The Rolling Stones were trying to prove their critics wrong by booking a free festival to wrap up their 1969 tour at Altamont Speedway on Dec. 6, 1969. But what they intended as a way for their fans to come together for a day of music and celebration turned into a tragic debacle that ended with a homicide -- effectively bring the peace-and-love ethos of the '60s to a jarring end.
Frank Zappa was one of the most innovative and versatile rock musicians of his generation, creating a vast body of work that encompassed almost every genre of music -- but he wouldn't have wanted to hear it. The mercurial genius actively resisted those kinds of labels and effusive public praise, focusing instead on the work itself in a career that spanned more than three decades. He died on Dec. 4, 1993 at the age of 52 after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Aerosmith were coming off the peak of their success when they went into the studio for 'Draw the Line.' In the wake of back-to-back classics 'Toys in the Attic' and 'Rocks,' the group were positioned to deliver an album that would have cemented their legacy alongside '70s stalwarts like Led Zeppelin. Instead, they turned in an oddly dispirited album that heralded a dramatic reversal of fortunes in their career.
There's an old perception that the music business is one big party of sex, drugs and rock and roll. But sometimes, as this list of 15 infamous rock lawsuits plainly demonstrates, the reality is closer to something like "court, lawyers and legal briefs."
There's no denying that Doors singer Jim Morrison was one of the most charismatic front men of his generation. Unfortunately he was one of the most troubled, too. The singer had a terrible alcohol problem that played a big role in his repeated arrests, including one on Nov. 11, 1969 in Arizona that resulted from Morrison and a friend drunkenly heckling a flight crew on a commercial airliner.
Gram Parsons was one of the most influential musicians of his generation -- though the true extent of his influence would not be felt until after his death. The singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist was a pioneer in country rock, and the unusual aftermath of his passing -- being burned in the desert by his friend and road manager -- cemented his legendary status. The court case from that incident was settled on Nov. 6, 1973, 40 years ago.
Lynyrd Skynyrd had established themselves as one of the most successful rock bands of the '70s by the time they released 'Street Survivors' in October of 1977. The group's career would come to a tragic halt just three days later, on Oct. 20, 1977, when their twin engine plane went down in a swamp in Gillsburg, Miss., killing three of the band members, a tour manager and both pilots on impact.