April 5 in Music History: Duran Duran and REM make their live debuts, Tracy Chapman releases her first album
1971 – Chicago is the first American rock band to play Carnegie Hall.
1977 – David Bowie and Iggy Pop perform together on Dinah Shore’s daytime show on NBC.
1978 – Duran Duran make their live debut at The Lecture Theatre in Birmingham, England. Singer Stephen Duffy leaves the band two years later and is replaced by Simon Le Bon shortly before the band are signed to EMI records.
1980 – R.E.M. play their first show when they appear at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in their hometown of Athens, GA.
1984 – Marvin Gaye’s funeral takes place at The Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA. Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, and other Motown singers, writers and producers attend the service.
1985 – An estimated 8,000 radio stations around the world simultaneously play the song “We Are the World.”
1988 – Tracy Chapman releases her self-titled debut album.
1993 – Construction begins on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH. It opens September 2, 1995.
1994 – Kurt Cobain ends his own life at his Seattle home. His body isn’t discovered until April 8 by an electrician who had arrived to install a security system, who initially believed that Cobain was asleep until he saw the shotgun pointing at his chin. A suicide note is found that says, “I haven’t felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing … for too many years now.” A high concentration of heroin and traces of Valium are found in Cobain’s body. His death is officially ruled as suicide by a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head.