On This Day – March 21 – Grateful Dead, David Cassidy, Bruce Springsteen, Snoop Dogg, Kurt Cobain & more
Elvis Presley appears at the 4,000 seated YMCA Gymnasium in Lexington, North Carolina. Also on the bill are Mother Maybelle & The Carter Sisters, featuring June Carter, Rod Brasfield, Hal and Ginger. Tickets cost $1 for general admission and $1.50 for reserved seats.
The Grateful Dead play the first of seven nights at the Academy of Music in New York City.
The BBC ban all teenybopper acts from appearing in person on Top Of The Pops after a riot following a David Cassidy performance.
Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers is sent to Pentonville Prison after losing his appeal against a drugs conviction.
Bruce Springsteen kicks off the second leg of his ‘Born In The USA’ World Tour at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney.
U2 score their third UK No. 1 album (also a US No. 1) with The Joshua Tree, featuring the singles ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ and ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’. It becomes the fastest selling album in UK history and the first to sell over a million CDs, spending a total of 156 weeks on the UK chart.
Leo Fender, the inventor of the Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars, dies from Parkinson’s disease. He started mass producing solid body electric guitars in the late 40s and when he sold his guitar company in 1965, sales were in excess of $40 million a year.
Snoop Doggy Dogg is sentenced to three years probation and fined $1,000 (£588) for firearms possession after a handgun was found in his car when being stopped for a traffic violation.
Kurt Cobain and Happy Mondays’ singer Shaun Ryder both beat older names such as Keith Richards and Keith Moon in a league of rock‘n’roll excess compiled by music weekly Melody Maker. Liam Gallagher, Robbie Williams, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson also feature in the Top 10.
Michael Jackson’s interior decorator tells The Times that the singer kept 17 fully dressed life size dolls, adult and child sizes, in his bedroom for “company”.
Three South African women win a six-year court battle giving them 25% of all past and future royalties from the song ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’, composed in 1939 by their father, Solomon Linda. A cleaner at a Johannesburg record company when he wrote it, Linda received virtually nothing for his work and died in 1962 with just $25 in his bank account. It is estimated that the song, recorded by Pete Seeger, The Karl Denver Trio (as ‘Wimoweh’), The Kingston Trio, The Tokens, and R.E.M., had earned $15 million from its use in Disney’s The Lion King alone.
A five-year legal row over the use of The Beach Boys name is settled by two former members of the group. Mike Love had argued he was the only person allowed to perform under the name and sued Al Jardine, whom he claimed was appearing as an unlicensed Beach Boys act. Jardine’s lawyer said “a friendly settlement had been reached that allowed them to focus on the talent and future of this American iconic band”.
Born on this day:
1943 Vivian Stanshall, vocals (Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band)
1946 Ray Dorset, vocals, guitar (Mungo Jerry)
1950 Roger Hodgson, guitar (Supertramp)
1967 Jonas Berggren (Ace Of Base)
1967 Keith Palmer, singer (The Prodigy)
1980 Deryck ‘Bizzy D’ Whibley (Sum 41)