July 27, 1979: AC/DC releases Highway To Hell. The album resides at the “legendary” level of the rock pantheon for a number of reasons. It’s the album that broke the band internationally after they’d achieved varying levels of success in various parts of the world throughout the 1970s. It would mark the band’s final album with frontman Bon Scott; he would die in February of 1980. And, in less than a year, its success would be eclipsed by the follow-up, Back In Black, which was released just under a year later.
July 27, 1984: Metallica releases their sophomore album Ride The Lightning. Interesting that the timeline somewhat mirrors the AC/DC timeline I laid out above. Metallica’s debut, Kill ‘Em All, which was released on July 25, 1983. So let’s do the math: Metallica debuts on record in July of ’83 and, within a year, they’ve toured, written a new batch of songs, recorded them, and released a new album. I wrote about it for the 35th anniversary a few years ago.
July 20, 1952: John French Segall is born in New York City. You know him as Jay Jay French, founding guitarist of Twisted Sister. And before he helped found the band? He auditioned for Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley’s proto-KISS outfit Wicked Lester!
July 20, 1964: Christopher John Boyle is born in Seattle, WA. Chris Cornell would be 58 years old today. And we’re still heartbroken.
July 20, 1966: Stone Carpenter Gossard is born in Seattle, WA. Crazy to think that two grunge giants–Stone Gossard and Chris Cornell–were born just two years apart in the same town. Here’s Stone and Pearl Jam at the Garden in April of ’94.
July 20, 1993: Candlebox releases their debut album. Another Seattle connection on this 20th day of July. Eerie. “Far Behind” was the song that my fellow Wakefield Warriors voted as our Class Song at Wakefield High School, Class of 1995.
July 20, 2017: Chester Bennington passes away at the age of 41. It certainly doesn’t feel like it’s been 5 years.