October 17, 1980 – Bruce Springsteen releases The River, a double album. It sells over 5 million copies.
October 17, 1964 – The Rolling Stones release their second album, 12 X 5. It sells over 500,000 copies in the U.S., and features only three originals – the rest are covers.
October 17, 2000 – Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi releases his debut solo album, Iommi. It’s star-studded with guest appearances by Queen guitarist Brian May, Nirvana drummer/Foo Fighters singer/guitarist Dave Grohl, Billy Idol, Cult singer Ian Astbury, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, Pantera’s Phil Anselmo, Black Flag’s Henry Rollins and Black Sabbath bandmates Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward.
Classic Rock Birthdays
October 17, 1941 – Jim Seals, guitar, fiddle (Seals and Crofts)
October 17, 1946 – Mike Hossack, drums (The Doobie Brothers) (d. 2012)
October 17, 1946 – Jim Tucker, guitar (The Turtles)
October 17, 1968 – Ziggy Marley, guitar (Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers)
October 17, 1947 – Michael McKean, frontman David St. Hubbins in the fictional band Spinal Tap
October 17, 1933 – Jeanne “The Singing Nun” Deckers, vocals, guitar (d. 1985)
October 17, 1993 – Criss Oliva, lead guitarist and co-founder of Savatage, is killed by a drunk driver in Zephyrhills, Florida. He was 30. Oliva and his wife Dawn were struck by a driver who had seven prior drunk driving convictions, and whose blood alcohol content was .294 percent, over three times the legal limit. The drunk driver served only 18 months of a five-year sentence; Dawn was critically injured and later died in 2005. Criss formed Savatage with his elder brother Jon and was offered a spot in Megadeth, but turned it down to remain with the band.