This Day in Rock History: August 8
On this day in rock history, the definitive garage rock song, "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen, was released in 1963. Its indecipherable lyrics caused the FBI to investigate whether or not it was obscene as it rose to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
A year later, Bob Dylan put out what would be his last solo acoustic album for 29 years in Another Side of Bob Dylan. It contained four songs that the Byrds would later cover. In 1983, Billy Joel paid tribute to his early rock and soul influences on An Innocent Man. Despite the retro sound, it spawned six Top 40 singles and sold 7 million copies. On the other side of the rock spectrum, in 2000, Rob Halford's self-named group released its debut, the incredible Resurrection, which featured "The One You Love to Hate," a duet with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson.
In 1969, the Beatles took their iconic, oft-imitated cover photo for Abbey Road. A year later, Janis Joplin paid tribute to one of her heroes by buying a headstone for blues legend Bessie Smith, who had been buried in an unmarked grave following her 1937 death. President Richard Nixon, the subject of many classic rock songs, resigned in 1974 as a result of the Watergate scandal.
REO Speedwagon performed the first-ever live concert on MTV, which had only began broadcasting a week prior. Speedwagon were riding high following the release of the previous year's Hi Infidelity. And in 1992, shortened sets by both Guns N' Roses and Metallica on their co-headlining tour caused fans at Montreal's Olympic Stadium to riot.
Watch an exciting recap of many of the day’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 Kingsmen release "Louie Louie" (1963)
The Beatles' Abbey Road photo shoot (1969)
Janis Joplin buys a headstone for Bessie Smith (1970)
Richard Nixon resigns; listen to the Top 10 Songs about him (1974)
REO Speedwagon perform the first live concert on MTV (1981)
Guns N' Roses and Metallica fans riot in Montreal (1992)
Dave Matthews' tour bus dumps waste in Chicago (2004)
See Guns N' Roses and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the '80s