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This Week In Classic Rock History

JUL 3-9: Historic events this week from Brian Jones & Jim Morrison, James Taylor & Dennis Wilson, Styx, David Lee Roth and The Police

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JULY 3, 1969/1971: BRIAN JONES/JIM MORRISON DIE 2 YEARS APART

We lost two legends on the same day, two years apart.

A month after being dismissed by the Rolling Stones, guitarist Brian Jones drowned (“death by misadventure”) at age 27.

Two years later, Jim Morrison of The Doors would die of “heart failure”. He was also 27 years old.

• • •
JULY 7, 1971: TWO-LANE BLACKTOP IS RELEASED
James Taylor & Beach Boy Dennis Wilson made their acting debut in the drag racing classic, Two-Lane Blacktop.

Taylor was cast as “The Driver” based on how he looked on a billboard.

Wilson was cast as the “The Mechanic” based on the director’s perception that he’d “lived the role” and “grew up with cars.”

In 2012, the Library of Congress and National Film Registry deemed the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

• • •
JULY 7, 1977: STYX RELEASE GRAND ILLUSION
Styx released their 7th album on 7-7-77.

Featuring “Come Sail Away”, “The Grand Illusion” and “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)”, The Grand Illusion was Styx’s first of 4 consecutive triple Platinum albums.

• • •
JULY 7, 1986: DAVID LEE ROTH’S DEBUT SOLO LP
Four months after Van Halen released 5150, their first with Sammy Hagar, David Lee Roth released his debut solo LP, Eat ‘Em and Smile.

Eat ‘Em and Smile went Platinum and peaked at #4.

Trying to appeal to the Spanish-speaking market, the album was also released as Sonrisa Salvaje, with Diamond Dave re-recording his vocals in Spanish.

• • •
JULY 9, 1983: THE POLICE’S “EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE” IS #1

The Police had their only #1 single in the US with the release of “Every Breath You Take”.

The best-selling single of 1983 would spend 8 straight weeks at #1.

The single helped their final album, Synchronicity, sell over 8 million copies in the US

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