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Music History September 18-24

History as you’ve never seen it: albums, artists’ births, rumors, and more: discover with us what happened this week in music history.

September 18: Jimi Hendrix is Found Dead

On September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix was found dead in his basement. The unfortunate combination of barbituates and alcohol in his system caused a fatal overdose for the legendary guitarist and trend-setting singer. The “Voodoo Child” was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m.

September 19: Fiona Apple Arrested in the Same Town as Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg

On this day in music history, in 2012, Fiona Apple was arrested when her tour bus stopped in the West Texas town of Sierra Blanca. Border patrol agents found four grams of hash on the bus. Apple admitted it belonged to her, leading to her spending a night in jail before being released on bail.

Sierra Blanca appears to be a very unlucky place if we include the fact that the police previously busted Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg in the same exact spot.

September 20: London Calling Cover

the clash 'london calling' cover

On this day in music history, in 1979, one of the most memorable pictures ever was taken. At The Palladium in New York City, loud music was playing as The Clash delighted thousands of fans. These fans, however, weren’t having “as much fun as they should have.” The crowd wasn’t standing, therefore supposedly not showing enough interest—or the right kind—in the band. The Clash bass player Paul Simonon couldn’t take it, and his frustration rose fast. What followed was the act of the year, as well as The Clash’s following album’s cover. The bassist didn’t hold back and smashed his instrument on stage. All’s well that ends well, especially if it means creating an unforgettable picture to put on the cover of one of the main punk albums, London Calling.

September 21: R.E.M. Peacefully Break Up

12 years ago in music history, R.E.M. announced that they were calling it quits after more than 30 years of making music together. The news came out on the group’s website, where the members wrote:

“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.”

The band separated peacefully, with no feuds between the members. Lead singer Michael Stipe went on with his art career, officially becoming a painter.

September 22: The Weeknd Drops “Starboy” and A New Haircut

the weeknd "starboy" cover

It was today in 2016 that world’s favorite artist, The Weeknd, dropped his record-breaking single, “Starboy.” The song currently has almost 3 billion streams on Spotify, and is by far one of the most famous singles from the past decade. It also was one of the first to play with 80s music influences, setting a new pop music trend. The song is surely one of the most representative singles by the artist. Another iconic and representative aspect of the singer was shared in that period. In fact, the day before the single became public, The Weeknd released a photo showing his new haircut—yes, that haircut. As happy as we can be that this haircut has run its course, we still have to admit it was part of the artist’s memorability.

September 23: Bob Marley’s Final Concert

In 1980 today, Bob Marley went on stage for the last time—although he didn’t know it yet. The artist played his final concert at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh. The 20-song set involved Marley’s group, The Wailers.

Marley was the first member of the group to pass away. 42 years ago, on May 11, 1981, at the age of 36, legendary musician Bob Marley died of cancer in Miami, leaving an incurable scar in music fans’ hearts.

September 24: Steven Adler, the Thorn in Guns N’ Roses’ Side

This day’s story involves two different events that are connected. The situations somehow exonerate the band involved in the act. First, we need to mention the year 1993, when Guns N’ Roses founding member Steven Adler agreed to a $2.5 million settlement in the lawsuit he brought against the band and their managers. In fact, the artist accused the band of seriously impairing and taking advantage of him. This lead to him leaving the band in 1990. With the settlement, Adler signed away his interest in the band.

Some could speculate the band knew who they were dealing with. Therefore, they pushed him out of the group, preventing what would’ve happened in the near future. It was in fact today in 1998 when Adler was sentenced to 150 days in jail for beating two women he dated. He had also violated his probation from an earlier domestic violence conviction.

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