Welcome back to This Week in Rock History, your weekly refresher on the most important subject there is: great freakin’ music! What do you need to know this week? Sadly, this week in rock history the amazing Grateful Dead front man, Jerry Garcia passed away on August 9, 1995. Garcia made an indelible impression on the history of rock and roll with the band. His soaring improvisational guitar solos could whip his passionately devoted fan base into an ecstatic frenzy. The Dead inspired devotees like few other bands in rock, and much of that was thanks to the musical genius of Jerry Garcia. Garcia’s co-written compositions including such Grateful Dead catalog classics as “Friend of the Devil”, “Truckin'”, and “Uncle John’s Band”. The guy even had his own flavor of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream named after him, so you know he’s not only super important, but really awesome too. Lately, members of The Grateful Dead have been carrying on the spirit of the band with John Mayer filling in for Jerry. While Mayer has done a great job, we’ll never forget the original man who contributed so much to music. Hope you’re resting in peace, Jerry. Keep on Truckin’ where you are.

Here’s what else happened this week in rock history:


Born this Week in Rock History

Gregory Leskiw: August 5, 1947 (guitar, The Guess Who)
Jeff Coffin: August 5, 1965 (saxophone, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones and Dave Matthews Band)
Andy Warhol: August 6, 1928 (producer, manager, album designer, The Velvet Underground)
Leo Fender: August 10, 1909 (guitar inventor and entrepreneur)
Ian Anderson: August 10, 1947 (acoustic guitar, flute, vocals, Jethro Tull)
Jim Kale: August 11, 1943 (bass, The Guess Who)
Erik Braunn: August 11, 1950 (guitar, Iron Butterfly)


Died this Week in Rock History

Luther Perkins: August 5, 1968 (guitarist for Johnny Cash)
Randy Hobbs: August 5, 1993 (bass, The McCoys, Edgar Winter Group)
Marshall Grant: August 7, 2011 (bassist for Johnny Cash)
Calvin “Fuzz” Jones: August 9, 2010 (blues bassist and vocalist)
Jerry Garcia: August 9, 1995 (vocalist and lead guitarist, The Grateful Dead)


Music releases and top of the charts…Music releases and top of the charts…

The Beatles’ Help! LP hits #1: August 7, 1965
The Beatles, “Eleanor Rigby” b/w “Yellow Submarine” was released: August 8, 1966
Eric Clapton’s 461 Ocean Boulevard LP is certified gold: August 8, 1974
Sly and the Family Stone, “Hot Fun In The Summertime” was released: August 9, 1969
Cream’s Wheels of Fire Hits #1: August 10, 1968
Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising hits #1: August 11, 2002


And here is the good stuff…This week in rock History

– Kim Fowley forms the first all-female hard-rock band, The Runaways, which featured Joan Jett, future Bangle Michael Steele, and Lita Ford. We like female rock bands, and we highly encourage more of them (check out Katy Guillen and the Girls and Larkin Poe for two other great examples): August 5, 1975

– Christine Perfect, who was married to bass player John McVie, joins her husband’s band, Fleetwood Mac. She was the first female member of the group, but would not be the last: August 7, 1970

– The famous cover of The Beatles’ Abbey Road was photographed by photographer Iain McMillan. The shoot took place on now extremely famous crosswalk outside of Abbey Road studios. Is it even more iconic than the cover to Sgt. Pepper’s? Maybe maybe

– As iconic blues singer Bessie Smith had been buried without a headstone after her death, big fan of Smith Janis Joplin purchases one for the late vocalist. A touching gesture from the amazing Janis Joplin: August 8, 1970

– For the first time ever, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez play live together. The momentous occasion occurred at the Newport Folk Festival. The song chosen for the duet was “With God on Our Side”. A match made in musical heaven if ever there was one: August 9, 1964

– Blues in the White House! Muddy Waters performs for President Carter’s administration. Muddy Waters: true American greatness: August 9, 1978

– Queen gave their last performance as a band with Freddy Mercury at the Knebworth Park Festival in England. Mercury was a tragic loss for music, and we still can’t get enough of watching old Queen videos: August 9, 1986

– KISS reunites! The occasion was an episode of MTV Unplugged. The original lineup of KISS had not played together since 1980, 15 years prior. The show was performed without makeup, and went so swimmingly that the original lineup decided to keep going as a band. New members Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer consequently, were forced out: August 9, 1995

– The High Numbers, who later became The Who, played a show in Harrow, England when Roger Daltrey’s father-in-law stormed into the venue. He dragged Daltrey outside and the two began to fight. Meanwhile, the show must go on, so the band played without Daltrey until the fight was broken up and Roger could return: August 11, 1964

– Keith Moon goes to the hospital. He had sustained injuries while trashing his room at The Fountainbleu Hotel. Being a rock star is hard and dangerous work: August 11, 1976

– Led Zeppelin play their final UK show ever at the Knebworth House. Though many people still call for a Led Zeppelin reunion with the three surviving members, it does not seem likely at this point: August 11, 1979

– Johnny Cash duets with Miss Piggy on The Muppet Show. They played “Jackson”. June Carter was probably pretty jealous: August 11, 1980

– Tribut Apparel

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