August 5, 1975 – The first all-female hard-rock band is formed when producer Kim Fowley puts together The Runaways, featuring Joan Jett, future Bangle Michael Steele, and Lita Ford.
August 5, 1994 – Billy Idol is rushed to St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, CA following a suspected overdose. Earlier in the year, he had collapsed in convulsions outside the Beverly Hills club Tatou, supposedly after overdosing on the once-legal steroid substitute GHB.
August 5, 1967 – Pink Floyd release their debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. It is their only album under the leadership of Syd Barret, and has been hailed as one of the best psychedelic rock albums of all time.
August 5, 2009 – Aerosmith‘s Steven Tyler falls off the stage at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. He breaks his shoulder and has other head and neck injuries, which forces the rest of their tour to be canceled. Tyler was dancing on the catwalk and trying to entertain the crowd after the band’s sound equipment failed during “Love in an Elevator”.
August 5, 1983 – David Crosby is sentenced to five years in jail in Texas for possession of cocaine, and three years for possessing a .45-caliber handgun. He says, “They got me for a quarter of a gram of pipe residue. For that I’m going to spend five years in the state penitentiary? A quarter of a gram?” It perhaps didn’t help that he slept through most of the courtroom trial. He was released on parole five months later.
August 5, 1957 – American Bandstand goes national when it airs for the first time on ABC. Hosted by Dick Clark throughout its national run, the show remains on network TV until 1987. The first song on the show is “That’ll Be The Day” by Buddy Holly.
Classic Rock Birthdays
August 5, 1955 – Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda, guitar (Twisted Sister)
August 5, 1947 – Rick Derringer (born Ricky Dean Zehringer), guitar, vocals (The McCoys, The Edgar Winter Group, Rick Derringer, Ringo Starr All-Starr Band)
August 5, 1947 – Gregory Leskiw, guitar (The Guess Who)
August 5, 1959 – Pat Smear (born Georg Albert Ruthenberg), guitar, vocals (Germs, Nirvana, Foo Fighters)
August 5, 1940 – Rick Huxley, bass (Dave Clark Five) (d. 2013)
August 5, 1992 – Jeff Porcaro, drummer for Toto, dies at a hospital in West Hills, CA. He was 38. The cause of his death is controversial – his bandmates and family believe he died of undiagnosed heart disease and by an allergic reaction to a poisonous garden pesticide he was spraying that day. The LA County Coroner’s office listed the cause of death to be a heart attack from atherosclerosis (plaque build up in your arteries) induced by cocaine use. He was an in-demand session player too, working with the best of the best – Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Steely Dan, Barbra Streisand, Joe Walsh, Bruce Springsteen and many more.
August 5, 1993 – Randy Hobbs, bass player with The McCoys, the Edgar Winter Group, Montrose and Rick Derringer’s band, is found dead in his hotel room in Dayton, Ohio from a suspected drug overdose. He was 45. He also played bass with Jimi Hendrix on his 1968 live sessions. At the time of his death, he was reported to be living in poverty due to his drug habit and eating at soup kitchens.
August 5, 2008 – Singer and songwriter Robert Hazard (born Robert Rimato), dies after surgery for pancreatic cancer. He was 59. Hazard is best known for writing Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and fronting Robert Hazard and the Heroes, which was a popular punk band in the 80s.