Released on May 14, 1982.

There are a few dates on the calendar that are important dates for fans of rock and roll. May 14 is one of those dates.

If you’re checking me out for the first time, I’m Adam 12. I’m the Program Director of Boston’s ROCK 92.9 and I’m on air weekdays from 11 a.m. ’til 4 p.m. I’m also the one who’s responsible for keeping track of all the important dates in rock history.

After I’ve taken you through May 14, if you still want more, you can check out my Today in Boston ROCK page. That’s where all the rock star birthday tributes and long reads on big album anniversaries live. It’s a great way to kill some time online.

May 14: Almost As Big As September 24

As important dates for rock fans go, September 24 might be the most important. That’s the date where, in 1991, Nirvana unleashed Nevermind, Soundgarden released Badmotorfinger, and Red Hot Chili Peppers put out Blood Sugar Sex Magic.

Oh, and A Tribe Called Quest dropped The Low End Theory. A slate of seminal releases, all hitting shelves on the same day, in the same year. And while we’re at it, let’s throw September 24, 1996 in there, too. That’s when Weezer released Pinkerton.

May 14: Big in Boston and Beyond

Now, while May 14 doesn’t have album anniversaries on par with the heavy hitters from September 24, 1991, there are some albums of note that released on that day. There are a handful of beloved rockers that celebrate birthdays on 5/14, too.

And there’s one pretty big gig that went down in Boston on the 14th of May back in the day that makes this rock history list. Keep scrolling for all of it. And if that’s simply not enough May 14 magic for you, you can always head over here.

  • 10) Magic Dick

    Born on May 14, 1945, Richard Salwitz is better known by his stage name, Magic Dick. The New London, CT native attended WPI, where he met John Geils and Danny Klein. The three would found the J. Geils Band in 1965, and Magic Dick would become a maestro on the harmonica.

  • 9) David Byrne

    Born in Scotland, raised in Canada, and eventually settling in the States, David Byrne is one of the great talents of the last half-century. Founder of Talking Heads, winner of a Grammy, and Oscar, a Tony, and a Golden Globe. The man is one award away from EGOT.

  • 8) C.C. DeVille

    Flash forward to 1962, and we have the first of two May 14th birthdays. Bruce Anthony Johnson was born on that day in Bay Ridge. He would go on to study music theory at NYU, quit, move to L.A., and join Poison with the stage name C.C. DeVille. He wrote the riff to their first big hit.

  • 7) Ian Astbury

    Another 5/14/62 birthday, Ian Robert Astbury is best known as the lead singer of British rock band The Cult. I’m fascinated by the fact that he and C.C. share a birthday, as I always think of The Cult as a bridge between hair metal bands like Poison and the big alt-rock bands of the early ’90s.

  • 6) Mike Inez

    Michael Allen Inez was born in 1966. As a kid, he played saxophone and guitar. Eventually, he switched to bass. Good move on his part, as he ended up being Ozzy Osbourne‘s bass player in the early ’90s, then replacing Mike Starr on bass in Alice In Chains in 1993.

  • 5) 'Little Queen'

    Heart released their third album, Little Queen, on May 14, 1977. That’s the one with the cover that looks like it was shot at a Ren Faire. It’s also the one that has one of the greatest album-opening tracks of the ’70s and maybe all-time.

  • 4) Van Halen at the Orpheum

    May 14, 1979. Van Halen headlines the second of two sold-out shows at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston. I wrote a bit about the gig here, but the best part is that there’s decent footage of the show on YouTube.

  • 3) 'On Through the Night'

    On the 14th of May, 1980, English rock band Def Leppard made their debut with On Through the Night. The album has more of a heavy metal sound than the hair metal sound the group would become famous for by the end of the decade.

  • 2) 'Combat Rock'

    The Clash‘s fifth studio effort–released on 5th May 1982–Combat Rock had a more commercial sound than their previous releases. And that pissed some fans off. No matter: thanks to MTV, it was my intro to the band and I love it.

  • 1) 'Minutes to Midnight'

    We round out our list with an album that dropped on May 14, 2007. Minutes to Midnight is the third full-length album from Linkin Park. It was co-produced by Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin.

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