March’s Biggest Classic Rock Stories: 2017 in Review
We lost a lot of classic rockers in 2017, and March took two of them from us. The month's biggest stories also looked at an unexplained crime, a band moving on without a member, and a member moving on without his band. Check out our list below for some of March 2017's most memorable events in classic rock.
Chuck Berry Dies
One of rock and roll's pioneers, Chuck Berry died on March 18, 2017, at the age of 90. Berry, who penned songs like "Johnny B. Goode," "Maybelline" and "Sweet Little Sixteen" was appropriately one of the earliest inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and those who followed in his footsteps publicly mourned the loss. From Keith Richards and Bruce Springsteen to Ringo Starr to Ted Nugent, they all reacted to Berry's death on stages and social media.
Sib Hashian Dies
Aboard a Legends of Rock cruise, John "Sib" Hashian collapsed and died while performing his former band's hits. The ex-Boston drummer was 67. Hashian had only played on the band's first two records, but remained on good terms with most members of the band, later lending a hand to guitarist Barry Goudreau's solo effort, and occasionally performing with bassist Fran Sheehan and singer Brad Delp. The band spoke out about his passing in an Facebook post, writing "Sib’s high energy drumming on the early Boston albums and tours leaves a legacy that will be remembered by millions." Actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who has been in a long-term relationship with Hashian's daughter, also offered a moving tribute to the musician, calling him a "second dad."
Allman Brothers Band Wife Takes Aim
In late March, the wife of former Allman Brothers Band member Dickey Betts was charged with threatening student rowers near her home with a rifle. Donna Betts appeared at her dock with a 30-30 Winchester rifle, which she reportedly aimed at the Sarasota Crew, telling them to stay away from her property before threatening to shoot. The scene was caught on video, which ends with her tossing the gun into the water, according to police. She then called 911 to report that she's had it with the Sarasota High School Crew team, claiming that they had destroyed her life. Betts was placed in the Sarasota County Jail.
Stevie Nicks Won't Record With Fleetwood Mac Again
Stevie Nicks declared it unlikely that Fleetwood Mac will ever record another album, claiming she'd rather a fun, lucrative Fleetwood Mac tour to the intense money-pit of record-making. But while she was taking a break from the band for a solo tour, they proceeded without her. As a result, the record the other members of Fleetwood Mac were working on turned into Buckingham/McVie — led by Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, and featuring the namesakes of Fleetwood Mac, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood.
Gene Simmons Goes Solo
Five decades into his music career, Gene Simmons performed his first solo show on March 18, 2017 in Cleveland. The 17-song, 100-minute set focused largely on '70s Kiss classics and rarities, but Simmons also threw in a few songs from his 1978 solo record, a Chuck Berry tribute and kudos to former bandmate Ace Frehley. He went on to play in St. Louis, Philadelphia, Chicago and Austin over the next several months in conjunction with Wizard World's comic book conventions.