1965, The Rolling Stones kicked off their third North American tour at the Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal, Canada.

1966, The Who played at the Odeon Theatre in Rochester, Kent, England.

1967, Jimi Hendrix appeared at the Gaumont Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England.

1969, The Beatles were at number one on the UK singles chart with “Get Back,” the group’s sixteenth British chart topper. Writing credits included “The Beatles with Billy Preston,” the only Beatles single that included another artist credit.

1969, The Ash Grove club in Los Angeles, where Canned Heat cut their teeth, burns down.

1969, The Grateful Dead play the last of three shows at The Ark in Boston. The ill-fated club near Fenway Park didn’t last very long, and was subsequently taken over by the more famous venue the Boston Tea Party.

1970, Fairport Convention, Fotheringay and Matthews Southern Comfort all appeared at The Roundhouse, London,

1971, Emerson, Lake and Palmer performed at the Eastown Theater in Detroit, Michigan.

1971, The Rolling Stones released  Sticky Fingers in the UK. The album reached the top spot in the UK and the US.  It was the band’s first release on Atlantic Records. The cover design featured a pair of jeans with a working zipper that was designed by Andy Warhol, who was paid £15,000 for the art work.

1972, Pink Floyd’s North American tour stops at Cincinnati’s Music Hall for a performance of Dark Side of the Moon.

1972, Procol Harum played at Ford Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan.

1973, King Crimson played at Henry Levitt Arena, Wichita, Kansas.

1974, Yes performed Palazzo Di Palaeur Dello Sport, Rome, Italy.

1975, During a North American tour Pink Floyd played the first of five sold out nights at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California.

1976, The Ramones released their self-titled debut album. On the same day, The Sex Pistols played The Nashville Rooms in London supporting The 101’ers, who featured Clash vocalist Joe Strummer.

Marley in 1976 – photo by D. Burnett

1976, Bob Marley and The Wailers kicked off their Rastaman Vibration North American and European 42-date tour at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

1976, Genesis appeared at the Opera House, St. Louis, Missouri.

1977, A Siouxsie & the Banshees performance at London’s Roxy Club inspires audience member Stuart Goddard to form the Ants. He later becomes international pop star Adam Ant.

1977, Thelma Houston went to number one on the US singles chart with “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” It was a number 13 hit in the UK.

1977, Joan Jett supported by Blondie appeared at the Whisky A Go-Go, Los Angeles.

1978, Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious filmed his version of “My Way” for the Sex Pistols film The Great Rock n Roll Swindle.

1979, David Bowie premiered his new single “Boy’s Keep Swinging” on the BBC’s TV’s Kenny Everett Video Show.

1980, The Who performed at McNichols Arena, Denver, Colorado.

1980, Rush played at Wings Stadium, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

1980, Bob Dylan appeared at Le Theatre Saint-Denis, Montreal, Quebec.

1982, Black Sabbath performed at Seattle Arena, Seattle, Washington.


1983, U2 kicked off their 48-date War North American tour at The Carolina Concert For Children benefit at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Also on the bill were Grand Master Flash, The Producers, and Todd Rundgren, although by most accounts U2 was the highlight of the concert. At one point during the show, Bono began climbing up the vertical rigging tower, while carrying a large white flag. He made his way up on top of the scaffolding, at least 20-25 feet above the stage, in the rain, waving the flag, a scene for the ages.  There were only about 4000 in attendance, well short of the 20,000 capacity.

1987, Carole King sued record company owner Lou Adler for breach of contract. King claimed that she was owed over $400,000 in royalties. She also asked for all rights to her old recordings.

1988, Iron Maiden went to number one on the UK album chart with Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, their second chat topping LP.

1991, Founder member of The New York Dolls Johnny Thunders, born John Anthony Genzale, Jr., died of a drug overdose. He renamed himself Johnny Thunders, after a comic book of the same name. The influential New York Dolls formed in 1972 and made just two albums. A teenage Morrissey acted as president of the UK branch of the New York Dolls fan club. He formed The Heartbreakers with Dolls drummer Jerry Nolan, and Television bassist Richard Hell.

1994, Pink Floyd were at number one on the UK album chart with The Division Bell, their fourth chart topping album.

1995, Peter Hodgson from Liverpool found a tape in his attic containing sixteen of The Beatles’ earliest recordings made in 1959. The tape included “Hello Little Girl,” a Lennon-McCartney composition that the Beatles never recorded, and Ray Charles’ “Hallelujah, I Love Her So.” The sessions had been made on a reel-to-reel recorder that Hodgson’s father had lent to Paul McCartney.

2008, Amy Winehouse went out on a drink and drug-fuelled spree and hit and head-butted two men. After drinking all day, Amy visited the Good Mixer pub in Camden, London with Babyshambles guitarist Mik Whitnall. Inside she allegedly punched Mustapha el Mounmi in the face after he refused to give way to her at the pool table. The singer then left to visit Bar Tok in the early hours and once at the bar shouted “I am a legend get these people out. I want to take drugs.” After leaving the bar a good Samaritan tried to get her a cab, but she reportedly thought he was trying to molest her and allegedly head-butted him in the face.

2012, Thomas “Tommy” Marth, the touring and studio saxophonist for the Killers, died after shooting himself in the head at his Las Vegas home. The 33-year-old musician joined the band in 2005 and played on the live tours with Brandon Flowers and the group between 2008 and 2010. Tommy also performed on the 2006 release Sam’s Town and 2008’s Day & Age.

Born on April 23: Roy Orbison (1936); Ray Peterson, singer (1937); John Miles, singer, songwriter, guitarist (1949); Steve Clark, Def Leppard (1960); Simon Matthews, drummer, Jesus Jones (1964)

Get more Today in Rock History

Check out more cool pictures of reggae artists by David Burnett from the ’70s, including the one above.