This Week in Music History | April 11-15

This Week in Music History | April 11-15

This week in music history, Peter Green leaves Fleetwood Mac. 52 years ago this week, he left one of the best bands of all time, the one he co-founded. The British native and guitarist formed the band with drummer Mick Fleetwood in the late ‘60s, their first album initially called Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, but later changed at his insistence to just Fleetwood Mac. In an article celebrating his life after his 2020 death at 73, NPR described a man who celebrated insane success in Fleetwood Mac’s early years, and then “fell off the face of the Earth.” His disappearance from the public music scene had to do with balancing fame and mental health. He became disillusioned with the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll and couldn’t stay even as his songs were rising in the charts. He was mentally declining and abusing LSD.

After his departure, both him and the band found their footing. Green formed a few bands and released some songs over the years, after a rough ‘70s and a schizophrenia diagnosis. He lived a quiet life. Fleetwood Mac scrambled through members into the mid-’70s, but found success with new additions Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham and the subsequent Rumours era. And, you know, everything after that. Peter Green’s departure 52 years ago this week may have left a hole in Fleetwood Mac, but nothing will compare to the relative peace and mental stability he found afterwards. ~Madison Reinhold

61 years ago this week, the beloved harmonica and guitar duo Bob Dylan made his first ever live performance in 1961. Dylan was the epitome of a folk singer-songwriter in New York in the 1960s; with his hatred for mainstream culture and the desire to leave behind his middle-class lifestyle, Dylan was just like the rest. But his knowledge and ability to perform classic American folk songs is what made Dylan stand out from the rest. April 11th, 1961, Bob Dylan got the chance to put those skills to the test when opening for bluesman John Lee Hooker at Gerde’s Folk City in New York City. 

This first performance did not send Dylan into complete stardom right away, but it certainly did pave the way to what we know Bob Dylan as today. His setlist that night included “House of the Rising Sun,” “Song to Woody,” “Talkin’ Hava Negeilah Blues,” and two others whose unofficial names are “Unknown Woody Guthrie Song,” and “A Black Blues.” A week later, Dylan was back on the same stage with his debut performance of “Blowin’ in the Wind” which became the first of many successes in his musical career. His first recorded performance was three weeks later at the Indian Neck Folk Festival in Brantford, Connecticut. ~Ashley Land

Nine years ago this week, pop music witnessed one of the biggest PR fiascos of the 21st century. On April 14, 2013, Canadian musical sensation Justin Bieber was in Amsterdam in between performances on his European tour, and decided to make a stop at the historical Anne Frank House. At the end of his tour, he wrote an abhorrent message in the guestbook. “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber,” Bieber noted. This message sparked international outrage, not only for the disrespect for such a solemn place, but for the selfish nature of the comment. He was blasted on social media — and rightfully so — after the museum posted about his visit to their Facebook page, BBC reported. In modern times, Bieber seems to have moved past this incident, but that doesn’t mean he’s been free of controversy. From DUI arrests to the ridiculous promotion of his single “Yummy,” the pop star keeps his PR team busy. ~Norene Bassin