15 August

Pick a Day

15 AUGUST

In Music History

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2012 Members of the metal band Baroness are injured when their tour bus falls off the road while traveling in England. Lead singer John Baizley's left arm is shattered and his left leg broken; drummer Allen Blickle and bass player Matt Maggioni each suffer spinal fractures. Baizley manages to keep his arm and resume his duties as frontman/guitarist, but Blickle and Maggioni leave the band.

2011 Lyricist Betty Thatcher (of Renaissance) dies of cancer in Hayle, Cornwall, England, at age 67.

2009 Rock musician Jim Dickinson (frontman for Mud Boy and the Neutrons) dies after triple-bypass heart surgery in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 67.

2008 Music producer Jerry Wexler dies of congestive heart failure in Sarasota, Florida, at age 91. Known for reviving Aretha Franklin's career in the '60s and producing Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming album.

2007 The Osmonds reunite for the first time in over two decades to perform their 50th anniversary concert for PBS.

2005 Sly Stone comes out of a long seclusion to visit the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, where his little sister Vet headlines with the latest version of the Family Stone.

2005 Leonard Cohen files a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that his former manager, Kelley Lynch, mismanaged his retirement funds to the tune of at least $5 million. The fraudulent activities purportedly began during the five years Leonard spent away from his career in seclusion at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center.

2004 At their Coventry Festival in the group's home state of Vermont, Phish play what they say is their last show, ending with the song "The Curtain With." The breakup proves temporary: in 2009, the band gets back together.

2000 David Bowie's wife, the supermodel Iman, gives birth to their daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones. "The couple are overjoyed," says a spokesman for Bowie. "David assisted in the delivery and he cut the umbilical cord."

1998 Pete Townshend, Joni Mitchell and Lou Reed, along with original Woodstock acts Richie Havens and Melanie, play Day 2 of the A Day In The Garden festival in Bethel, New York, where the 1969 festival took place. Mitchell closes her set with "Woodstock."

1996 A New York women's shelter refuses to take money raised by a recent benefit concert when they learn that one of the performers was James Brown, often accused of emotional and physical abuse of women.

1992 Reggae musician Jackie Edwards dies of a heart attack in Jamaica at age 54. Penned "Keep On Running" and "Somebody Help Me" for The Spencer Davis Group.

1991 Paul Simon gives a free concert in Central Park, much as he had in 1981 with partner Art Garfunkel. It airs live on HBO and eventually becomes the album Paul Simon's Concert In The Park.

1991 Nirvana play a concert at The Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, where they invite fans to attend the shoot for their first video, "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Hundreds of fans show up at the shoot, which takes place two days later; many are turned away.More

1990 The Verve perform in public for the first time, playing the Honeysuckle pub in Poolstock, near their hometown of Wigan, England.

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Beatles Play Shea In First-Ever Stadium Rock Concert In America

1965

The Beatles play Shea Stadium in New York - home of The Mets - marking the first time a rock band headlines a stadium in America. With Beatlemania in full force, the screaming girls drown out the band in a less-than-intimate, but very memorable performance in front of a sold-out crowd of 56,000.

In 1957, Bill Haley headlined a stadium tour in Australia, but it took The Beatles to pull it off in America. Stadiums are designed for sports, not concerts, with fans kept far away from the action and an understanding that rain will postpone the event. So why play a stadium instead of a cozy theater or auditorium designed for music? Capacity. The largest indoor venues seat about 20,000; Shea has 56,000 seats, and The Beatles fill them all. Beatlemania struck America in February 1964, when they landed their first #1 hit in the country ("I Want To Hold Your Hand") and made their famous Ed Sullivan Show appearance. By August 1965, they had eight American #1 hits and were still a sensation. The Shea concert is the start of their American tour - they last played the US in September 1964. There's no doubt this will be huge. The Beatles are flown by helicopter to a nearby building and taken to the stadium by armored car, where they go through a side door and get ready. The proceedings start at 8 p.m. with a baseball tradition: the nation anthem. Next are the opening acts: the Discotheqe Dancers, Cannibal and the Headhunters, King Curtis and Brenda Holloway. At 9:15, Ed Sullivan introduces the band, and they emerge onto the field through a dugout. The stage is at second base; everyone on the field is there in an official capacity - mainly security - and fans are confined to the seats. A few fans rush the field, but are quickly corralled before getting close to their heroes. The Beatles play 12 songs, including their latest hit, "Help!," performing for about 30 minutes. The Shea sound system can't compete with the crowd, which the New York Daily News estimates is 75% teenage girls, all screaming like crazy. The crowd can barely hear The Beatles, and The Beatles can't hear themselves, but this is much more about spectacle than sound quality. So how does the first rock show in a stadium pan out? Acoustically, it's a disaster, but logistically it goes quite well, with no major incidents. It's also a financial winner, taking in $304,000, about $160,000 of which goes to The Beatles. The verdict: stadium rock is a winner. The Beatles play more baseball stadiums on the tour, including Atlanta Stadium, Comiskey Park (Chicago, where the White Sox play), and Metropolitan Stadium (Bloomington, Minnesota). Over the next few years, sound systems are beefed up at stadiums and field tickets are sold, allowing for even larger crowds. The Stadium Rock era begins, with acts like Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Queen and Kiss regularly playing to massive crowds at these venues. The Beatles return to Shea on August 23, 1966, but this time they don't sell out, filling merely 45,000 seats. They can hear themselves this time, as can the crowd - even when Paul McCartney slows things down for "Yesterday." Six days later, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, they play what will be their last paid concert, as they forgo touring to focus on making music. (photo: Library of Congress)

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