20 August

Pick a Day

20 AUGUST

In Music History

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2009 Keyboardist/bassist Larry Knechtel (of Bread) dies of a heart attack in Yakima, Washington, at age 69.

2005 On what would have been Phil Lynott's 56th birthday, a concert is held in Dublin featuring Thin Lizzy members Brian Downey, Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson. Eric Bell, the original lead guitarist with Thin Lizzy, and Gary Moore share the lead on the classic "Whiskey In The Jar."

1997 The "Hank Williams Memorial Lost Highway" is dedicated in Alabama, where the singer was born. The 50-mile stretch on Interstate 65 starts at his childhood home of Georgiana and ends in Montgomery, the site of his grave. The ceremony takes place in Montgomery (the state capitol), with Hank Williams Jr. on hand to speak.

1992 Sting marries Trudie Styler at their estate in Wiltshire, England. The couple first met in 1977 when Sting was a struggling musician and Trudie was trying to make it as an actress.

1992 Demi Lovato is born in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

1991 Spin Doctors release their debut album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite. It sells over 5 million copies thanks to the hits "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and "Two Princes."More

1990 Prince releases his album Graffiti Bridge, which contains the tracks "Thieves In The Temple" and "New Power Generation."More

1988 Soundgarden play Capitol Lake Park in Olympia, Washington as part of Capitol Lake Jam. Also on the bill: Nirvana.

1987 Metallica play a secret show at The 100 Club in London. Two days later, they play Donington Park at Castle Donington as part of the massive Monsters of Rock Festival, headlined by Bon Jovi.

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Two killed at Monsters of Rock Festival

1988

At the Monsters Of Rock festival at Castle Donington, England, two fans are killed during a set by Guns N' Roses, whose frontman Axl Rose had implored the crowd, "Don't f--kin' kill each other." With the ground wet and a record crowd of 107,000 at the festival, the surge of bodies during the set causes the two fans to be trampled or crushed to death.

The band are devastated when they hear about the deaths. They had repeatedly paused while fans were extricated from the crush, and played slower numbers when they returned to the stage after the ambulance crews attended to the victims, but it is only after the show has finished that they learn of the full, tragic circumstances. Alan Dick, 18 and Landon Siggers, 20 were crushed into the mud 15 feet from the stage and pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. The band were playing fifth on the bill, but between being booked and appearing they had a huge worldwide hit with "Sweet Child O' Mine" which led to the crowd being many times larger than expected. It had rained heavily and the ground was soft, so the crowd repeatedly surged forward against the barriers. Although the bad weather exacerbated the problems, making it difficult for security staff to extract the fans, questions are raised about whether the band incited violence. Guns N' Roses have built a reputation for rowdy live shows - in 1987 Axl Rose was arrested backstage in Atlanta after assaulting a security guard, and just a month earlier in New York State the crowd had come close to rioting at their first two outdoor shows... this is their third. The following year, the festival is cancelled due to an inquest, which finds that the deaths are due to a "crowd collapse" of some 50 fans, which took place at the front of the stage. In future years the stage is moved from the bottom of a slope and further measures are taken to reduce the mud. Following the tragedy, the band make attempts to curtail the crowds at their shows. This is generally successful, although in 1991 when Axl Rose storms off stage after being photographed by a fan in St. Louis, there is another riot which causes thousands of dollars worth of damage.

