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This Week in Classic Rock History

MAR 13-19: Historic events this week from Mad Season, The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Van Halen, Big Star and David Bowie

MARCH 14, 1995: SUPERGROUP MAD SEASON RELEASE THEIR ONLY ALBUM

Mad Season were a supergroup consisting of members of Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam.

The busy schedules of each members’ main bands, and the deteriorating health of singer Layne Staley, resulted in the band only releasing one studio album.

Above quickly went Gold based on the strength of their hit song, “River of Deceit”.

• • •
MARCH 15-20, 1969: THE BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO

It’s the true story of passport problems, a wedding, and protests.

It was very romantic. It’s all in the song, if you want to know how it happened, it’s in there. Gibraltar was like a little sunny dream. I couldn’t find a white suit. I had sort of off-white corduroy trousers and a white jacket. Yoko had all white on. – John Lennon, Rolling Stone 1970

John wrote The Ballad of John & Yoko while honeymooning in Paris.

With McCartney’s assistance the song was recorded in one day as a duo.

Despite being banned by some radio stations, the song went to #1 all over Europe and peaked at #8 in the US.

• • •
MARCH 16, 1999: PEARL JAM’S DEBUT CERTIFIED DIAMOND

Pearl Jam’s debut, Ten, remains their biggest album.

Thanks to the hits “Alive”, “Jeremy” and “Even Flow”, Ten has sold over 13 million copies in the US alone

• • •
MARCH 17, 1984: VAN HALEN’S 1984 PEAKS AT #2
Propelled by the singles “Jump”, “I’ll Wait”, “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher”, Van Halen’s 1984 spent 5 weeks at #2. It was kept from going #1 by Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

• • •
MARCH 17, 2010: ALEX CHILTON DIES

With a voice well-beyond his years, Alex Chilton was only 16 when he and The Box Tops had a hit single with “The Letter”.

After leaving The Box Tops, he joined a band who’d become the influential, yet still little-known, Big Star.

Days before Big Star were to play SXSW in Austin, Chilton suffered a fatal heart attack at age 59.

Big Star would play SXSW in tribute to Chilton with guest vocals from Mike Mills of R.E.M., John Doe of X, Evan Dando of The Lemonheads and more.

• • •
MARCH 18, 1976: MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH PREMIERES IN LONDON

Bowie appeared in more than 20 feature films, but his first leading role was in 1976’s The Man Who Fell to Earth.

Upon its release, critics were divided. However, it has since become a cult classic.

Bowie’s role earned him the Saturn Award for Best Actor from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films.

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