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CDJ Today: September 7 in Classic Rock

Benmont Tench photo by Sam Jones
Benmont Tench. Credit: Sam Jones.

September 7, 1968 – Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham make their live debut as Led Zeppelin (but are billed as The Yardbirds) at Gladsaxe Teen Club in a suburb on the outskirts of Copenhagen, Denmark. Around 1,200 people attend the show. The band is later billed as “The New Yardbirds,” before choosing the moniker Led Zeppelin.

Classic Rock Birthdays

September 7, 1936 – Buddy Holly (born Charles Hardin Holley), vocals, guitar  (The Crickets) (d. 1959)
September 7, 1951 – Chrissie Hynde, vocals, guitar (The Pretenders)
September 7, 1953 – Benmont Tench, keyboards, vocals (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
September 7, 1968 – Kyle Stevens, guitar (Bang Tango)

Rock Remembrances

September 7, 1978 – Keith Moon, drummer with The Who, dies of an overdose of Heminevrin, prescribed to combat alcoholism. He was 32.  A post-mortem confirmed he had 32 tablets in his system. Moon had been trying to kick his alcoholism on his own, and probably didn’t realize how toxic Heminevrin was at even small doses.  The prior evening, he had attended a party with Paul McCartney for the launch of the The Buddy Holly Story movie.  Moon has widely been acclaimed as “one of the greatest drummer in rock” by critics, fellow musicians and fans, along with John Bonham. He was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 with The Who.

September 7, 2003 – Warren Zevon dies of pleural mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the pleura, a thin membrane around the lungs and chest lining.  He was 56.  Zevon had worked as a session musician, and was the piano player and band leader for the Everly Brothers, prior to his solo career. Zevon’s biggest solo hits include:  “Werewolves of London”, “Lawyers, Guns and Money” and “Excitable Boy.”  David Letterman was such a huge fan that Zevon was featured on the Late Show with David Letterman as the only guest for the entire hour, once Letterman knew of his illness.  He had been a frequent guest in previous years.  Zevon had a lifelong phobia of doctors and joked, “I might have made a tactical error in not going to a physician for 20 years.”  His final album, The Wind, included guest appearances by close friends including Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Jackson Browne, Timothy B. Schmit, Joe Walsh, David Lindley, Billy Bob Thornton, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty, Dwight Yoakum and others.  The album also won two Grammy awards, the first of Zevon’s thirty-plus year career.

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