31 May

Pick a Day

31 MAY

In Music History

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2019 Psychedelic-music legend and frontman for the 13th Floor Elevators, Roger Kynard "Roky" Erickson passes away at 71 years old in his home in Austin, Texas.

2016 Alicia Keys announces that she will no longer wear makeup.More

2007 Rob Grill, lead singer of The Grass Roots, is arrested for illegal possession of prescription painkillers at his home in Mount Dora, Florida.

2005 Strawberry Field (no s), the Liverpool orphanage which inspired The Beatles' famous song, is closed by the Salvation Army after almost seventy years.

2004 Rock guitarist Robert Quine, known for collaborations with Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull, and Tom Waits, commits suicide by heroin overdose at age 61.

2003 50 Cent's second single, "21 Questions," tops the chart for the first of four weeks. Featuring Nate Dogg on the chorus, the song explores 50's romantic side, as he asks a girl if she would be there for him through thick and thin.

2000 Soul singer Johnnie Taylor dies of a heart attack at age 66.

1998 Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) announces that she is leaving Spice Girls, releasing a statement saying: "Sadly I would like to confirm that I have left the Spice Girls. This is because of differences between us. I'm sure the group will continue to be successful and I wish them all the best... PS, I'll be back." Halliwell was planning to leave the group in September at the end of their world tour, but grows frustrated and leaves early. The group continues as a quartet, but splits up in 2000. In 2007, they reunite with Halliwell back on board.

1996 Bass singer Elsbeary Hobbs (of The Drifters) dies from throat and lung cancer in Manhattan, New York at age 59.

1993 Jon Bon Jovi's wife, Dorothea Hurley, gives birth to their first child, a daughter named Stephanie Rose.

1991 Azealia Banks is born in New York City.

1985 The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) sends its first letter to the RIAA requesting a ratings system for albums and concerts. The group is led by Tipper Gore, the wife of Senator Al Gore, so the record industry takes it seriously, and cuts back on their metal budgets. The end result is warning stickers on albums containing offensive lyrics.

1980 Fall Out Boy drummer Andy Hurley is born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

1980 The disco group Lipps, Inc. goes to #1 in America with "Funkytown," a tribute to New York City.

1976 Tom Waits begins a two-week stint performing at Ronnie Scott's Club in Soho, London, England. The club is run by Pete King, and the experience inspires Waits to write "The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me) (An Evening with Pete King)."

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Priest Rules In Heavy Metal Parking Lot

1986

Jeff Krulik and John Heyn film the parking-lot antics of fans tailgating at a Judas Priest concert in Landover, Maryland. The result is Heavy Metal Parking Lot, a 16-minute film that captures the energy and absurdity of heavy metal culture in the '80s.

The film is disseminated on VHS, with grainy copies passed around, making it one of the first "viral videos." In the film, teenage metalheads under the influence of hormones and beer say things like, "Robert Halford is the best motherf--king singer around!" and "Heavy metal rules! All that punk s--t sucks!" The crowd is proudly defiant and all-in for Judas Priest - most of the rants are about the virtues of the band and their fealty to the metal genre. At the time, video cameras are used almost exclusively by professional crews, so when these kids have one pointed at them and are asked for their opinion, it's an unusual event (Krulik and Heyn say they are with MTV when questioned). The footage provides an unfiltered, first-hand look at the metal mentality that explains more than a retrospective ever could. In the '90s, the internet revives the film, and anyone with a good 28.8 kbit/s modem can watch it on Krulik's website. The film becomes a cult classic, complete with various parodies: American Hi-Fi's video for "Flavor Of The Weak" is one such homage.

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