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Comments: 11

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Mark from Derbyshire Crush events happen regularly and yet the lesson doesn't get learned. I was stood way back dodging plastic bottles with god knows what in them.
Steve from London God this was a lifetime ago I surged toward the stage and still feel guilty to this day. I was 14 years old
Jude from UkI was there, I was 17 and went to the front for GnR’s set. It was terrifying and we struggled to get out of it. I had very sharp elbows that day.
I don’t recall the ground being wet though, I remember it as a sunny day.
Douglas Mcintyre from Falkirk I attended this event. Guns and Roses changed slots at the last minute to play early allowing Them to leave for other avenues of entertainment which they admit to in their BBC documentary. The event was sold out and I travelled on a bus from Scotland. People were being allowed to pay at the gate. It was over crowed and complete carnage. If Guns & Roses hand’nt decided to play early no one would have died. If any media wants to speak to me about what I dealt with that day and how I managed to survive pleas get in touch
Kathleen from ClevelandMy daughter aged 15 went to this concert against my best judgment, her dad had said she should be alright. I sat down with a cup of tea on the afternoon, switched the tv on and was met with the public announcement about the deaths and a phone number to contact. I couldn’t get through so phoned her lodgings, no answer. Long story short I phoned the police next day and explained my situation, they very kindly went to her lodgings and over 24 hours after switching the tv on she contacted me. Thankfully her and her friends were all ok. My heart goes out to the families who lost their children that day, May they R I P. Sadly my girl died from cancer in 2007 but I was so blessed to have those extra years with her. God Bless you all x
David from Tennessee, U.s.a.I wasn't at this show, but the next year I was at the Bon Jovi Festival at Milton Keynes. Myself and about eight other mates got up to about 10ft from the stage while Vixen was playing. I can understand the feeling other commenters here had. The crowd would surge from side to side and you had no choice but to go. When Vixen was done playing and things calmed down we slowly made our way out of that mess and found a safe area to sit a couple of hundred yards back.
Simon from England I was also there, 18 years old and down at the front. I was tall enough and strong enough to look after myself, but saw plenty of others who were struggling, especially those shorter. I understood that the most important thing was to stay on your feet, not easy in these 'waves' that seemed to push the top half of your body but you couldn't follow with your legs, that's how many people went down. The trick, i learnt was to hold your arms in front of your chest so creating enough room to breath.
Gill from England God this has brought back so many memories. I was 15, my overprotective mum had agreed to me going, not really understanding what it was. I remember being pushed into the barrier, my feet not touching the floor and gasping for breath. A much older guy stood behind me and braced his arms on the barrier, protecting me, I was able to catch my breath and am forever grateful to him. I was eventually lifted to safety over the barrier by security. That guy was my angel.
Pat Squire O’ Connor from IrelandI was 18 years old in 1988 and well on the way to being an alcoholic. I went to the gig with my buddy, the two of us from Southern Ireland. We travelled by bus all the way there and back again. Because of my messing and actually getting drunk on the train up from London they had to ‘mind’ me all day. We missed Guns ‘N’ Roses over the train being held back because of another train with soccer fans somewhere along the way. Long story short I had made my way up to the front for the Maiden slot, nearly passed out in the surge, and was hand picked up and out of the crowd over the barriers in front by my Gaurdain Angel, whoever you are. I have no doubt I would have added to the stress of that day for all concerned. So glad to be alive, sober now for over twenty years, and an addiction counselor myself. A very tragic day in what should have been my 18th Birthday celebrations but I feel that I was the lucky one to have gotten out alive and often tell this story to youngsters to teach personal and social responsibility.
Phil Scoulding from Hampshire That day still haunts me. Myself and a few friends, all aged around 18, went on a coach trip to, what was for me at least, our first "big" concert. We'd spent over an hour slowly creeping our way forward to the mosh pit in front of the stage as it looked "fun". What was to follow was harrowing and traumatic. The ground was slick, squelchy, ankle deep wet mud and difficult to stay upright on amoungst the mass of bodies. Then the surges started. Violent waves of pressure came from the back and swept forward almost like a mexican wave. The were relentless and kept coming. Immediately, you were pinned against everyone else. A crushing force that pinned your arms to your sides and forced the air from your lungs. The force/pressure was so great that with each surge your body was suspended at bizarre angles no lknger upright trying anything you could not to fall over. You could feel poor, unfortunate people under foot that had fallen but were completely and utterly powerless to help them. Everytime we pushed back from the front to try and make enough space to get them up, a counter surge came from the back and more people went under the crush. The security staff did what they could by trying to get as many people over the barriers to safety as they could. The ones that could be pulled up from the ground between surges were limp as rag dolls and completely caked in mud. These poor people were passed over our heads to the front. There were many more than the 2 that lost their lives. At some point the large video screen to the left of the stage also collapsed with some of it falling into the crowd causing more mayhem. But still the crowd kept pushing forward. David Lee Roth was the first artist to try and get people to understand what was happening and said he would stop unless everyone took 2 paces backwards. That was the opportunity to lift the others that were being trampled up and get them to safety and make my own escape away from the front. By the time Iron Maiden played (who followed Kiss, following David Lee Roth) it had calmed down. The trauma of that day has haunted me for many many years. Making it impossible to go into busy/crowded places. Horrific.
Keith Swaddling from Hailsham East SussexI was there on that sad day, I can remember Axle Rose swearing at the crowd like they were animals, typical American bad language. Yes there were bikers and rockers there slipping about in the mud and rain and whilst I'm sure some didn't give a damn what he called them I didn't appreciate him calling us mother f#####s and the likes. When I heard 2 young lads had died it didn't really sink in until we were travelling back home to Eastbourne. When Orin Maiden came on stage, Bruce Dickinson took control of the crowd in such a professional way and the difference in his demeanour was spell binding. I'll never forget that day those two young men went to a concert and never went home again.

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