August 21, 1983 – Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone suffers a fractured skull during a fight with Seth Macklin of the band Sub Zero Construction. He endures a four-hour brain surgery operation after being found unconscious in front of his East Village apartment in New York City.
August 21, 1972 – Jefferson Airplane‘s Grace Slick is maced and Paul Kantner is injured when a scuffle ensues after the group’s equipment manager, Jack Casady’s brother Chick, calls police “pigs” during a show at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, OH. Police arrest Chick and drag him offstage.
August 21, 1988 – After much controversy and a pointed letter from Neil Young, MTV finally decides to air Young’s music video for “This Note’s For You”. The network turns the debut into an event, premiering the video alongside a 30 minute special about the controversy.
Classic Rock Birthdays
August 21, 1951 – Glenn Hughes, vocals (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath)
August 21, 1954 – Steve Smith, drums (Journey)
August 21, 1967 – Serj Tankian, vocals (System of a Down)
August 21, 1952 – Joe Strummer, vocals, guitar (the Clash) (d. 2002)
August 21, 1941 – Jackie DeShannon, vocals
August 21, 1904 – Count Basie (born William James Basie), keyboards, bandleader (d. 1984)
August 21, 2005 – Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer, dies of brain cancer in North Carolina. He was 71. His improved synthesizer, with the addition of a keyboard, did for the instrument what Les Paul and Leo Fender did for the electric guitar. Wendy Carlos’ 1968 Grammy award-winning album, Switched-On Bach, brought the Moog to prominence. The synthesizer also provided the eerie soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of “A Clockwork Orange” in 1971. Many have mispronounced his name for years – Moog himself said his name “rhymes with ‘vogue'”.