This Day in History: 2023-03-26

MARCH 26th
Van Halen’s multi-platinum album, “Women And Children First,” arrives. The band’s third full-length studio effort is the first to contain compositions written solely by the band. 1980
Soundgarden’s “Superunknown” is #1 on the Billboard 200.  With “Fell On Black Days,” “Spoonman” and “Black Hole Sun” it’s surprising the album only spent one week at the top.  1994
“Tiny Music… Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop,” the third studio album by Stone Temple Pilots, is released.   The album debuts at #4 on the Billboard 200 and features the singles “Big Bang Baby,” “Lady Picture Show” and “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart” – all #1’s on Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.  1996
A black silhouette of R.E.M. (from left to right: Peter Buck, Michael Stipe, and Mike Mills) stand in front of a white background with yellow and orange lines. The words "R.E.M. / COLLAPSE / INTO / NOW" are written in black.“Collapse Into Now,” R.E.M.’s fifteenth studio album, debuts at #1 on the Billboard Alternative Album chart. 2011
MORE TODAY IN ROCK…
Fran Sheehan has a birthday. Boston’s bassist is born in Beantown. 1946
E.L.O.’s keyboardist, Richard Tandy begins his life in Birmingham, England. 1948
Trying to prove to his girlfriend that he’s as cool as Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson records his first songs. 1957
James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins) enters the world. The Japanese-American guitarist is from Chicago. 1968
Mott The Hoople are on the verge of breaking up. But David Bowie, a major fan, offers songs to keep them together and recording. They choose “All The Young Dudes” which becomes their biggest hit. 1972
The film version of The Who’s “Tommy” opens in London. 1975
 Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak” album with “The Boys Are Back In Town” is released. 1976
The Police are the first Western Rock group to play Bombay (now Mumbai), India. 1980
“Is There Something I Should Know,” from Duran Duran, debuts at #1 on the U.K. chart. Previously, only Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard and The Beatles had ever managed that feat. 1983
No need for financial planning. Guns N’ Roses sign with Geffen Records for an estimated $250,000.  Guitarist Slash immediately takes his cut and spends “almost all of it on heroin.” His bandmates spend their cash almost as wisely.  1986
Alice In Chains top the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart with “No Excuses.”  1994
Van Halen confirms that Sammy Hagar will return as their lead singer for an upcoming North American tour. 2004
3 Doors Down, who hail from Escatawpa, MS, play a homecoming charity concert in nearby Mobile, AL. A portion of the show’s proceeds benefit local charities. The group donates eight guitars and a dozen decorated drumheads for an auction benefiting Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity, among other charities. 2004
62-year-old Jan Berry, of Jan & Dean fame (“Dead Man’s Curve,” “Surf City” and “Little Old Lady From Pasadena”), dies following a massive seizure. 2004
Jon Bon Jovi plays himself in an episode of NBC’s “The West Wing.” The show features the New Jersey native lending his support to Democratic presidential candidate Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits). 2006
Your song and a whole lot more. Digital downloads of all of Elton John’s albums are available for purchase exclusively (for a little over a month) by iTunes. The releases include nearly 400 tracks from John’s four-decade career. 2007
Sevendust announce the return of original guitarist Clint Lowery. He replaces Sonny Mayo, who joined when Lowery left in ’04 for Dark New Day. “I’m beyond excited about sharing the stage with (Sevendust) again,” claims Lowery. “I wish all the (Dark New Day) guys the best and love them more than words can say.” 2008
A promotion is launched promising a free can of Dr Pepper to nearly everybody in America if Guns N’ Roses release their long-delayed “Chinese Democracy” album in ’08. “We completely understand and empathize with (frontman) Axl’s (Rose) quest for perfection,” says Pepper marketing director Jaxie Alt. 2008
3 Doors Down headline the Mississippi Rocks The Ryman concert at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The show celebrates modern music in Mississippi. “We were honored to be invited,” says singer Brad Arnold. “The band started on the Mississippi coast 15-years ago.” 2009
On ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! Ozzy Osbourne claims he’s started writing his autobiography. “I can’t remember anything,” says Ozzy. “It’s going to be the thinnest book in the world.” Too bad David Crosby named his debut solo album “If I Could Only Remember My Name.” That would have been a perfect title for Ozzy’s book. 2009
Slash, the former Guns N’ Roses guitarist, auctions personal items including a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a ’66 Corvette Stingray, and the Guild guitar used on the ’89 hit “Patience.” Proceeds go to the Los Angeles Youth Network which aids homeless and abused adolescents. 2011
Jet announces they have disbanded following a two-year hiatus. The four-piece formed in ’01 and were best known for their debut set, “Get Born,” featuring the hit “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.” “It was the fans that made our amazing story possible and we wish to thank them all,” reads a message on the band’s website. 2012
The Who perform at the Teenage Cancer Trust benefit at London’s Royal Albert Hall. They perform at the venue after receiving an apology for being banned more than 40 years earlier (12/9/72). The Hall worried about the damage Rock acts and their fans would inflict. “We’ve had a long think and, on reflection, you’re welcome back any time,” writes the Hall’s management. It’s the fundraisers’ 15th year. 2015
“Noctourniquet” by The Mars Volta is out. Guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez describes the group’s sixth studio album as “a simplified version of what we’ve done before.” 2012
Guitarist James Iha rejoins his former Smashing Pumpkins bandmates on stage for the first time in sixteen-years at the Ace Hotel in LA. Iha, who is celebrating his 48th birthday (see above), walks onstage with guitar in hand and performs with Pumpkins’ leader Bill Corgan. 2016
Stone Temple Pilots reunite with Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington for a one-off performance at From Bach To Rock to benefit Palos Verdes Peninsula public schools. Bennington briefly fronted STP. 2016
Joe Skyward, aka Joe Bass (The Posies), dies after a two-year battle with cancer. 2016