31 years ago today, Sammy Hagar took the stage for the first time as the frontman of Van Halen.
Picture it: Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, Louisiana. The date was March 27, 1986, and the occasion was the first public performance of Van Halen since the departure of longtime lead singer David Lee Roth and the installation of Sammy Hagar as his successor. The crowd of Van Halen fans in attendance that evening was – as one might reasonably suspect – very much in the pro-Hagar camp. After all, who spends money to see someone whose very presence they’re rebelling against?
50 years ago today, The Young Rascals recorded one of their signature singles, a track which would go on to provide the band with the second #1 hit of their career.
Written by two of The Young Rascals – Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati – and produced by the band themselves, “Groovin’” made good on its title with its sound, which was inspired by Cavaliere’s then-recent discovery and appreciation of Afro-Cuban music. With its mixture of conga and bass, along with a harmonica performance by Michael Weinstein (although Gene Cornish played the instrument on the album version of the song), the song went down as smooth as a well-aged bottle of whiskey…and yet Atlantic Records originally wasn’t even going to release it!
35 years ago today, Talking Heads released their first album and underlined that there is no “the” in front of their name, thank you very much.
When THE NAME OF THIS BAND IS TALKING HEADS originally hit stores, it was a four-sided LP featuring performances from the following venues and dates:
25 years ago today, They Might Be Giants released their fourth studio album, one which took its name from a NASA mission that never actually took place.
No, there was no Apollo 18. Well, not one by NASA, anyway. But John Linnell and John Flansburgh took care of that omission with the results of the time they spent in The Magic Shop recording studio in New York in March 1991. Mind you, it’s not as impressive as seeing a whale and a squid battling in outer space, which – based on the album cover – we can only presume is what NASA’s plans for Apollo 18 had been, but it’s still got some great material contained within its grooves.
34 years ago today, The Smiths performed their first concert in London.
When Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Mike Joyce, and Andy Rourke took the stage of the Rockgarden, it’s hard to say what the assembled crowd was expecting, since the club’s flyer really hadn’t done much to help explain the band’s music, calling them “difficult to pigeon-hole” and only offering the vague suggestion that their sound “leans towards pop and the dance floor."
39 years ago today, The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash made its American debut as a television special on NBC, earning the lowest ratings of any prime-time television show airing on network television that week. Great songs, though.