1979 – Singer James Reyne is hit by a car

So imagine this: it’s the day before your band’s big debut. Your first single is doing well on the charts, but you’re still recording the rest of your first album. You’re even going to be on national television, on the highest rating music show in the country. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, your lead singer could hit by a car as he walks across Swanston St in central Melbourne. You could all wind up waiting anxiously at the hospital to see if he’s going to be okay.

As it happens, he is. James Reyne suffered minor fractures to his arms. Australian Crawl recorded their first appearance on Countdown the next day, Reyne sporting a matched pair of plaster casts on his forearms. Disaster was narrowly averted, and Reyne’s distinctive vocal style went national for the first time. The legend began, and the band later memorialised the incident in song on their first album.

Referenced in:

Indisposed – Australian Crawl

While this date is almost certainly incorrect, this song was too much fun for me to leave out. I’ve dated it based on the generally agreed date that the car accident occurred the day before Reyne appeared on Countdown sporting plaster casts on both arms. The only problem with that is that Countdown was most likely pre-taped – this date is based on the broadcast date. it’s as close as we’re likely to get barring the release of the definitive James Reyne biography, though.

1984 – Bruce Cockburn’s “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” peaks on the charts

Acknowledged by a 2005 list as the 11th greatest Canadian song of all time, Bruce Cockburn’s “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” contrasts the newly-formed love of a pair of teenagers with the dangers around them, notably the Cold War (which was a pretty dangerous thing in 1984, what with Ronald Reagan’s finger on the button) and the then-new spectre of AIDS.

It remains Cockburn’s single greatest hit in his native land, and has since been covered by Dan Fogelberg and Bare Naked Ladies, among others.

Referenced in:

God Pt II — U2

1993 – Michael Jackson is investigated for child abuse, but never charged

The Los Angeles Police Department began an investigation into the allegations of child abuse made against Michael Jackson on August 18, 1993. Three days later, a search warrant was issued, allowing the police to search Jackson’s home, the Neverland Ranch. No evidence was ever found, according to a police spokesperson.

A subsequent search of the Jackson family home in November also came up empty – but that didn’t stop La Toya Jackson from publically supporting the accusations – although she later claimed that her abusive husband had forced her to do so.

Nothing was ever proven, although for many people it didn’t matter – their minds were made up, one way or the other, long before the investigation commenced.

Referenced in:
D.S. – Michael Jackson