Ongoing History of New Music

The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 960: Rock’s greatest disasters

Humanity has always been beset by disasters, whether they be acts of God or something we somehow brought on ourselves. War. Disease, Earthquakes. Tsunamis and floods. Volcanic eruptions. Fires. Plane crashes. Industrial accidents. Sinking hips. Extreme weather. And so forth.

The worst disaster of all time? There are many candidates. The influence epidemic of 1918-20 possibly killed 100 million people. Then again, World War II was worse. By some estimates, the death toll was 120 million. And the Black Death of the 14th century? It may have claimed up to 200 million lives or about 20% of the planet’s population at the time.

Then there are the kinds of things that happen when people are supposed to be having fun. On February 14, 2004, the roof of an indoor waterpark in Moscow collapsed, killing 28 people. On December 8, 1863, up to 3,000 people were killed in a fire at a church celebration in Santiago, Chile.

Or how about this: Sometime around the year 283 CE, a wall at Circus Maximus, the chariot racing stadium in Rome, collapsed. It’s said that up to 13,000 spectators died. And that happened about 150 yeara after a previous collapse killed 1,500 people.

The universe is gonna do what the universe is gonna do. You can be as careful as possible yet still get caught up in something awful.

This applies to the world of music, too. It has seen its own situations where there has been the loss of life and plenty of injuries. These occasions need to be remembered and memorialized so we can minimize the chances of these things ever happening again.

This is a list of rock’s greatest disasters.

Songs heard on this show:

  • Tragically Hip, Nautical Disaster
  • Radiohead, Karma Police
  • Limp Bizkit, Break Stuff
  • Pearl Jam, Love Boat Captain
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fire (Live)
  • Axxis, 21 Crosses
  • Eagles of Death Metal, Kiss the Devil

Here’s Eric Wilhite’s playlist.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38296 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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