1979 A concert by The Who at The Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, turned to disaster when 11 members of the audience were trampled to death after a stampede to claim unreserved seats, another 26 fans were injured. The concert was using 'festival seating' where seats are available on a first come-first served basis. When the waiting fans outside the Coliseum heard the band performing a late sound check, they thought that the concert was beginning and tried to rush into the still-closed doors.With any music performance comes the possibility of disaster, especially with the record-breaking number of fans waiting, often not so patiently, for concert doors to open. Seats are often sold over capacity with thoughts of "not every ticket sold will seat a warm body." In many cases, dream on! While this day proved to be tragic for an English rock band performing in the United States, they are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century.
Welcome into the spotlight...
The Who: one of the greatest live bands of all time
The Who are one of the world's best-selling bands, having established their reputation on their live shows as much as their studio work. The group established themselves as part of the pop art and mod movements and featured auto-destructive art by destroying guitars and drums on stage. Mod fanatic Peter Meaden becomes the groups' publicist, changes their name to The High Numbers and moulds them into a mod band dressing the band members in mod clothes. They later reverted back to their original stage name, The Who.
The popularity of the band peaked in the 60s and 70s, the period epitomized by the oft-mentioned lyric "Hope I die before I get old" in the 1965 tune 'My Generation'. In 1969, they created Tommy, the first successful rock opera. The song, 'Christmas', written by Pete Townshend, was used in opera when Tommy's father expresses concerns about his son on Christmas morning. Tommy is deaf, dumb and blind, and doesn't appear to have much of a future, but that Christmas, he gets a game of pinball and his life changes when he becomes the 'Pinball Wizard'.
[Related article @Awakenings Today in Music History: May 2, 1969.]
More on this day, December 3rd...
1994 Boyz II Men knocked themselves off the No.1 position on the US singles chart when 'On Bended Knee' started a six week run a No.1. The group's 'I'll Make Love To You' had been at No.1 for a record breaking 14 weeks.
2006 The reformed Take That topped the UK singles and album charts simultaneously for the first time ever in their career. The single ‘Patience’ remained at No.1 for the second week, and Beautiful World the group’s new album entered the chart at No.1.
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...