This Day in Music, Aug 30th: In The Year 2525

By , Contributor

On this day in 1969, two weeks after the Woodstock festival, the second Isle of Wight festival took place.

Over 150,000 turned up over the two days to see Bob Dylan, The Band, Blodwyn Pig, Blonde On Blonde, Bonzo Dog Dooh Dah Band, Edgar Broughton Band, Joe Cocker, Aynsley Dunbar, Family, Fat Mattress, Julie Felix, Free, Gypsy, Richie Havens, The Moody Blues, The Nice, Tom Paxton, Pentangle, The Pretty Things, Third Ear Band and The Who. Tickets were 25 shillings, ($3.00). Celebrities who attended include Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, John & Yoko, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Jane Fonder, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton.

In 1969, the Lincoln, Nebraska's rock-pop duo and one hit wonders Zager and Evans started a three week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'In The Year 2525.' The song that was written by Rick Evans in 1964, also spent six weeks at No.1 on the US chart.

The song warned of the dangers of technology, portraying a future in which the human race would at length be destroyed by its own technological and medical innovations and Divine wrath. The last stanza of the song intimates a continuing cycle of birth, death and rebirth of mankind.

RCA thought they were onto the "The Next Big Thing," but follow-up singles, such as "Mr. Turnkey" (a song about a rapist who nails his own wrist to the jail wall as punishment for his crime) went largely unnoticed by the public. "In the Year 2525" was their only Hot 100 entry.

Zager and Evans no longer perform as a duo, but they both remain in the music industry and remain friends. Zager now builds custom guitars, and Evans has continued his career as a performer and songwriter.

In 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono played Madison Square Gardens (Lennon performed two shows, one in the afternoon and one in the evening), to raise money for the One to One charity. Stevie Wonder, Sha Na Na and Roberta Flack also appeared at the event. Lennon personally bought $60,000 worth of tickets which were given to volunteer fund-raisers. Several of the performances were later included on Lennon’s, Live in New York City album.

The concerts documented on Live in New York City were Lennon's only rehearsed and full-length live performances in his solo career, and his first - and last - formal, full-fledged live concerts since the Beatles retired from the road in 1966. Lennon never mounted a tour during his post-Beatles career. The concerts also marked the last time he performed live with Ono, as also with Elephant's Memory.

On this day in 1995, Sterling Morrison founder member of the Velvet Underground died of cancer at his home in New York City two days after his 53rd birthday.

The guitarist left the group in August 1971 and re-joined in 1992 for a European tour. Sometime in the 1980s, Morrison left his academic career to become the Captain of a Houston tugboat. Morrison's musical career was primarily limited to informal sessions for personal enjoyment, though he played in a few bands around Austin, Texas, most notably The Bizarros. Morrison's tenure in the capital of Texas made him a well-loved and admired member of the local music community as well as an influential voice.

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A former musician, Neil was in the 80's group The Cheaters who were once signed to EMI's Parlophone label, and released three albums. He was also a radio presenter and is still a regular music pundit on various BBC stations. Neil is the founder of the award winning web site This Day in Music which is…

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