January 28, 1985 – The charity single “We Are The World” is recorded in Los Angeles to benefit African famine relief. The single is the brainchild of activist Harry Belafonte and was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. The song features Paul Simon, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Perry, Huey Lewis, Bob Dylan, Lindsey Buckingham, Bob Geldof and many others.
January 28, 2015 – Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath is arrested at the Corkscrew Saloon in Death Valley, California and charged with misdemeanor assault, public intoxication and vandalism. He later tweeted, “Thx for your messages & support following the unfortunate altercation that occurred.” He was cited and released the next day.
January 28, 1984 – Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe punches a fan unconscious after the fan informs Lee that his girlfriend has posed for the current issue of Penthouse without his knowledge. Mötley’s manager Doug Thaler convinces the fan not to press any charges.
Classic Rock Birthdays
January 28, 1963 – Dan Spitz, guitar, vocals (Anthrax)
January 28, 1959 – Dave Sharp, guitar (The Alarm)
January 28, 1943 – Brian Keenan, drums (The Chamber Brothers) (d. 1985)
January 28, 1943 – Dick Taylor, guitar (The Pretty Things)
January 28, 1968 – Sarah McLachlan, vocals, piano, guitar
January 28, 2009 – Paul Kantner, co-founder and rhythm guitarist of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, dies from multiple organ failure and septic shock days after he suffers a second heart attack. He was 74. Kantner was essentially the leader of both bands, and performed with them the longest – 19 years in the original run of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship and 24 years in the revived Jefferson Starship. Kantner is one of the few performers who appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966, the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and later in 1969 at Altamonte. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Jefferson Airplane in 1996.
January 28, 2016 – Signe Toly Anderson, founding member of Jefferson Airplane, dies at her home in Beaverton, Oregon, of COPD. She was 74. Coincidentally, her former bandmate Paul Kantner (above), also died on this day at the same age. Anderson sang on the first Jefferson Airplane album, quitting after its release because she wanted to stay home with her new infant. There were also rumors of discord between the band and her new husband, Merry Prankster member, Jerry Anderson.
January 28, 2009 – Billy Powell dies of a heart attack in Florida. He was 56. Powell was the keyboard player for Lynyrd Skynyrd who worked for them as a roadie for two years prior to being hired as a permanent member. In the fateful plane crash in 1977, Powell suffered severe facial lacerations, almost completely losing his nose, but was otherwise relatively uninjured. He was the first to be released from the hospital, and the only member able to attend the funerals of his deceased bandmates.
January 28, 2005 – Jim Capaldi (born Nicola James Capaldi) dies in London of stomach cancer. He was 60. Capaldi is best known as being the drummer and co-founder of Traffic with Steve Winwood. His talents were used by Bob Marley, Eric Clapton and the Eagles as he was also a prolific songwriter. Capaldi was inducted with Traffic into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
January 28, 2017 – Geoff Nicholls, longtime keyboardist with Black Sabbath, dies of lung cancer. He was 68. Nicholls was originally brought in as a second guitarist, and then switched to bass when Geezer Butler left the band. In 1980, he became the band’s keyboardist for the Heaven and Hell album and remained with Sabbath through 2004. He later played keyboards with former Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin in his band.