October 4, 1986 – Dan Rather is mugged by two men who repeatedly ask him “Kenneth, what’s the frequency?” The incident later influences the R.E.M. song “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” Years later, in 1994, in an attempt to get in contact with someone who might be able to identify the frequency and put an end to the voices that had haunted him for so many years, Rather’s assailant, William Tager, shoots and kills an NBC technician outside the “Today Show” studios. He was released on parole in October 2010.
October 4, 1980 – Three members of Fleetwood Mac join the University of Southern California Trojan marching band at halftime of the USC vs. Arizona State football game. They give them a platinum album for playing on their song “Tusk” after participating in the halftime ceremony. Stevie Nicks is a baton majorette, Mick Fleetwood plays bass drum and Lindsey Buckingham stands on a step ladder pretending to conduct the band as they play the song.
Classic Rock Birthdays
October 4, 1947 – Jim Fielder, bass (Blood, Sweat & Tears)
October 4, 1970 – Janis Joplin is found dead at the Landmark Motor Hotel in Hollywood after an accidental heroin overdose. She was 27. Janis Joplin recorded only four albums while she was alive, but there have been several posthumous releases, including her only #1 single, “Me And Bobby McGee,” co-written by boyfriend Kris Kristofferson. In 1995, Joplin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2005, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. The United States Postal Service honored her with a commemorative stamp in 1994 as part of its Music Icons Forever campaign.
October 4, 2014 – Paul Revere (born Paul Revere Dick), organist and leader of Paul Revere And The Raiders, dies in Idaho following a battle with cancer. He was 76. Between 1961 and 1971, the band placed 15 songs on Billboard’s Top 40, including “Kicks,” “Hungry,” “Good Thing” and “Him or Me, What’s It Gonna Be.” Their biggest triumph came in 1971 with “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian),” which became an unlikely smash, hitting #1 on the charts and selling over a million copies.
October 4, 2006 – Mike Gibbons, drummer with Badfinger, dies from a brain aneurysm at his home in Florida. He was 56. Gibbons wrote several Badfinger songs throughout his career and also worked with George Harrison and appeared at the Concert for Bangladesh.