Thursday, September 8, 2011

Going down like a lead balloon

September 7th
On this day in 1996 Tupac Shakur was shot several times after he attended a boxing match in Las Vegas, Nevada. He would eventually die from his wounds a few days later. His killer was never found, but the shooting was attributed to rival gang members. Several witnesses and suspects ended up dead in the following months which leads some to think there was more to this murder than meets the eye. Violent men meet violent ends.

On this day in 1979 the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network goes on the air for the first time. Affectionately known as ESPN, the channel devoted entirely to sports gained popularity throughout the 1980's and has lowered productivity in households across America. It has changed the way people watch sports forever. Sports news would usually have to wait for the 11 o'clock news or the morning paper the next day, but ESPN allowed for instant analysis of all the important sporting events across the country.

On this day in 1936 the last surviving thylacine, Benjamin, dies alone in her cage in Tasmania. This amazing creature was also known as the Tasmanian Tiger because of the stripes on its back. It was the largest known predatory marsupial. It's habitat was destroyed on the island by humans who grazed sheep. As an apex predator it became a nuisance to farmers and had bounties placed on it. It's safe to say the Brits really fucked up in Australia and it's surrounding islands.

On this day in 1978 drummer Keith Moon died of an overdose of prescribed pills. Ironically they were given to Moon to help with his battle with alcoholism. Known as "Moon the Loon", he was famous for his over the top, rock star image. Blowing up his drum kit on live television, emptying the contents of his hotel room onto the street below, and showing up to recording sessions blacked out drunk were some of the hijinx he was famous for. But it was his aggressive drumming that garnered him positive attention. He was recorded drumming faster than a machine gun could fire bullets.

On this day the band known as Led Zeppelin performed live for the first time under the name Yardbirds, or New Yardbirds. Jimmy Page was a member of the "old" Yardbirds when they split up. He took it upon himself to form a new band with accomplished session bass player John Paul Jones, and new to the scene Robert Plant and John Bonham. Ironically enough it was Keith Moon who named the band. He borrowed a quote from his bass player and said the project would "go down like a lead balloon".

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