2006 – Sandy West, drummer for influential ’70s band the Runaways, dies after a long battle with lung cancer. He is 47.
2004 – In the midst of the Halloween season when the 1960s novelty hit “Monster Mash” is annually revived, the song’s singer and co-author rewrites its lyrics to protest President George W. Bush’s environmental policies. Bobby “Boris” Pickett reprises his infamous Boris Karloff imitation on “Monster Slash.”
2003 – Singer/Songwriter Elliott Smith is found near death in his Los Angeles apartment after an apparent suicide attempt. Smith, 34, is pronounced dead later the same day at Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center. An apparent self-inflicted knife wound is found on the body.
2002 – For the second year running, Radiohead is honored as “best act in the world today” at the Annual Q Awards, held in London.
1999 – George Martin, who produced most of the Beatles albums, lends his reputation and four decades of music business experience to a start-up Internet company catering to unsigned bands. Martin announces that he will serve as chairman of the advisory board for Garageband.com.
1998 – Rap star Coolio pleads not guilty to concealed weapon and marijuana possession charges in Torrance, Calif. Coolio (Artis Ivey) had been arrested on the charges the preceding month.
1998 – Kiss members Paul Stanley and Bruce Kulick are sued for copyright infringement over the song “Dreamin’,” which the suit alleges sounds too similar to the Alice Cooper hit “Eighteen.”
1996 – A former executive of EMI Records, Jay Barbieri, announces the official launch of the first Internet record label, J-Bird Records at www.j-birdrecords.com. The record label is the first of its kind, a label that operates almost exclusively on the World Wide Web.
1995 – Blind Melon singer Shannon Hoon is found dead on his tour bus from an accidental drug overdose. The band rose to fame in 1993 with the hit “No Rain.”
1992 – “Sex,” a book of erotic photographs of Madonna, is released. The first run of 500,000 copies of the $50 book, which is wrapped in Mylar to prevent free peeks, sells out.
1992 – Hank Williams Jr. and his fourth wife, Mary Jane, have their first child. Katherine Diana is born in Nashville. Williams has three previous children.
1957 – The Elvis Presley film “Jailhouse Rock” premieres.
1941 – Guitarist Steve Cropper of Booker T & The MGs is born in Willow Springs, Mo. He is also a producer, having worked with Jeff Beck and Mitch Ryder, among others.
1940 – Manfred Mann (Michael Lubowitz) is born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He forms a rock group with the same name in England in 1964. The group has two No. 1 hits: “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” in 1964 and the million-selling cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light” in 1977.
1917 – Jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (John Birks Gillespie) is born. He is awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989 for his major contributions to the development of bebop.