This Week In Music History

Happy Friday! The temperatures seem to be steadily plummeting but don’t let that get you down. Here’s your weekly fix of music history madness.

First off today commemorates a particular day of anarchy in the U.K. when in 1978 the Sex Pistols concluded their U.S. tour and their career. Rotten had become increasingly frustrated with the state of the band, the Sex Pistols constantly prone to fighting and the declining state of their bassist Sid Vicious and his heavy heroin addiction only making matters worse. The Sex Pistols were reluctant to even get into the U.S., their criminal records delaying the decision of American authorities. During the tour, the band was constantly getting into fights with the crowd, McLaren stating later that he purposely booked the group in “redneck” bars in order to create violent situations. Vicious incurred several injuries due to his hostile onstage actions towards the crowd and also ended up in a hospital with the words “gimme a fix” carved into his chest after wandering off to procure drugs.

On January 14, 1978 the group performed their last U.S. tour date at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. During the group’s encore Rotten introduced a Stooges cover of “No Fun” saying “You’ll get one number and one number only ’cause I’m a lazy bastard.” Concluding the song Rotten chanted: “This is no fun. No fun. This is no fun—at all. No fun.” He sneered down at the audience, addressing them directly before throwing down his mic and walking off stage: “Ah-ha-ha. Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good night.” On January 18, 1978 Rotten announced the band’s break up to a newspaper in New York, citing manager Malcolm McLaren’s exploitative methods as the reason for the split. To make matters worse, later that afternoon Sid Vicious was rushed to the hospital after an overdose of barbiturates and alcohol. Vicious did not pass away until the following year and Rotten went reverted back to his birth name of John Lydon and formed Public Image Ltd.

Also on this day back in 1996, Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson, this only being the beginning of his personal struggles.

Finally, today commemorates the birthday of former lead vocalist for The Temptations, David Ruffin. He was named one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone in 2008. The voice for several hits such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”, he would have been 72 today.

By Alexandra Parker

If you liked this, check out:
Concert Watch: January 16th-19th
Throwback Thursday: Steve Earle


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Emerson College

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