Remember This? Music Headlines From 1990

Remember This? Music Headlines From 1990

1990 in rock music
Tommy Lee, Billy Idol, Stevie Ray Vaughan (Photos: Getty Images)

Remember this?! In our second installment of the OMG moments in music, we take a look at the goings-on of 1990, which is 29 years ago in case you are stuck in some kind of time-lapse like us. 

February 6 – Billy Idol is involved in a serious motorcycle accident resulting in several broken bones. He accidentally ran a red light and his leg was mangled and nearly needed to be amputated. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Billy was slated for a major part in Oliver Stone’s The Doors movie, but was relegated to a bit part, as well as playing the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Weird to think of that now because the way the character was portrayed by Robert Patrick was perfect. Intense, creepy, menacing and ultimately frightening. Would Billy Idol have been able to pull off a performance as convincing? I guess we’ll never know, however his acting in The Wedding Singer would suggest he’d struggle. 

March 25 – Tommy Lee is arrested. Hardly an OMG headline, more like a ‘what, again?’ headline. This time around, the Motley Crue drummer was arrested in Georgia for allegedly showing his buttocks on stage during one of their shows. Anyone who saw Crue back in the day, or have watched docos, or specials, all know that this was a regular thing for him to do. They were warned about what they could and couldn’t do in Augusta, Georgia, their archaic obscenity laws are ridiculous, so Tommy bared his arse anyway and copped the $1647 fine. Watch the video at 2:26. 

April 25 – Jimi Hendrix’s Fender Stratocaster that he played the Star Spangled Banner on at Woodstock in 1969 is sold for US$295,000 (approx. AUS$377,000) at auction. That’s one guitar, owned and played by a left-handed genius Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, selling for the price (in 1990) of nearly 3 houses in Melbourne, or nearly 4 houses in Adelaide, and almost 5 in Hobart. FOR ONE GUITAR! That’s just a bit mental, isn’t it? These days who knows what the guitar is worth, but in 1993, co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, bought it privately for $1.3 million. Some say it was closer to $2 million. Can’t help but think of what else could be done with that sort of money. As far as I know, the guitar is currently on display at the Museum Of Pop Culture in Seattle. But in 1990, a guitar selling for that kind of moolah? That was definitely an OMG moment.

May 3 - Pretty Woman hit cinemas and became one of the biggest films in that year. It was accompanied by an equally excellent soundtrack featuring Roxette’s "It Must Have Been Love", Prince’s "Kiss" and David Bowie’s "Fame". 

June 11 – Henry Ramsay releases an album. That lovable goof from Ramsay Street, Henry Ramsay, aka Craig McLachlan released the debut (and only) album with his band, Check 1-2. This was in an era that was feeding off the success of Kylie Minogue with soap stars left, right and centre releasing albums to capitalise on the popularity of Aussie shows in the UK. Craig’s offering, buoyed by the single “Mona”, (#2 in the UK) landed at number 4 on the Australian charts.  

July 21 – Roger Waters and a heap of guest stars stage a performance of the Pink Floyd classic album, The Wall in Berlin. It was a charity event staged in a section of where the wall once stood, only having been demolished the week prior. Joni Mitchell, Scorpions, Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Adams, Sinead O’Connor, and more are among the performers for this historic moment in musical history. 

August 24 – Judas Priest not guilty. In one of the more remarkable stories of the time, they were the subject of a civil lawsuit which alleged that their recording of "Better By You, Better Than Me" (a cover), was responsible for the suicide attempt by two teenagers in 1985 by way of subliminal messages, in particular the phrase “Do it”. If you’re not aware of this story, trust me when I say that it is exactly as ridiculous as it sounds. It was frightening back in 1990 because of the stupidity and the fact that the notion was even entertained, today, you just have to shake your head and wonder. The case was thrown out, but cost the band $250,000+ in legal costs. A battle worth fighting I’d say. 

August 27 – Stevie Ray Vaughn is killed in a helicopter accident. Stevie had been part of an all star jam at the Alpine Valley Resort in Wisconsin, and the most common way for musicians to leave was by helicopter as there is only one road in and one road out, which was congested with fans. On route to Midway Airport, the helicopter crashed into a nearby ski hill. Visibility was down to two miles on that foggy night, and whilst the pilot was qualified to fly by instruments in an airplane, he wasn’t in a helicopter. Stevie Ray Vaughn was just 35 years old. 

November 27 –  Fab and Rob of Grammy award-winning duo Milli Vanilli were declared fakes. Straight up lip-syncing all their songs. But how did they get busted? Well, it was an MTV executive that first noticed the duo struggled with the English language in an interview. Then in at a live performance, one of the tracks started to skip and replay the same line over and over. One half of the duo, Rob Pilatus said "I knew right then and there, it was the beginning of the end for Milli Vanilli. When my voice got stuck in the computer, and it just kept repeating and repeating, I panicked. I didn't know what to do. I just ran off the stage."  Well, you can’t blame it on the rain!

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