take a picture of the musician outside a Los Angeles hotel. The accuser further alleges that Rock took his camera before leaving the scene with his entourage. 2006
Sci-fi flick, “The Last Mimzy,” premieres with the song, “Hello (I Love You),” co-written by Ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters and Lord of the Rings composer Howard Shore. Waters also sings and plays bass on the track. The song “captures the themes of the movie, the clash between humanity’s best and worst instincts, and how a child’s innocence can win the day,” claims Waters. 2007
Paul McCartney joins the International Board of Advisors of the OneVoice campaign, which promotes Israeli-Palestinian peace. “(OneVoice representatives) told me that the vast majority of people in both societies are moderates and simply want a better life for their families,” explains McCartney. “This gave me great hope that, one day, people like them will help to bring about a peaceful resolution to the (area’s) troubles.” 2009
Barenaked Ladies issue their 11th studio album, “All In Good Time.” It’s their first effort following the departure of singer Steven Page. 2010
Metallica Rules! An “Ask Billboard: Battle of The Rock Bands, Part 2” online survey picks Metallica over Guns N’ Roses by 16-million votes. 2010
During his Pittsburgh concert, Elton John pays tribute to late movie icon Elizabeth Taylor by dedicating “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” to her on the night of her passing. Taylor, like John, was active in raising awareness (and money) to combat AIDS and HIV. 2011
Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy has his letter to the editor supporting gay and lesbian marriage published in his hometown Belleville News-Democrat. “All laws of (Illinois) applicable to marriage apply equally to marriages of same-sex and different-sex couples and their children,” writes Tweedy, who urges his fellow citizens to back state’s SB10 measure. 2013
Gwar’s David Brockie (aka Oderus Urungus) is found dead at his home in Virginia. Months later, the Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office concludes that Brockie died of an accidental heroin overdose. He was 50 years old. 2014
Metallica’s ’86 album “Master Of Puppets” is among twenty-five recordings selected for induction into the U.S. Library Of Congress’ National Recording Registry. 2016
Fall Out Boys headline the “Stay Amped” concert to support the March for Our Lives rallies, organized in response to the school shooting in Parkland, FL. The Washington D.C. show benefits gun violence prevention groups.  2018
All That Remains’ Phil Labonte, a gun enthusiast, uploads a video where he talks about the guns he thinks “you ‘need’ if you’re a gun person.”  2018
Sammy Hagar is honored with a plaque on the Bammies Walk Of Fame in San Francisco. “Nothing like being recognized by your hometown,” Hagar says in a statement.  2018
Kid Rock goes golfing with the President Donald Trump. Rock hits the links sporting his red, white and blue American flag golf pants.  No word on who won.  2019
Skid Row announce they have parted ways with singer ZP Theart replacing him with Erik Grönwall.  2022
Former Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen signs with ADA, a division of Warner Music Group.   2022