You Say It's Your Birthday: Nazareth's Zal Cleminson

Green Day's Mike Dirnt is also blowing out candles today. Photo by Jay Blakesberg.

Today is the birthday of onetime Nazareth guitarist Zal

Cleminson, who was born in 1949 in Glasgow, Scotland. Nazareth was one of the

first hard-rock bands to dabble in heavy metal in the late '60s and early '70s;

their biggest (and only U.S.) hit was "Love Hurts."

Nazareth formed in

1968 in Scotland when vocalist Dan McCafferty, bassist Pete Agnew and drummer

Darrel Sweet left their previous band, the Shadettes, and hired guitarist Manny

Charlton to round out the quartet. Their first two records were virtually

ignored by the music-buying public, but they began charting with 1973's

Razamanaz and its singles, "Broken Down Angel" and "Bad Bad

Boy."

Their follow-up attracted attention for rocked-out covers of Joni

Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight" and Bob Dylan's "Ballad of Hollis Brown."

"Love Hurts" followed in 1976, going to #8 on the U.S. charts. McCafferty

released a solo album in 1975, and in 1978 Nazareth added a second guitarist in

the form of Cleminson, who'd been playing with the Sensational Alex Harvey

Band. He played with the group on their No Mean City and Malice In

Wonderland albums before the group returned to their original lineup.

By the mid-1980s Nazareth was only releasing records in Europe and Canada;

in 1990 Charlton left the group to pursue a solo career and was replaced by

Billy Rankin. The group continues to record, and their most recent album is

1993's No Jive.

Other birthdays: George Wadenius (Blood Sweat and

Tears), Mike Dirnt (Green Day), Maynard Ferguson, Ed Cassidy (Spirit), Richard

Burns (Hondells), Nick Ashford (Ashford & Simpson), Ronnie Bond (Troggs), Colin

Bass (Foundations), Bruce Day (Santana and Pablo Cruise), Jacob Miller (Inner

Circle) and Oleta Adams. -- Beth Winegarner