By Amber Bliss
When I say the date January 23rd what comes to mind? Maybe a friends birthday or an important doctors appointment or maybe a lesser know Vietnam war history fact, but what about its impact on rock and roll? Many don’t know what comes with the day of January 23rd. Hugely influential bands such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Nirvana were in the studio recording while on this day back in 1971 Bruce Springsteen’s former band Steel Mill played their last show. This caused Springsteen to venture out alone and eventually formed the Bruce Springsteen Band. David Bowie put out his album Station to Station in 1976 and in Albuquerque, Mexico in 1991 Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven was played for 24 hours on loop. Cheap Trick’s singer Robin Zander was born in 1953 and then 22 years later on the same day Death Cab for Cutie’s bass player Nick Harmer was born. Although January 23rd was a huge day of birth it was sadly just as much for death. Back in 1978 original guitarist and founding member of the band Chicago Terry Kath accidentally shot himself dead when trying to prove that a pistol wasn’t loaded. This was a huge blow to the rock community and to Chicago, Terry Kath is still remembered as one of the best guitarist in history. Then just twelve short years later we lost another amazing guitarist Allen Collins of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Multiple jokes about Collins being immortal had followed him for years after surviving both a tragic plane crash and car accident, but eventually pneumonia took him. The rock and roll world was shocked by both deaths. But even after death Terry Kath and Allen Collins live on through the bands they helped establish; Chicago and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Both bands having influenced so many new bands to come after them and many still to form. So as you can see January 23rd has and continues to be a huge day in rock’s history. From laughable events to great albums and influential births it’s impact is immense. And we thank you all for it. Happy January 23rd!
In remembrance of Terry Kath and Allen Collins