Today is the birthday of former Suicidal Tendencies
vocalist Mike Muir. Formed in the early 1980s in Venice, California, Suicidal
Tendencies welded punk and thrash with rap, practically inventing the style now
known as skate-punk. The band's first record, Suicidal Tendencies, was
released in 1983 and featured the classic "Institutionalized," a teen-something
outlook on the oppressive nature of parents, schools and society. With Join
the Army and especially 1988's How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't
Even Smile Today? the Tendencies worked in more metal-oriented influences,
as evidenced in the title track to How Will... and "Trip to the Brain."
The group continued to gain popularity, and Lights... Camera...
Revolution! was a big hit, returning Suicidal Tendencies to the strength of
its debut and scoring a hit with "You Can't Bring Me Down." Muir's power as a
vocalist was never stronger than on 1992's The Art of Rebellion; that
album included some spoken-word segments as well as the usual hard-hitting rock
songs. The group broke up in 1995, but Muir was reportedly recording a solo
album with former Sex Pistol Steve Jones.
Other birthdays: Scott Garrett
(Holy Barbarians), Phil Phillips, Quincy Jones, Walter Parazaider (Chicago),
Jim Pons (The Turtles), Boon Gould (Level 42) and Steve Lambert (Roman
Holiday). -- Beth Winegarner