June 13, 2024

This Day in History: 2024-12-23


Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder (front and center) is born in Evanston, IL, with the name Edward Louis Severson III. 1964

Metallica’s self-titled ‘91 album (“The Black Album”) is named the top seller of the Nielsen SoundScan era (since ’91). Their fifth studio album, which includes “Enter Sandman” and “The Unforgiven,” surpasses Country star Shania Twain’s “Come On Over” with sales of more than 15-million copies. 2009


Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna guitarist, Jorma Kaukonen, is born in Washington D.C. 1940

Adrian Belew has a birthday. In addition to joining King Crimson in ’81, the guitarist works with David Bowie, Frank Zappa and the Talking Heads. He’s also has a lengthy and eclectic solo career. 1949

Guitarist Dave Murray is born in Edmonton, London. He’s one of Iron Maiden’s original members. 1958

Chuck Berry is arrested for violating the Mann Act. He is found guilty and serves time. 1959

The Beach Boys’ leader and creative force, Brian Wilson suffers a nervous breakdown as the group flies from L.A. to Houston. This breakdown, plus another two over the next eighteen months, force Wilson to cease performing with the group. 1964

Former Grand Funk Railroad manager Terry Knight brings the sheriff and the moving vans to collect the group’s equipment while they are playing a benefit concert. GFR and Knight are involved in a nasty dispute that includes various lawsuits. However, the sheriff says Knight can’t seize the equipment until after the show. 1972

After listening to Judas Priest’s “Stained Glass” (originally released in ’78) two troubled teenage fans in Reno attempt suicide. One dies and the other survives the initial attempt only to OD three years later. The parents subsequently file a lawsuit claiming it was subliminal messages in the songs that led to the tragedy. The suit is eventually dismissed. 1985

Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx dies from a drug overdose. He is pronounced dead in the ambulance before two adrenaline shots in the chest revive him. Later, he checks himself out of the hospital (ignoring medical advice) and goes home where he records an answering machine message. “Hey, it’s Nikki. I’m not home because I’m dead.” He then takes more heroin and passes out again. Good times. 1987

U2’s Bono is appointed an honorary knight by Queen Elizabeth II. The British Embassy in Dublin, Ireland, says Bono is being recognized for “his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work.” 2006

A trashed guitar once owned by the late Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) is sold to an unidentified private collector for $100,000. “It’s a really cool-looking guitar because it’s smashed and held together with duct tape and Kurt Cobain wrote on it,” says Jacob McMurray, senior curator at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. The EMP had displayed the Fender Mustang. 2008

Marilyn Manson settles a $20 million lawsuit filed against him by former bandmate Stephen Bier. The keyboardist, also known as Pogo/Madonna Wayne Gacy, sued Manson for breach of contract, claiming he was deprived of his share of the band’s earnings due to Manson’s questionable acquisitions. The suit is settled for $380,000 with $175,000 coming from Manson’s insurance.  2009

The surviving members of The Doors reject an official pardon granted by the State of Florida days earlier to their late singer Jim Morrison. The charge of lewd and lascivious behavior was levied against Morrison following a chaotic Miami performance in ‘69. Band members insist the singer is owed a full apology by the State as well as the City of Miami. They contend that Morrison did not need “to be pardoned for anything,” and allege that the charges “were largely an opportunity for grandstanding by ambitious politicians” and “an affront to free speech.” 2010

Billy Joel donates a Bosendorfer Imperial Grand Piano worth $250,000 to the music department of Stony Brook University in his hometown of Long Island, NY. 2013

Slipknot, KoЯn, Nickelback and Smashing Pumpkins are among the artists included in Kentucky senator Rand Paul’s annual report on wasteful government spending for receiving funds under the Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant designed to “provide a lifeline to small entertainment businesses nationwide.” “We have no way of determining how these blank checks were used,” writes Paul.  2023