June 15, 2024

This Day in History: 2025-05-20

MAY 20th

Van Halen’s second album with Sammy Hagar (“5150” was the first), “OU812,” is out. 1988

It goes to #1 on the Billboard 200, becoming the second of four consecutive chart-topping albums.

Leading with the singles “Finish What Ya Started,” “When It’s Love” and “Black And Blue,” the album sells over four-million copies.

Foo Fighters “The Colour And The Shape,” arrives. The group’s sophomore set reaches the Top 10 in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. 1997

Containing the tracks “Monkey Wrench,” “Everlong” and “My Hero,” the album moves more than two-million copies.

Tool’s fourth album, “10,000 Days,” sells over 560,000 copies in its first week of release to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200. 2006

From “10,000 Days,” the song “Vicarious” was up for an ’07 Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy but lost to Wolfmother’s “Woman.” The group did win “Best Recording Package.”

“3 Doors Down” is released. “We feel that these songs are kind of a cross section of who we are, at least who we are at the time,” explains singer Brad Arnold. “I’ve always wanted people to take something positive from our music, and this record is definitely a lot lighter.” The group’s self-titled fourth studio effort features the hit lead single “It’s Not My Time.” 2008

Another song on the album, “Citizen/Soldier,” is a tribute to the National Guard.

The album is the band’s second consecutive #1 album on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 154,000 and first effort to feature Greg Upchurch on drums.

The film “Good Mourning” starring Machine Gun Kelly is in theaters and on streaming platforms.  Kelly plays a movie star who has to make a decision between love and advancement.  2022

Kurt Cobain’s black Fender Stratocaster electric guitar (pictured), smashed during Nirvana‘s “Nevermind” era goes for $595,000 at Julien’s Auctions annual Music Icons in New York City. The reassembled but unplayable guitar was signed by all three band members.  2023


Blues wailer Joe Cocker (John Robert Cocker) is born in Sheffield, England. 1944

Go-Go’s guitarist, Jane Wiedlin (Jane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin), is born in Oconomowac, WI (of all places). Her family moves to L.A. (of all places) when she is six. 1958

The Who have one of their legendary onstage battles. Bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon show up late for a gig. An altercation ensues when the pair join guitarist Pete Townshend and vocalist Roger Daltrey (who are aided by other musicians) onstage. Townshend hits Moon with his guitar leaving Moom with a bruised eye and in need of three stitches.  1966

The BBC bans The Beatles” A Day In The Life” due to alleged ‘drug references’. Frank Gillard, the BBC’s Director of Sound Broadcasting writes, “the words ‘I’d love to turn you on’ followed by that mounting montage of sound, could have a rather sinister meaning.” Doesn’t matter, the song becomes one of the group’s most recognizable classics. 1967

The Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like An Eagle” album is released. The set contains the title track, “Take The Money And Run” and “Rockin’ Me.” 1976

“With A Little Luck” (Wings) is #1 in the U.S. 1978

A real marketing blunder… KISS present “Unmasked.” Yes, KISS without make-up. Even so, the album goes gold-but they were a platinum act to that point. 1980

In Hamburg, Germany, a battle between The Clash and the audience results in Joe Strummer’s arrest.  Strummer strikes an audience member in the head with his guitar. 1980

Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee is sentenced to at least six months in jail after pleading no contest to a felony charge of beating his soon-to-be ex-wife, actress Pamela Anderson Lee. Lee is also fined $6,200 to be paid to a battered women’s shelter He is released after 90 days for good behavior.  1998

James Brown is pardoned for all past crimes and offenses in South Carolina.  The pardon prompts Brown to spontaneously sing “God Bless America” at the conclusion of his hearing.  2003

The Beach Boys get a monument in their hometown of Hawthorne, CA. It’s California Historical Landmark No. 1041. 2005

Ozzy Osbourne appears at the Prince’s Trust 30th Birthday concert at the Tower of London (how appropriate). Prince Charles and other members of the British royal family attend the benefit event. “I have met lots of young people helped by the Prince’s Trust and been inspired by all of them,” Osbourne says of the charity, which provides financial aid and mentor programs for young people. 2006

Former Creed singer Scott Stapp is arrested at his Boca Raton, FL. mansion on suspicion of domestic assault with intent to commit a felony. Police respond to a 911 call placed by Stapp’s wife, one-time Miss New York USA Jaclyn Nesheiwat, who alleges that an intoxicated Stapp threw a glass bottle at her face and nearly hit her. Stapp spends the night in jail. Later, he expresses regret. “I am truly sorry and seek forgiveness from my wife,” writes the singer in a statement. He adds that “things were stated to the police in the heat of anger that were not completely accurate.” 2007

The Billboard Music Awards honor Stevie Wonder with the Icon award at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. He performs “Higher Ground” and “Overjoyed” with Alicia Keys and closes with “Superstition.” 2012

Ray Manzarek, a founding member of The Doors, dies at age 74. The keyboardist who composed and performed the organ intro to “Light My Fire” succumbs to cancer at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany. 2013

Former Heart bassist Mark Andes and drummer Denny Carmassi file a lawsuit against the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame because they were left out of the band’s ’13 induction ceremony-but their images were used in promotional materials. The pair spent nine years with Heart and appeared on all their Grammy-nominated tracks and half the band’s hit singles. 2014

The Foo Fighters are the last musical guest on The Late Show with David Letterman. Dressed in tuxedos, they perform “Everlong” while a montage of classic clips are shown. Letterman, a 33-year late night vet, calls the Foo Fighters his “favorite band.” 2015

Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash performs at the Greater L.A. Zoo Association’s Beastly Ball to benefit the Species Conservation Action Network. Slash, an animal rights activist, also collects exotic reptiles.  2017

Jon Bon Jovi receives an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of Pennsylvania during the school’s 263rd Commencement in Philadelphia.  A chorus of grads sing “Livin’ On A Prayer.”   2019

Alanis Morissette releases “Rest” on National Mental Health Day.  Morissette originally debuted the song at a ’17 Chester Bennington memorial concert at the Hollywood Bowl.  The Linkin Park frontman committed suicide on 7/20/17. The song was “written specifically about those of us who struggle with depression and anxiety, isolation, suicidal ideation and the profound despair that mental illness can plunge us into,” explains Morissette in a statement. 2021

A Gretsch Irish Falcon electric guitar, stage-played by U2‘s Bono, sells for $238,125 at Julien’s Auctions annual Music Icons auction in New York City. The guitar signed by all four U2 members was donated by Bono when he was honored as the MusiCares Person Of The Year in ‘03. 2023

Nearly four decades after inception (in ’84), Helloween is inducted into the Metal Hall of Fame at Terminal 5 in New York.  2023