Classics Du Jour


CDJ Today: January 12 in Classic Rock

Led Zeppelin album cover
The cover of Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut album, showing the burning Hindenburg airship

January 12, 1969 – Led Zeppelin release their self-titled debut album. The album was completely funded by Jimmy Page (who was also the producer) and took only 36 hours to record and mix.  Page also picked out the image of the burning Hindenburg (the “lead zeppelin”) on the cover. Rolling Stone wrote that “The cover of Led Zeppelin … shows the Hindenburg airship, in all its phallic glory, going down in flames. The image did a pretty good job of encapsulating the music inside: sex, catastrophe and things blowing up.”

January 12, 1993 Robbie Robertson inducts Van Morrison into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Morrison is the first living inductee not to attend the ceremony. Instead, he sends a fax saying, “I am unable to attend this induction dinner, and personally receive my award. However, thank you very much for inviting me, and I would like to take this opportunity of wishing you all a very enjoyable evening, and hope that everything goes well. Best Wishes, from Van Morrison.”

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Classic Rock Birthdays

January 12, 1965 – Rob Zombie (born Robert Bartleh Cummings), vocals (White Zombie)
January 12, 1970 – Zack de la Rocha, vocals (Rage Against the Machine)
January 12, 1941 – Long John Baldry (born John William Baldry), vocals (Blues Incorporated) (d. 2005)
January 12, 1955 – Tom Ardolino, drums (NRBQ) (d. 2012)

Rock Remembrances

January 12, 2022 – Ronnie Spector (born Veronica Yvette Bennett), dies in Danbury, CT after a brief battle with cancer.  She was 78. “Be My Baby”, the debut hit by her group The Ronettes, launched her career and was the benchmark of the 60’s girl group movement, even inspiring Beach Boy Brian Wilson to say it was the greatest song ever written. After escaping a disastrous marriage to producer Phil Spector, who essentially imprisoned her and threatened to kill her numerous times, Spector’s career was re-ignited by Eddie Money, who featured her on his single “Take Me Home Tonight.”

January 12, 2003 – Maurice Gibb dies following a heart attack while waiting for abdominal surgery in Miami, FL. He was 53. Gibb was a member of The Bee Gees, along with his brothers Barry and Robin. The Bee Gees released over 20 albums including the soundtrack  Saturday Night Fever and rank #3 on the list of most Top 100 hits. It has been estimated that the Bee Gees’ record sales total more than 220 million, easily making them one of the best-selling music artists of all-time. Their 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame citation says “Only Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees.”

January 12, 1983 – Anthony “Rebop” Kwaku Baah dies from a brain hemorrhage in Stockholm, Sweden while playing a live show. He was 38. The percussionist was a member of Traffic and also worked with Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker’s Air Force, and The Rolling Stones. Baah was born in Konongo, Ghana.

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