L-R: 2017 inductees Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson of Yes

(Photo by Stephen Smith)

Classic Rock Almanac May 17, 2018

May 17, 2018


2006-Paul McCartney announces that he is separating from wife Heather Mills McCartney.

1999-Producer Bruce Fairbairn, best known for the records he made with Aerosmith, A-C/D-C, KISS and Bon Jovi, dies suddenly at his home in Vancouver, Canada. He was working on a new Yes album at the time. The body is discovered by Yes singer Jon Anderson.

1997-Paul McCartney takes part in an hour-long town meeting on VH1 and the Internet, generating a record two-and-a-half million interactive questions. His Flaming Pie album hits stores 10 days later.

1980-Original drummer Peter Criss leaves KISS. He is replaced by Eric Carr. He'll later return -- and then leave again.

1975-John Lennon is back in Philadelphia. Two years after his co-host stint on The Mike Douglas Show, the ex-Beatle starts a two-day run as a guest D-J during Philadelphia radio station WFIL's "Helping Hand Marathon" fundraiser.

1974-Elton John and Bernie Taupin's special, Say Goodbye to Norma Jean and Other Things, airs on ABC. The soundtrack includes "Candle in the Wind," "Rocket Man," "Crocodile Rock" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."

1973-The Yes Album and Yessongs both go gold.

1971-Paul McCartney releases Ram, his second solo album, in the U-S four days before it arrives in British stores. It contains the hit single "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey."

1968-Wonderwall has its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. George Harrison, who scored the film, attends, as do Ringo and Maureen Starr.

1966-Bob Dylan and The Hawks (later known as The Band) perform at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England. The legendary show -- at which an audience member yells "Judas" at Dylan -- is widely bootlegged, but mistakenly identified as having taken place at London's Royal Albert Hall.


Trent Reznor - 53 years old
Nine Inch Nails/How to Destroy Angels singer-guitarist-keyboardist. In 2011 and 2012, he and his film composing partner Atticus Ross won an Academy Award, a pair of Golden Globes and a Grammy for their scores to The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Born 1965.

Bill Bruford - 69 years old
The original Yes drummer later spent time in King Crimson and Genesis before returning to the fold for a time in the '90s. He has now retired from music. Born 1949.