4 May

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2021 Nick Kamen, known for the 1986 hit "Each Time You Break My Heart," dies of bone marrow cancer at his London home. He was 59.

2020 Grimes has a baby boy she names X Æ A-12. The father is entrepreneur Elon Musk.

2019 A section of Staten Island is renamed "Wu-Tang Clan District" in honor of the group.More

2018 Soul singer Leon Bridges releases his sophomore album, Good Thing. Its single "Bet Ain't Worth The Hand" takes the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance.

2017 Implying that they will soon be voted out of office, Democrats sing "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" to taunt Republicans in the House of Representatives after a Republican-sponsored bill replacing the Affordable Care Act passes.

2016 After Donald Trump's campaign plays "Start Me Up" following his victory speech celebrating his path to the Republican nomination, The Rolling Stones ask him to stop, joining several other artists in decrying his use of their songs.More

2013 James Righton of Klaxons marries the actress Keira Knightley. He proves useful when he gives ger guitar lessons for her role as a musician in the 2014 movie Begin Again.

2010 Olivia Newton-John gets "Physical" in a duet with Jane Lynch on the Glee episode "Bad Reputation."

2008 Martha Reeves' (of Martha & the Vandellas) home in Detroit is burglarized and one million dollars' worth of recording equipment is stolen. In just a few hours, the perpetrator is caught while attempting to hock the merchandise for $400.

2000 Letters to Cleo play their last concert in Boston; they disband the following month.

1993 PJ Harvey, fronted by British alt rocker Polly Jean Harvey, release their second and last album as a trio, Rid Of Me. The album is later hailed as one of the defining albums of the decade, but at the time, critics are split over Steve Albini's aggressive production.More

1992 Dudu Mntowaziwayo Ndlovu (percussionist for Johnny Clegg & Juluka) is killed in a hail of gunfire in South Africa at age 33.

1991 Punk rocker Simon Wilde (bassist for D.O.A.) dies of a brain tumor at age 33.

1991 Governor Ann Richards declares "ZZ Top Day" in Texas, honoring the group for "bringing the powerful beat of Texas boogie to enthusiastic audiences across the globe."

1987 Paul Butterfield (of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band) dies of a heroin overdose at age 44.

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Four Dead In Ohio


Later memorialized in the Neil Young song "Ohio," the United States National Guard fires on protesters at Kent State University in Ohio, killing four students, two of whom weren't even protesting. This shameful event in American history leads to the formation of Devo, as Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale are both on campus and horrified by the events.

About 3,500 protestors gather at the university to protest the United States incursion into Cambodia as part of the Vietnam War. Unbeknownst to them, Ohio governor Jim Rhodes has stationed a National Guard unit inside a heating plant at the school and has declared martial law, superseding First Amendment rights and making any assembly illegal. The National Guardsmen emerge and fire tear gas at the protesters. Then they do the unthinkable, raising their rifles and firing into the crowd, killing four students. One of the protesters is Jerry Casale. "Nobody believed that the guns were actually loaded with live ammo," he says in a Songfacts interview. "The bullets just went everywhere, it was like a scatter-gun approach, like shooting geese." Ten days later, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young release "Ohio," a song Neil Young wrote about the tragedy: Tin soldiers and Nixon coming We're finally on our own This summer I hear the drumming Four dead in Ohio Casale forms the band Devo with Mark Mothersbaugh, who works in the art department at Kent State. Their ideology is informed by the shooting: Devo stands for "De-Evolution," the concept that humankind is regressing. They embrace the absurd, wearing haz-mat suits on stage and moving in robotic choreography. On the surface, it's quirky new-wave fun, but their songs and visual elements get at the pathology that leads to horrors like the one Casale witnessed. They build a fervent fanbase and lead the way in video production; when MTV goes on the air, the video for "Whip It," made a year earlier, goes in hot rotation and becomes a classic of the genre. Another student at Kent State during the shootings in a freshman named Chrissie Hynde. She drops out of school, becomes a waitress for a while, then heads to England, where she forms the Pretenders. Many songs are inspired by the incident, including the 1970 Genesis track "The Knife" and the 1972 Joe Walsh song "Turn to Stone." In the Yes song "Long Distance Runaround," Jon Anderson sings about the event in the second verse: Cold summer listening Hot color melting the anger to stone It's an expression of one of his fears: "Government cracking down on young people because they were trying to tell the truth about the war in Vietnam." Chris Butler is also at Kent State during the shootings, where his good friend Jeffrey Miller is one of those killed. He forms the group The Waitresses, known for "I Know What Boys Like" and the holiday classic "Christmas Wrapping." "Kent is completely what influenced my whole life and career," he says. "When you have that kind of event happen to you, it spins you off in a direction where you can't abide by the existing system, because it tried to f--king kill you. And you're going to have to make your own way if you're at all true to any of the creative parts of yourself." In 2014, Butler creates an entire album filled with narration and songs about the shootings called Easy Life. Photo: Kent State University Libraries. Special Collections and Archives, https://omeka.library.kent.edu/special-collections/items/show/1420.


Comments: 1

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Lee from Stockton, CaI have to comment: The bullets flew AFTER the Guardsmen were pelted with large rocks that were trucked in, since there were not the type and size of those on campus, plus the photos of the STOP signs that were in front of the Guardsmen who were on a hill. Bullet holes with EXIT evidence facing the Guardsmen, proving they were not only pelted with large rocks and human increment, but with live rounds fired at them. This was why they were acquitted of murder. I do have "Ohio" in my record collection and I am reminded of this lie, the fake news spread about this horrible incident that somebody notched up from a peaceful protest to an anarchy scheme!

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