Musings On Music History: In Which The Most Important Musician Of The Last 50 Years Is Born

05.22: Steven Patrick Morrissey sauntered his way into this world on this day in 1959. Better known by his last name, Morrissey went on to become the frontman for The Smiths, one of the most important English alternative bands of the ’80s and a brooding symbol of teenage angst to this day. After the breakup of the The Smiths, Morrissey’s gone on to great solo success, having released some of his best work in the last few years and still pulling in crowds to his shows worldwide. Happy birthday, Steven!

05.24: Quick! By what nom de plume is Robert Allen Zimmerman better known by? He’s only the most important musician of the last 50 years! If you said Bob Dylan you get a cookie. Bobby, as we like to call him, was born on this day in 1941. One of the greatest, if not the greatest, singer/songwriters ever to take up a guitar, Mr. Dylan’s contributions to the ’60s canon, and well beyond, can never be underestimated. From his early work in folk, leading the way for the protest music that would influence the decade, to his plugging in, leading the way for the electric and psychedelic music that would also inform the decade and rock music well beyond, Bob Dylan’s music built on his own emotions, his own stories, and took over popular music. Bob is the man, and without him, for better and worse, music would not have been the same over the last 50 years. We could go on and on and on, but we shan’t. If you wanna know more about the man, just use that newfangled interwebs. It’s got everything. [more]

05.24: On this day in 1970, Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green quit the band, declaring money was evil and giving all of his away to charity. He’d suggested that the other members of the band do the same, but, of course, they didn’t. It’s been said that his use of LSD led to a gradual schizophrenic break from reality, which led to his pursuit of other lines of work after he hung up his Fleetwood Mac guitar, such as (so rumor goes) gravedigger, a bartender, a hospital orderly, and a member of an Israeli commune. Without Green leaving Fleetwod Mac, though, could we have ever witnessed the glory of Rumours? We think not, so we’re kinda glad he went insane and left the group. Just check out “Don’t Stop” if you don’t believe us when we say Fleetwood Mac was better off without him.

05.26: On this day in 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley shocked the world with word of their marriage. The love affair only lasted 20 months, but that’s probably 20 months longer than anyone would’ve guessed. What a weird, weird world Mr. Jackson did inhabit.