January 30, 1973 – Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss make their first appearance as Kiss at the Popcorn Club in Queens, New York. They had recently changed their name from Wicked Lester. The band was paid $50 for the show, and less than 10 people were in the audience.
January 30, 1969 – The Beatles perform their final public show on the rooftop of Apple Records in London. Along with keyboardist Billy Preston, the Beatles play nine takes of five songs in a 42-minute set, before the police shut them down. Footage from the performance was later used in the 1970 documentary film Let It Be.
January 30, 1972 – British soldiers shoot 26 unarmed civilians during a peaceful protest march in Northern Ireland. Later dubbed “Bloody Sunday,” 14 Irish citizens die. The event inspires the U2 song “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”
January 30, 1974 – Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer is arrested for swimming nude in a hotel pool in Salt Lake City that was clearly visible from the street. He is fined a paltry $75.
Classic Rock Birthdays
January 30, 1947 – Steve Marriott, guitar, vocals (Small Faces, Humble Pie) (d. 1991)
January 30, 1951 – Phil Collins, drums, vocals (Genesis, solo)
January 30, 1942 – Marty Balin (born Martyn Jerel Buchwald), vocals, guitar (Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship) (d. 2018)
January 30, 1967 – Bill Leverty, guitar, vocals (Firehouse)
January 30, 1951 – Marv Ross, guitar (Quarterflash)
January 30, 1982 – Blues guitarist and singer Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins dies of esophageal cancer in Houston. He was 69. A contemporary of Muddy Waters, B.B. King and John Lee Hooker, he was one of the last of the original blues artists. Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, R.E.M. and many others have cited his influence on their music. His obituary in the New York Times described him as “one of the great country blues singers and perhaps the greatest single influence on rock guitar players.”