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The Cleveland Music Timeline 

How exactly we came to be the Rock capital of the world

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June 16, 1974 Rocket From the Tombs debut at the Viking Saloon, featuring future Pere Ubu frontman David Thomas; shortly thereafter guitarist Peter Laughner would join and later Dead Boys Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz

June 23, 1974

Belkin Productions stages first World Series of Rock, featuring Beach Boys, Joe Walsh, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and REO Speedwagon

Fall 1974 Richfield Coliseum opens with Frank Sinatra show and huge traffic jam. Stevie Wonder plays a few weeks later

Nov. 28, 1975 Punk experimentalists Pere Ubu, formed from ashes of Rocket From the Tombs, release seminal punk single "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" b/w "Heart of Darkness"

1976 Cleveland State University radio

station WCSB 89.3 FM takes the air

July 9, 1976 John De Frasia puts a half-size replica of the HMS Bounty in the Phantasy Concert Club complex in Lakewood. When his daughter Michele takes over in the '80s, it becomes one of the area's most important venues for a decade, drawing acts like Public Image Ltd., the Jesus & Mary Chain, and Sonic Youth

Sept. 18, 1976 Steubenville's Wild Cherry take "Play That Funky Music" to #1, sell 2 million copies

March 12, 1977 Devo settle on a solid lineup and release their first single, "Mongoloid" b/w "Jocko Homo," followed later that year by their cover of "

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

Oct. 21, 1977 After being rejected by everyone else, Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell becomes one of the first releases by Cleveland International Records. It eventually sells 43 million copies; in the summer of 1978, Meat Loaf and his label get gold record awards onstage during a concert at Blossom

1979 WMMS begins eight-year run as Rolling Stone's "Radio Station of the Year"

March 27, 1979 Ian Hunter releases "Cleveland Rocks" after initially releasing the song as "England Rocks" two years earlier, though he swears it was written with Cleveland in mind

July 30, 1980 A particuarly hard night of drinking between the members of Def Leppard, Judas Priest, and the Scorpions after a show at Public Hall inspires the latter to write "Blackout"

July 19, 1980

The 15th and final World Series of Rock takes place, with Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, J. Geils Band, Eddie Money, and Def Leppard

January 11, 1982 Akron's Waitresses release their debut, Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful, led by the durable classic

"I Know What Boys Like"

Aug. 25-26, 30-31, 1982

Michael Stanley Band draw 66,377 over

four nights at Blossom

October 1983 Auburn Records founder Bill Peters releases Cleveland Metal comp with Tim Stewart, putting Cleveland on the metal map and launching the career of locals Breaker, whose career took off in Europe

Fall 1984 Agora burns down, moves almost a year later to new East 55th St. location in the WHK building, where it remains to this day

June 1985 Mike Shea publishes the first issue of his fanzine Alternative Press from his bedroom

May 5, 1986 Cleveland chosen over New York, Memphis, Chicago, San Francisco, and other cities as site for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after pledging $65M in public money

Feb. 6, 1987 Release of Paul Shrader film Light of Day, starring Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett as siblings in a struggling Cleveland rock band; local musicians Mark Addison and Trent Reznor appear as musicians in another band

April 5, 1988 Cleveland resident Tracy Chapman signs to Elektra right out of college (Tufts) and releases her chart-topping self-titled debut, bouyed by the hit "Fast Car"

October 1, 1988 The R&B sibling group LeVert, featuring Sean and Gerald (sons of O'Jays founder Eddie Levert) score their first R&B #1 with "Addicted to You." Group released seven albums between 1985 and 1997, and Gerald had successful solo career before dying of an accidental overdose of prescription medications in 2006. Sean died in jail in 2008

1989 After working as a janitor at Right Tracks studio in exchange for free recording time, Trent Reznor releases Pretty Hate Machine; he recruits onetime roommate drummer Chris Vrenna (Marilyn Manson) and guitarist Richard Patrick (Filter)

1991 Beachwood High School and Oberlin grad Marc Cohn has Top 10 hit with "Walking in Memphis," wins Best New Artist Grammy

Sep. 1992 Grog Shop opens on Coventry Rd. in a space not much bigger than an efficiency apartment

1993 Mushroomhead play their first show; within a year, the band fills venues to over-capacity with fans who mimic their masks and costumes

June 7, 1993 Ground is broken on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Nov. 12, 1993 Belkin Productions opens the Odeon Concert Club in the Flats with a show by the Cranberries; they'd go on to bring in artists like Kid Rock and Oasis

June 21, 1994 Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, a rap quintet formed in 1991 in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood, release their multi-platinum debut EP, Creepin on Ah Come Up

Sep. 2, 1995 Rock Hall opens with inaugural concert held at Municipal Stadium featuring Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Clinton, and the Kinks, among others; McDonald's signs must be covered to accommodate unnamed vegan artist

July 27, 1999 Canton's Macy Gray scores a hit with On How Life Is, which sells more than 6 million copies worldwide, led by the hit "I Try"

March 2000 Beachland Ballroom and Tavern open in Collinwood, becoming an off-the-beaten-path magnet for touring artists

April 2002 Plain Dealer legend Jane Scott retires

May 20, 2002 Akron's Black Keys release their debut album, The Big Come Up

Nov. 19, 2004 House of Blues opens in downtown Cleveland; a week later, the Raspberries reunite there for first show in 30 years

March 14, 2005

O'Jays become first Northeast Ohio act inducted into the Rock Hall, along with Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders

May 22, 2007 Bay Village's Kate Voegele reaches #6 on the Rock charts with her debut LP, Don't Look Away

Sept. 15, 2009 Kanye West protégé Kid Cudi releases his debut, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, which reaches #4 and goes gold

Aug. 3, 2011

Kid Cudi protégé Machine Gun Kelly signs to Puffy Combs' Bad Boy label, prepares 2012 release of his debut, Lace Up

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