April 19, 2014 – Stephen Pearcy leaves Ratt after performing with them for 30 years. He later rejoins.
April 19, 1980 – R.E.M. performs their first concert as R.E.M. at the 11:11 Koffee Club in Athens, GA in front of about 150 people. The show ends around 2AM when police close it down due to the venue being unlicensed.
Classic Rock Birthdays
April 19, 1953 – Rod Morgenstein, drums (Winger, Dixie Dregs)
April 19, 1942 – Alan Price, keyboards, vocals (The Animals)
April 19, 1947 – Mark Volman, guitar, vocals (The Turtles, the Mothers of Invention)
April 19, 2012 – Levon Helm (born Mark Lavon Helm) dies of throat cancer. He was 71. Helm was the drummer and lead vocalist of The Band and sang on classics such as “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” and “The Weight.” He also had a successful career as an actor, appearing as Loretta Lynn’s father in Coal Miner’s Daughter and as Captain Jack Ridley in The Right Stuff, plus others. In 1994, Helm was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Band. Elton John and Bernie Taupin named their song “Levon” in his honor.
April 19, 2002 – The body of Layne Staley, lead vocalist of Alice In Chains, is found by a relative in Staley’s Seattle apartment. It was estimated that he had died on April 5, exactly eight years to the day that Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain killed himself.
April 19, 2012 – Greg Ham dies of a heart attack in Australia. He was 58. Ham played multiple instruments in the band Men at Work, including saxophone, flute, organ, piano and synthesizer.
April 19, 2020 – Ian Whitcomb, who was part of the British Invasion with his hit song “You Turn Me On,” dies in Pasadena, CA from complications of a stroke. Whitcomb was a prolific writer, composer and TV actor, who also hosted LA radio shows for over 15 years. He won a Grammy Award in 1998 for the package design of his re-creation of the music played aboard the Titanic – Titanic: Music as Heard on the Fateful Voyage.