This Day in Rock History: August 16
On this day in rock history, we lost the King. Elvis Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977 at Graceland, his Memphis mansion, at the age of 42.
The Beatles made one last lineup change when they fired drummer Pete Best in the weeks leading up to their first recording session. The change came at the urging of producer George Martin, who was unhappy with Best's playing at their audition.
Aug. 16 was a big day for debuts. In 1968, a heavy blues-rock trio called Earth debuted in a Red Bank, N.J., coffee house. The guitarist and singer's name was Bruce Springsteen. A year later, Crosby, Stills & Nash added a fourth member when Neil Young joined the group in Chicago. Five years after that, the Ramones played their first show at New York's CBGB, the club with which they would become synonymous.
Speaking of Springsteen, his drummer, Max Weinberg, had a real-life This Is Spinal Tap moment in 1974 when he made the mistake of concentrating more on a girl in the audience than a cue from the Boss. The first-ever Monsters of Rock festival took place at Castle Donington in 1980, and six years later, that festival saw Def Leppard return to the stage after Rick Allen lost his arm in a car accident.
Watch an exciting recap of many of today’s biggest rock anniversaries above, narrated by our radio host Zach Martin. And learn more about these important events by clicking the links below.
The Beatles fire Pete Best (1962)
Bruce Springsteen plays his first concert with Earth (1968)
Neil Young joins Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)
The Ramones perform their first-ever public gig at CBGB (1974)
Max Weinberg's Spinal Tap moment (1975)
Elvis Presley dies (1977)
The inaugural Monsters of Rock festival takes place at Castle Donington, England (1980)
Rick Allen returned to the stage with Def Leppard (1986)
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Freaky Styley (1985)
See the Beatles and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the '60s