30 August

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2020 Lady Gaga is the big winner at MTV Video Music Awards, taking Artist of the Year, Song of the Year (her Ariana Grande collaboration "Rain On Me") and the Tricon Award, formerly the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. With the coronavirus lockdown still in place, two new categories are awarded: Best Music Video From Home ("Stuck with U" by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber) and Best Quarantine Performance (CNCO: Unplugged at Home).

2019 Tool release Fear Inoculum, their fifth studio album and first in 13 years. Their previous album was 10,000 Days in 2006.

2016 The Go-Go's complete their final tour, playing their last show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

2015 Taylor Swift and Kanye West make peace when Swift presents him with the Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs, where West famously interrupted Swift six years earlier. The truce doesn't last: In February 2016, West raps, "I made that bitch famous" in his song "Famous," invoking Swift's ire.

2015 Wilko Johnson, known for his work in the band Dr. Feelgood, returns to the stage after beating cancer when he performs at the Rye Jazz Festival in East Sussex, England.

1996 Liam Gallagher flies to America to rejoin his Oasis bandmates on the (What's the Story) Morning Glory? tour. The band played the first four shows with brother Noel taking vocal duties after the capricious singer watched their MTV Unplugged performance from the wings, claiming to be suffering from a throat infection.

1995 Sterling Morrison (guitarist for The Velvet Underground) dies of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Poughkeepsie, New York, the day after his 53rd birthday.

1989 Bebe Rexha is born in Brooklyn, New York.

1988 Danzig, fronted by former Misfits lead singer Glenn Danzig, release their self-titled debut album, produced by Rick Rubin. The song "Mother" becomes a minor hit when it is re-released five years later.

1988 Thomas "Papa Dee" Allen (percussionist/saxophonist/vocalist for War) collapses onstage during a performance in Solano County, California. He dies of a brain aneurysm at age 58.

1980 Barclay James Harvest perform "A Concert For The People" next to the Berlin Wall to an audience of approximately 250,000.

1975 The disco-riffic "Get Down Tonight" by KC & The Sunshine Band goes to #1 in America, the first of five chart-toppers for the group.

1974 Pop singer/songwriter Rich Cronin (of LFO) is born in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

1971 The Beach Boys release Surf's Up.

1969 It's the first day of the two-day Isle of Wight Festival. Performers include Bob Dylan, the Moody Blues and The Who. This is the second Isle of Wight Festival - it goes on again next year, but doesn't return until 2002.

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Billy Joel Is Letterman's First CBS Musical Guest


Billy Joel is the first musical guest on David Letterman's first show after moving to CBS.

After 11 years on NBC, Letterman makes the move to CBS. His first guest is Bill Murray, who appeared on the first episode of Letterman's NBC show back in 1982. After lots of shenanigans from Murray, Dave introduces Billy Joel: "As if being married to a leggy supermodel wasn't enough, this man also has the largest selling album in the country, right here. It's called River of Dreams and we are honored to have him as our very first musical guest." The "leggy supermodel" is Christie Brinkley, who also did the painting on the cover of River of Dreams. Joel performs "No Man's Land," then sits down for a chat. The show takes place in the Ed Sullivan Theater, where The Beatles made their historic appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. "I had this friend - wasn't really my friend, he had a TV - and I saw The Beatles and I said, 'That's what I'm going to do,'" Joel says. "That's the reason I'm here now." Joel goes on to reveal his motivation for getting into music in the first place: girls. "Anybody who says some other reason for going into music is lying." Letterman stays on the air until 2015. Joel appears just one more time: in 1997. River of Dreams is his last non-classical album of original songs, but long after Letterman is retired, Joel is still performing to sold-out arenas.



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