October 6, 1990 – A Gathering of Tribes, a two-day concert said to be the inspiration behind Lollapalooza, is staged in Mountain View, CA and Costa Mesa, CA by The Cult’s Ian Astbury and promoter Bill Graham. Artists on the bill include Soundgarden, Ice-T, Indigo Girls, Queen Latifah, Joan Baez, Steve Jones, Michelle Shocked, Iggy Pop, The Cramps, London Quireboys, The Mission UK, Crash Vegas and The Charlatans UK. The event raises money for Native-American-related causes and also gives concertgoers a chance to learn about organizations like Act Up, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Rock the Vote, and local animal rights groups.
Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution
October 6, 1994 – Eagles singer and guitarist Glenn Frey undergoes abdominal surgery to relieve pain from diverticulitis. The Eagles postpone their Hell Freezes Over reunion tour for the remainder of the year. It is their first concert tour in 14 years. Frey died in January of 2016 from complications of rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia, while recovering from gastrointestinal tract surgery.
October 6, 1992 – R.E.M. release their eighth studio album, Automatic for the People. It goes on to sell over four million copies in the U.S.
October 6, 2004 – Incubus singer Brandon Boyd is arrested at NYC’s LaGuardia Airport after screeners find a switchblade in the bottom of his bag. Boyd is charged with criminal possession of a weapon but allowed to take a later flight to Raleigh, NC, for a performance that night. “I totally forgot it was at the bottom of my bag, and when the security person pulled it out, I thought, ‘Oh, no,’” says Boyd.
October 6, 1980 – John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) is sentenced to 3 months in prison for a bar brawl. Lydon says, “On my arrival the warders decided to make an example of me. They stripped me down, threw me into the yard and hosed me down…Inside there, it was tough — really really tough and hard – and a punishing regime. The warders would wake me up all night long with their truncheons… The embarrassment. I just wanted to crawl under the concrete.”
Classic Rock Birthdays
October 6, 1951 – Kevin Cronin, vocals, guitar (REO Speedwagon)
October 6, 1966 – Tommy Stinson, bass, vocals (The Replacements, Guns N’ Roses)
October 6, 1964 – Matthew Sweet (born Sidney Matthew Sweet), vocals, guitar
October 6, 1954 – David Hidalgo, vocals, guitar (Los Lobos)
October 6, 2020 – Eddie Van Halen, Van Halen guitarist and rock icon, dies in Santa Monica of a stroke, complicated by throat cancer. He was 65. With his brother Alex, Eddie formed what would become Van Halen in Pasadena in 1972. They became one of the most successful rock groups ever, selling over 100 million albums. Van Halen is credited with inventing the “tapping” style of playing guitar, even turning his back to early audiences so his technique couldn’t be copied. Van Halen is also known for his guitar solo on the Michael Jackson hit “Beat It” on Thriller, the best selling album of all time.
Like Picasso or Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen Was a True Original
October 6, 2020 – Johnny Nash, singer who helped bring reggae music into the mainstream, dies of natural causes at his home in Houston. He was 80. Nash’s #1 single “I Can See Clearly Now” sold over 1 million copies. He was also an actor and a music entrepreneur, signing Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, and Rita Marley to a publishing contract.
October 6, 2019 – Ginger Baker (born Peter Edward Baker), drummer and co-founder of Cream, dies in Margate, England. He was 80. Baker had struggled with heroin addiction for most of his life, had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and also undergone open heart surgery. Four albums with Cream was followed up with Baker reuniting with Eric Clapton for the Blind Faith album in 1969. Baker (along with Keith Moon) was credited with popularizing double bass drumming. In the book Classic Rock Drummers, it’s stated that “the pantheon of contemporary drummers from metal, fusion, and rock owe their very existence to Baker’s trailblazing work with Cream”.
October 6, 2019 – Larry Junstrom, founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special bassist for 38 years, dies in Palatka, FL of natural causes. He was 70. Junstrom retired from music in 2014 after a hand injury requiring surgery. He was also an avid amateur radio operator, using the call letters K4EB, which translate to “Known 4 Excellent Bass”.
October 6, 1978 – Johnny O’Keefe, the first Australian rock ‘n’ roll performer to tour the United States, dies from a heart attack induced by prescribed drugs in Darlinghurst, Australia. He was 43. He allegedly had been depressed over the death of Elvis Presley and was quoted saying, “I’ll be next.” O’Keefe was known for his hits “Wild One,” “She’s My Baby” and his cover of “Shout!” “Wild One” was revived in 1986 and recorded by Iggy Pop as “Real Wild Child.”