Today in rock history; L.A. punk group Fear scares s*** out of SNL audience, Johnny Marr is born and more

The Smiths are scary, right?

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1981, after ex-Saturday Night Live cast member turned film actor John Belushi convinced SNL producers to book a new California hardcore punk rock band he'd discovered to appear as the weekly program's musical guest, all hell broke loose...literally. Belushi convinced Lorne Michaels and the rest of the successful comedy program's producers to book Fear, the hell-raising, raucous Los Angeles punk rock quartet as guests. Punk rock followers of the band showed up for the show's broadcast and filtered in with the average crowd who might normally fill in all the seats at the small studio where the show was filmed. In attendance were Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi, members of New York hardcore band the Cro-Mags, and Tesco Vee of the Meatmen. An over the top mosh pit was formed when the band performed and audience members panicked; punk rock fans jumped on stage and screamed profanities into mics, police were called, an emergency situation was declared and the band was banned for life from NBC. Damages were estimated at $400,000 although later, Fear's lead singer Lee Ving admitted to falsely creating that inflated figure. The footage of the band wreaking havoc was shelved for years and the night became one of the most notorious episodes ever aired of the still-running, popular weekly sketch comedy program.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1971, Pink Floyd released its sixth studio album, Meddle. Making the transition from psychedelia to progressive rock, the record showed the world a whole different side of the band that would soon become one of the most popular rock groups of all time. Containing the Floyd classic “One of These Days” and the epic “Echoes” which takes up one whole side of the record, this is undoubtedly one of the boldest and most ambitious albums of the band’s catalog.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1963, guitarist, singer and songwriter Johnny Marr was born In Manchester, England. Forming The now legendary and highly influential 1980s indie rock giants The Smiths with singer and lyricist Morrissey, Marr helped revolutionize alternative music thanks to his sparkling, rockabilly and glam rock inspired playing. His work alone on the band’s signature song, “How Soon Is Now,” helped set him apart from his contemporaries and spotlighted his work as an accomplished musician. Not staying dormant after the band’s demise, Marr has spent time as a member and contributor of band’s like Electronic, The The, The Pretenders, Modest Mouse and The Cribs. Now charting a successful solo career, Marr is still very much active and vital as a respected artist.

Review: Soundgarden's expanded Ultramega OK is an essential reissue

Today in rock history: on this date in 1988, leading Seattle, Washington rock and roll band Soundgarden released its full-length, debut album, Ultramega OK. The record was released on cutting edge punk rock indie label SST Records and put the sludgy, grungy blues-inspired rock band on the map. Met with minimal success, the record is significant in that it opened the doors for the then-burgeoning Washington rock and roll scene to get noticed. Containing the first inkling many listeners got to late lead singer Chis Cornell's soaring, sprawling vocal talents, the band ushered in a brand new era with their sound. The record contains a red hot version of the Howlin' Wolf blues classic "Smokestack Lighting" as well as "Flower," the sole single released from the album which was written by guitarist Kim Thayil. The record earned the band a Grammy award nomination for Best Metal Performance not long after that category was introduced and, more importantly, the record marked the beginning of the spectacular rise to fame Soundgarden would so deservedly enjoy soon after this release. Read our review of the reissue here, and listen to the record below.

About The Author

Gabe Echazabal

I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
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