10 Musicians With Official "Days" Named After Them
Rock stars have got it made. They’ve got fame, fortune, and a bevy of attractive better halves. If they’re really lucky, they’ve also got a mantel piled with Grammys. And if they’re really, really lucky, someday they might even have a full 24-hour time period named in their honor. Just as these 10 musicians do.
1. KURT COBAIN
In January, Bill Simpson—the mayor of Aberdeen, Washington—announced that beginning this year, February 20th will be celebrated annually as Kurt Cobain Day. “Aberdeen residents may justifiably take pride in the role our community played in the life of Kurt Cobain and the international recognition our community has gained from its connections with Kurt Cobain and his artistic achievements,” states the official proclamation. The city—population 16,896—already pays tribute to its most famous resident on its welcome sign, which touts the slogan “Come As You Are.”
2. THE BEATLES
Fifty years ago, Beatlemania made its official arrival stateside when the Fab Four took the stage on The Ed Sullivan Show twice in one week (first in New York, then on location in Miami Beach). But their fans in Liverpool proved there’s no place like home by declaring July 10th—the day the band arrived back to England in 1964—as Beatles Day.
3. ELVIS PRESLEY
January 8th—Elvis Presley’s birthday—has become a day of tribute for the original King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s fans around the world. But Graceland in Memphis is still the mecca for his most devoted admirers, where Elvis Presley Day is a multi-day affair with a jam-packed calendar of events that this year included a gospel music tribute, a trivia tour, and, of course, cake!
Nearly 23 years after Purple Rain hit theaters, Prince made a triumphant return to his hometown of Minneapolis for a trio of concerts on July 7, 2007 on what became known as Prince Day. In addition to shows at the Macy’s Auditorium and Target Center, the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince also put on a show for the crowd at First Avenue, the club featured in the cult classic rock drama.
5. BOB MARLEY
Among the many fine contributions Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has made to the pop culture conversation in the past several months is the official declaration of February 6th as Bob Marley Day. This year would have marked the 69th birthday of the Jamaican singer-songwriter, whom Ford’s proclamation describes as “an influential musician, advocate for human rights, and international ambassador of peace.” No word yet as to whether this will be declared the official Bob Marley Day dance.
6. JERRY GARCIA
Though the date changes from summer to summer, the event itself is a highly anticipated annual event: Jerry Day serves as a cultural and community tribute to one of the music industry’s most celebrated guitarists, and one of San Francisco’s most beloved native sons. The music-filled festival all goes down at The Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park.
7. JIMI HENDRIX
Though he was born in Seattle, the city of San Francisco also recognizes the contributions that Jimi Hendrix made to its music scene, particularly the half-dozen shows he played at the city’s legendary Winterland Ballroom, by naming September 13th Jimi Hendrix-Winterland Day. The official proclamation cites Hendrix as a “symbol of the ingenuity and experimentation that San Francisco prizes.”
8. ADAM YAUCH
Shortly after Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch lost his battle with cancer in 2012, fan Mike Kearney organized a musical tribute in the musician’s honor in Gowanus, Brooklyn as “an outlet in which to communicate, express ourselves, and offer our gratitude for the gift of Adam Yauch.” Kearney has kept the event going ever since, with this year’s MCA Day planned for May 3rd at Littlefield Performance + Art Space. Past years have featured a lineup of DJs and Beastie Boys-inspired art.
9. FREDDIE MERCURY
September 5th, a.k.a. Freddie for a Day, is an annual AIDS fundraising event in the name of Freddie Mercury. It was started by Liz Swanton, a City of London banker (and Web Editor of the Mercury Phoenix Trust AIDS charity) who once raised more than $2300 by dressing up like the late Queen frontman for a day. So she decided to make it a regular thing. The 2013 event raised more than $226,000.
It takes three whole days to fete the Swedish pop sensations known as ABBA. International ABBA Day coincides with International ABBA Weekend, which will take place from March 28th to 30th this year in Roosendaal, in the Netherlands. The celebration kicks off with a pub meet-up, which leads into a record and memorabilia fair. ABBA-themed contests, presentations, and special guests are also on the itinerary, as is an all-ABBA disco party to conclude the event. Mamma mia!
All images courtesy of Getty Images unless otherwise noted.