January 5, 2004 – Ray Davies of the Kinks is shot in the leg in New Orleans trying to recover his date’s stolen purse. The shooter is immediately caught, but released three years later because Davies couldn’t make it back to Louisiana with only three days notice for the trial.
January 5, 1973 – Bruce Springsteen releases his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. The album sells only 25,000 copies in the first year of its release, but goes on to sell over 2 million units. It was recorded in a single week and included “Blinded By The Light” and “Spirit In The Night.”
January 5, 1973 – Aerosmith release their debut, self-titled album on Columbia Records. It featured the single “Dream On”, which went on to become a top ten hit when it was re-released nearly three years later.
Classic Rock Birthdays
January 5, 1962 – Ted Harris Poley, drums, vocals (Danger Danger)
January 5, 1969 – Marilyn Manson (born Brian Hugh Warner), vocals (Marilyn Manson)
January 5, 1954 – Bryan Hitt, drums (REO Speedwagon)
January 5, 1950 – Chris Stein, guitar (Blondie)
January 5, 1923 – Sam Phillips, founder of Sun Records (d. 2003)
January 5, 1998 – Sonny Bono (born Salvatore Phillip Bono) is killed when he hits a tree in a skiing accident at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe. He was 62. Bono came to fame in the duo Sonny & Cher and later was the mayor of Palm Springs and then a U.S. Congressman. Sonny left behind four children – Christy, Chianna, Chesare and Chastity (later Chaz).
January 5, 1998 – Ken Forssi dies of brain cancer in Tallahassee, Florida. He was 55. Forssi was the bassist in the band Love and praised for his work on the song “7 And 7 Is.” He was also in the late-period lineup of The Surfaris and worked on a record with Jimi Hendrix.
January 5, 2005 – Danny Sugerman, longtime manager of The Doors, dies in Los Angeles of lung cancer. He was 50. Sugerman became the manager of The Doors at the young age of 17, after working with them for five years answering fan mail. He was a prolific writer, penning No One Here Gets Out Alive about the Doors, and Appetite For Destruction: The Days of Guns N’ Roses. In 1991, he married Fawn Hall (who shred documents for Lt. Colonel Oliver North in the Iran-Contra affair) and allegedly got her hooked on crack cocaine. Sugerman himself was a former heroin addict.