CDJ Today: April 7 in Classic Rock

John Oates in 2016
John Oates in 2016. CC by SA 4.0. Credit: Matt Christine

April 7, 1990 – Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee suffers a mild concussion after falling 20 feet from the scaffolding above his elevated drum kit. Tommy was descending as usual on a bungee rope but panicked when he thought his roadie wouldn’t pull the brake in time.  He was turned upside down and smashed heads with a person in the audience, before he hit the ground head-first and blacked out. He was immediately rushed to the hospital in New Haven, CT.

April 7, 1988 – Alice Cooper nearly dies of asphyxiation at the Wembley Arena in London after a safety rope breaks during a concert stunt where Cooper pretends to hang himself during the show. An attentive roadie cuts him free and he continues the concert.

April 7, 1987 – Pastor Oral Roberts says that God will kill him if he doesn’t raise $1 million in donations; in response, Ozzy Osbourne sends him one dollar to use toward psychiatric treatment.

April 7, 1979 – The two day California World Music Festival kicks off at the Coliseum in Los Angeles featuring Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, UFO and many others.

April 7, 1990 – Guns N’ Roses perform their last concert with the Appetite For Destruction lineup at Farm Aid IV in Indianapolis.

April 7, 1975 Ritchie Blackmore leaves Deep Purple to form Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio. He is replaced by Tommy Bolin. Blackmore rejoins Deep Purple in 1984 but leaves permanently in 1993.

April 7, 1987 – Whitesnake releases their self-titled CD which goes on to sell over 8 million copies in the U.S. alone.

April 7, 2008 – Bob Dylan receives an honorary Pulitzer Prize for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture.” He’s the first rock musician to win the award.

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Classic Rock Birthdays

April 7, 1938 – Spencer Dryden, drums (Jefferson Airplane, New Riders of the Purple Sage) (d. 2005)
April 7, 1943 – Mick Abrahams, guitar (Jethro Tull)
April 7, 1948 – John Oates (Hall & Oates)

Rock Remembrances

April 7, 2013 – Andy Johns, the legendary producer and engineer, dies of complications from a stomach ulcer.  He was 62.  Johns worked on classic albums that have sold in excess of 160 millions copies by bands ranging from Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones to Van Halen and Cinderella.

April 7, 2020 – John Prine, renowned singer-songwriter, dies of complications caused by COVID-19.  He was 73.  Discovered by film critic Roger Ebert and Kris Kristofferson at a bar in Chicago, Prine is regarded as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation.  Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Johnny Cash, and newer artists like Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile and Jason Isbell have all cited Prine as one of their major influences. In fact, Prine and Bruce Springsteen were dubbed the “New Dylans” in the early 70s. He won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2020, just prior to his death.

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