January 16, 1978 – Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols falls through a glass door at a San Francisco hotel while overdosing , and is rushed to a hospital. Days later, the group disbands.
January 16, 1985 – It’s day #6 of the first Rock in Rio festival held in Rio de Janeiro. The ten-day festival featured artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Queen, Rod Stewart, AC/DC, Yes, Iron Maiden, The Scorpions and Whitesnake.
January 16, 1996 – Jamaican authorities open fire on Jimmy Buffett’s seaplane, mistaking it for a drug trafficker’s plane, though Jimmy had “only come for chicken.” On board the plane are Chris Blackwell from Island Records and U2’s Bono and his family. Bono describes the incident saying, “These boys were shooting all over the place. I felt as if we were in the middle of a James Bond movie — only this was real. It was absolutely terrifying and I honestly thought we were all going to die.” The incident inspired Buffett to write a song called “Jamaica Mistaica.”
January 16, 2019 – The star-studded “I Am The Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell” concert happens at the Forum in Los Angeles featuring the surviving members of Soundgarden, playing their first show together since Chris Cornell’s death. The show is hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and all proceeds benefit charities, including the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation.
Classic Rock Birthdays
January 16, 1942 – Billy Francis, keyboards, vocals (Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show) (d. 2010)
January 16, 1944 – Jim Stafford, vocals “Spiders & Snakes”
January 16, 1934 – Bob Bogle, guitar, bass (The Ventures) (d. 2009)
January 16, 2021 – Phil Spector (born Harvey Phillip Spector), famed producer and convicted murderer, dies from complications of Covid-19 in California. He was 81. Spector developed the “Wall of Sound” which transformed rock and roll and pop production. Famously known for producing The Beatles‘ Let It Be album, and later solo albums from John Lennon and George Harrison, Spector’s work spanned decades and produced numerous Top 10 singles. In 2003, he was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson at his home in Hollywood. Due to delays and a mistrial, he was not convicted of her murder until 2009, and spent his last days in the California state prison system.
January 16, 2018 – Lorna Doom (born Teresa Marie Ryan), bass guitarist of the Germs, dies of cancer. She was 61. Doom was a friend of co-founders Darby Crash and Pat Smear and joined the band (even though she didn’t play an instrument) with fellow friend Belinda Carlisle, who ended up never playing a gig due to a bout of mono.
January 16, 2018 – Dave Holland, former Judas Priest drummer, dies in Spain of undisclosed causes. He was 69. Holland began his career with Glenn Hughes in Trapeze, later joining Judas Priest in 1979. He left Priest in 1989 due to health and personal problems, and in a later strange twist was sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually assaulting a teen boy with learning difficulties to whom he had been giving drum lessons. He maintained his innocence until his death.
Rob Halford and the Secret Lives of Metal Gods