Today in Music History: Happy Birthday to Buzzcocks' Steve Diggle

The Buzzcocks
Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle, and Danny Farrant (not pictured: Tony Barber) (MPR Photo/Mel Walker)

History Highlight:

Stephen E. Diggle, aka Steve Diggle of Buzzcocks was born today in 1955, making him 66 today. He is a guitarist and vocalist in the band, and it all began in June of 1976 when he attended a Sex Pistols gig at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall and was there introduced to guitarist Pete Shelley and vocalist Howard Devoto, who were looking for a bassist for their band, Buzzcocks. John Maher joined as drummer and six weeks later, Buzzcocks played their first show. After releasing three albums, the band broke up in 1981 following a dispute with their then-record label, but reunited in 1989, since releasing six more albums. Steve has now taken over lead singer duties in the band, and they are still touring and drawing in large crowds from around the world.

Also, Today In:

1966 - The Mamas and the Papas started a three week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Monday Monday." The band members reportedly said they all hated the song, except for its writer John Phillips. The Mamas and the Papas won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for this song.

1972 - The Rolling Stones released their classic double-album Exile On Main Street, the second album on their own label. It featured the hit singles "Tumbling Dice" and "Happy"; Keith Richards was featured on lead vocals on the latter. The album would prove to be one of the band's most influential.

1972 - Reginald Dwight legally changed his name to Elton John.

1977 - The Eagles went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Hotel California," the group's fourth U.S. No. 1.

1978 - The 90,000 tickets available for Bob Dylan's concerts at London's Wembley Empire Pool were all snatched up in less than eight hours.

1982 - The first Men at Work album, Business as Usual, already a No. 1 hit in their native Australia, is finally released in America. In November, it rises to the top in the US.

1983 - Paul Weller unveiled his new group The Style Council at an anti-nuclear benefit gig in London. The former singer and guitarist with The Jam chose a much more soul-oriented sound for his new project which ran for six years and produced five studio albums and one EP.

1988 - Terence Trent D'Arby went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Wishing Well."

1992 - John Frusciante quit the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the middle of their Japanese tour.

1998 - Steve Perry officially left Journey, honoring an agreement made with Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain that they would reform the band without him if he was not able to tour. He was replaced with the similar-sounding Steve Augeri. Read his 2018 interview with Jill Riley here.

2002 - On this day, The Rolling Stones arrived in New York's Van Cortlandt Park via a blimp, announcing 32 North American dates as part of their 40th anniversary world tour.

2011 - John Walker (John Joseph Maus), best-known as the founder of The Walker Brothers, died of liver cancer at his Los Angeles home.

2016 - After completing a tour with Guns N' Roses, Axl Rose took over as lead singer for AC/DC, filling in for Brian Johnson at a show in Lisbon after Johnson was told that continuing the tour could result in permanent hearing loss. Rose filled in on the remaining dates as a guest vocalist.

2016 - Following his unexpected death, Prince took the top two spots on the Billboard albums chart with The Very Best of Prince at No. 1 and Purple Rain at No. 2.


Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann is 75.

Bill Danoff of Starland Vocal Band ("Afternoon Delight") is 75.

Thelma Houston is 75. She had the 1977 US No. 1 single 'Don't Leave Me This Way' which won the Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

Jerry Nolan, drummer for New York Dolls, was born today in 1946.

Mic Gillette of Tower of Power was born today in 1951.

Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell is 60.

Eagle-Eye Cherry is 53.

Matt Helders, drummer for Arctic Monkeys, is 35.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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