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CDJ Today: August 4 in Classic Rock

Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore of Rainbow
Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore of Rainbow, Chateau Neuf, Oslo, Norway Credit: Helge Øverås. CC BY 3.0

August 4, 1975 – Led Zeppelin‘s tour is postponed following Robert Plant’s serious auto accident on the small Greek island of Rhodos.  Plant has multiple fractures of  his ankle, bones supporting his foot, and elbow. Doctors initally tell Plant he may never walk again. His wife, Maureen, also in the car, suffers a lengthy period of concussions, and breaks her leg in several places, plus has four fractures of the pelvis and facial lacerations. Plant’s son, Karac, 4, suffers a fractured leg and multiple cuts and bruises. His daughter, Carmen, 7, has a broken wrist, cuts and bruises.  Rhodos’ medical facility is so ill-equipped that Zeppelin’s label, Swan Song, flies a medical team there in a chartered jet equipped with stretchers, blood plasma and other necessities.

August 4, 1975 – Rainbow release their debut album, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, which Blackmore jokingly concedes should have been titled “Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio’s Rainbow.”  It includes the iconic track “Man On The Silver Mountain.”

August 4, 1970 – Jim Morrison is arrested in Los Angeles when he drunkenly falls asleep on a woman’s front porch.  When she is unable to rouse him in the morning, she calls the police.  He is issued a $25 fine and released.  It is Morrison’s final arrest before his death in 1971.

August 4, 2001 – Dave Stewart marries Dutch photographer Anoushka Fisz on a private beach on the French Riviera. Guests include his former Eurythmics partner Annie Lennox, Elton John, Mick Jagger, and Liam and Noel Gallagher of Oasis.

Classic Rock Birthdays

August 4, 1959 – Robbin Crosby (born Robbinson Lantz Crosby), guitar (Ratt) (d. 2002)
August 4, 1969 – Max Cavalera (born Massimiliano Antonio Cavalera), vocals, guitar (Sepultura)
August 4, 1963 – Sami Yaffa (born Sami Lauri Takamäki), bass (Hanoi Rocks, Jetboy)
August 4, 1940 – Larry Knechtel, keyboard, bass (Bread and The Wrecking Crew) (d. 2009)
August 4, 1901 – Louis Armstrong, singer, trumpet (d. 1971)
August 4, 1939 – Frankie Ford, singer (d. 2015)
August 4, 1962 – Paul Reynolds, guitar (A Flock Of Seagulls)

Rock Remembrances

August 4, 2006 – John Locke, keyboardist in Spirit and Nazareth, dies of cancer in Ojai, CA. He was 62.  Classically trained as a pianist by his mother, he briefly played in a group with Robbie Krieger, the guitarist who subsequently joined the Doors.  In Ojai, he ran a recording studio.

August 4, 2012 – Stuart Swanlund, Marshall Tucker Band guitarist, dies in his sleep in Chicago.  He was 54.  Swanlund, the longest running band member besides co-founder Doug Gray, joined the group for its second incarnation following the band’s dissolution in 1983 and reformation in 1985.

August 4, 2007 – Lee Hazlewood (born Barton Lee Hazlewood), singer,  songwriter and producer, dies of cancer in Henderson, NV.  He was 78.  Hazlewood is perhaps best known for having written and produced the 1966 Nancy Sinatra hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”.  He also produced Duane Eddy and Gram Parsons.

August 4, 2005 – Blues singer and guitarist Little Milton (born James Milton Campbell, Jr.) dies from complications following a stroke.  He was 70. His biggest hits were “We’re Gonna Make It,”which topped the R&B chart, and “Who’s Cheating Who?”  Early in his career, Ike Turner introduced Milton to Sam Phillips of Sun Records, where he was originally signed.

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