Music Diary – 25th March

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 25th March!

Guns N' Roses

Guns N‘ Roses: Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, Axl Rose, Steven Adler and Slash

On the 25th March 1986, Guns N‘ Roses signed a record deal with Geffen Records. Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Slash, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler received $ 75,000 in advance for recording their debut album. Before that, the four-song EP „Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide“ was released originally on the Geffen subsidiary UZI Suicide in December 1986. The first pressings were limited to 10,000 copies.


On 21st July 1987 the long awaited Guns N‘ Roses debut „Appetite for Destruction“ hit the stores. The LP became a mega seller and sold over 30 million times worldwide.

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Music Diary – 24th January

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 24th January!

epstein_beatlescontract460On the 24th January 1962, manager Brian Epstein signed a contract with The Beatles. The management deal was time-limited for five years and gave Epstein 10 – 15 % of their income. Interestingly, Epstein didn’t sign this first contract: „Well, if they ever want to tear it up, they can hold me but I can’t hold them“. After that, Brian Epstein formed his own management company „NEMS Enterprises“. And on the 1st October 1962, the deal was renewed (including a three years publishing contract signed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) and gave the manager 15 unitl 25 % of revenues, depending on Epstein’s help to increase the band’s earnings.


Four days later, the first single by The Beatles was released: „Love Me Do„, backed by „P.S. I Love You„, reached No. 17 on the UK chart and marked the beginning of an outstanding career of one of the most successful pop bands in history.

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Music Diary – 21st January

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 21st January!

Edwin Starr (21st January 1942 – 2nd April 2003)

Edwin Starr (21st January 1942 – 2nd April 2003)

Happy birthday to Charles Edwin Hatcher aka Edwin Starr, who was born on the 21st January 1942 in Nashville Tennessee!

Before becoming a famous Soul singer, Edwin moved with his cousins Roger and Willie Hatcher to Cleveland, Ohio and later to Detroit (Michigan), where he formed his own group called „The Future Tones“ in 1957. In the sixties he began recording for the small label Ric-Tic and later for the famous Motown Records. Some of Starr’s hits were „Headline News“, „Back Street“ (cover versin of The Miracles‚ „Way Over There„) and „S.O.S. (Stop Her on Sight)“. And he wrote the song, „Oh How Happy“ for The Shades of Blue – this tune reached No. 12 at the US chart in 1966. Two years later, Edwin recorded with „25 Miles“ his first international success – the single peaked at No. 6 in the USA.

Edwin Starr’s biggest hit was the Vietnam War protest song „War“ (1970), which topped the Billboard charts for three weeks and sold over three million copies. This song is also featured on Starr’s fourth studio album „War & Peace„.


In 1973, the Soul singer moved to England, where he continued recording. During the Disoc era he released with „(Eye-to-Eye) Contact“ another hit, which went to No. 6 in the UK. Edwin continued recording during the eighties and nineties and in 1987 he joined the charity project Ferry Aid for recording the Beatles classic „Let it be„.


On 2nd April 2003, Edwin Starr suffered a heart attack – he died at his home in Bramcote (near Nottingham) at the age of 61 years.

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Music Diary – 31st December

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 31st December!

AC/DC (1973/1974)

AC/DC (1973/1974)

On the 31st December 1973 a historic perfomance happened in Sydney, Australia: AC/DC played their very first live show at the Chequers Bar!

Beside Malcolm and Angus Young, the line-up consisted of bassist and saxophone player Larry Van Kriedt, vocalist Dave Evans and Colin Burgess on drums. AC/DC was booked for several shows in the first week of 1974 and the band had to play at least three sets every evening.

Angus Young remembers about these first concerts (from the book „AC/DC: Maximum Rock’n’Roll“):
„I do think we played some Stones stuff, a lot of Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Songs like „Nadine„, „School Days“ and „No particular Place to go„. Also we had the Beatles track „I want you (She’s so heavy)“ on the setlist.“

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Music Diary – 8th December

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 8th December!

1980_john_lennon_shot[1]

On the 8th December 1980 (Monday), John Lennon was murdered. Mark Chapman shot the musician four times outside the Dakota building in New York City.

John Lennon and Mark Chapman (8th December 1980)

John Lennon and Mark Chapman (8th December 1980)

Before Lennon and Ono were going go the Record Plant Studio, Chapman asked John for an autograph and the musician signed the cover of „Double Fantasy„. Then the ex-Beatle headed to the taxi.

John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono returned appr. at 10.50 pm to their aparrtment at the Dakota building where Chapman already waited. Then the tragedy happened: Chapman shot Lennon four times in the back. The British musician was taken to the emergency room of nearby Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 11.07 pm. The massive loss of blood caused the tragic death of the former Beatles member. John Lennon died at the age of 40 years.


Yoko Ono issued a statement the next day:
„There is no funeral for John“, ending it with the words, „John loved and prayed for the human race. Please pray the same for him.“

John Lennon’s body was cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. His ashes were scattered in New York’s Central Park, where the Strawberry Fields Memorial was created in 1985.


Murder Mark Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life. He still remains in prison – all his paroles (eight times) have been denied.

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Music Diary – 30th November

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 30th November!

ThrillerBIg

On the 30th November 1982 the most successful album until today was released: Michael Jackson’s „Thriller„. The LP spent 190 weeks on the UK chart and became the biggest selling pop album of all time. Until today „Thriller“ was sold over 50 million times worldwide. Also all seven singles outtakes charted, including the legendary hits „Beat it“ and „Billie Jean„. The pop milestone was produced by Quincy Jones with a production budget of $750,000. „Thriller“ received eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including for „Album of the Year„.


Also the video of the title song was game-changing in those days and became a classic of pop videos.

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Music Diary – 29th November

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 29th November!

George Harrison (25th February 1943 – 29th November 2001)

George Harrison (25th February 1943 – 29th November 2001)

On the 29th November 2001, George Harrison died at the age of 58 years of lung cancer. The Beatles guitarist passed away in Los Angeles. Born on the 25th February 1943 in Liverpool, the very young Harrision joined at the age of 15 a band called The Quarrymen in 1958, which became in 1960 The Beatles. Beside the many hits, which were composed mainly by John Lennon und Paul McCartney, also George Harrision wrote some classics like „While My Guitar Gently Weeps“ (1968), „Here Comes the Sun“ and „Something“ (both 1969). After the break-up in 1970, George Harrison concentrated more on his solo career. After his two albums „Wonderwall Music“ (1968) and „Electronic Sound “ (1969) his third effort „All Things must Pass“ (3-LP-Set) marked his first solo work after the official end of The Beatles. This triple set features also the hit „My Sweet Lord“ (released in November 1970). In 1971 George Harrison organised the charity event „Concert for Bangladesh„, which took place on the 1st August 1971 at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Beside his music career, George Harrison worked also as a film producer. In 1978 he co-founded „HandMade Films„, which produced the classic „Monty Pyhton’s Life of Brian“ (1979).


In 2011, the documentary „George Harrison: Living in the Material World“ by film director Martin Scorsese war released, which earned six nominations at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards and winning two Emmy Awards for „Outstanding Nonfiction Special“ and „Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming“.

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