1996 - At the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Alice in Chains play their last show with lead singer Layne Staley, who dies in 2002.
1986 - Bono's 26-year-old personal assistant Greg Carroll is killed in a motorcycle act while running an errand in Dublin. U2's next album, The Joshua Tree, is dedicated to Carroll, who inspired the song "One Tree Hill."
1985 - Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox as a time-traveling teenager, opens in theaters. When he plays "Johnny B. Goode" in 1955 at the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance, he gives birth to rock and roll. In the real-life present, a new generation gets a lesson in Chuck Berry from the scene.
1983 - Red Hot Chili Peppers take the stage at the Kit Kat Club in Hollywood wearing nothing but socks - not on their feet.
1973 - At the Hammersmith Odeon in London, David Bowie appears as Ziggy Stardust for the last time, explaining: "Not only is this the last show of the tour, but it's the last show that we'll ever do." Many take this to mean Bowie was retiring from music altogether, though Bowie just means he is retiring Stardust. This show is later made into a movie directed by D.A. Pennebaker called Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars.
1971 - Jim Morrison of The Doors is found dead in a bathtub at age 27. No autopsy is performed, and while drugs are suspected, the official cause is listed as "heart attack induced by respiratory problems."
Jim Morrison's body is found in the bathtub of his girlfriend Pamela Courson's apartment in Paris, France. The circumstances surrounding his death are cloudy, but it appears that he has accidentally overdosed on a particularly lethal strain of heroin called China White, having mistaken it for his drug of choice: cocaine. In some accounts Courson has placed him in the bathtub in an attempt to revive him; in others he has run a bath after suffering a coughing fit.
After completing LA Woman (1971) Morrison decided to take a sabbatical in France. His hedonism had taken its toll, and his voice was raw; his hair greying and his body flabby and unkempt. He spent the day with Courson at the movies, and had been listening to The Doors albums, with their debut (with the ominous closing track: "The End") found on his record player after his death.
The cause of his death is recorded as "heart failure" although no autopsy is performed to confirm it. As a result rumors abound that the circumstances of his death have been covered up, leading to a host of conspiracy theories ranging from him self-inducing a coma to fake his death to his pagan ex-wife Patricia Kenneal using witchcraft to see him off.
Morrison is buried at Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, and his grave rapidly becomes a shrine for The Doors fans, despite having no official marker until 1973, when the shield placed by authorities is promptly stolen.
The Doors continue as a band for another two years. They consider replacing Morrison but instead decide that existing band members Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger will share vocal duties. They release two more albums - Other Voices (1971) and Full Circle (1972) - to moderate success and mixed reviews before splitting up. In 1978 they briefly reform to record their final record, An American Prayer, an album made up of new music accompanying recordings Jim Morrison's poetry.
1969 - Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones is found dead in his swimming pool in England. The death is ruled accidental, although Jones, age 27, had high levels of alcohol and barbiturates in his blood.
1967 - The Doors released the song "Light My Fire" in the U.S.
1957 - Stephen Pearcy (former frontman of Ratt) is born in San Diego, California.