1981 in music
1980 in music,
other events of 1981,
1982 in music and the
list of 'years in music'.
- January 10 - Revival of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance opens at Broadway's Uris Theatre, starring Linda Ronstadt and Rex Smith[?]
- February 14 - Billy Idol leaves the band Generation X to begin a solo career
- February 15 - Blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield[?] is found dead in San Francisco. The cause of death was ruled an accidental drug overdose
- March 14 - Suffering from bleeding ulcers, Eric Clapton is admitted to United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. Clapton's 60 city tour of the US is canceled.
- April 7 - Former Who manager Kit Lambert[?] dies after falling down a flight of stairs in his mother's home in London. Lambert managed the band between 1964 and 1967.
- April 11 - Van Halen's lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen marries actress Valerie Bertinelli[?]
- April 17 - Eric Clapton is released from St. Paul's Hospital in Minnesota following a month-long treatment for bleeding ulcers.
- April 18 - Yes announces that they're breaking up. (They would however reunite frequently in years to come).
- April 20 - The Mamas and the Papas' John Phillips is sentenced to five years in jail after after pleading guilty to drug possesion charges. Phillips' sentence would be suspended after thirty days in exchange for 250 hours of community service
- April 22 - Eric Clapton is taken to the hospital suffering from brused ribs and a lacerated shin, following a car accident in Seattle, Washington.
- April 25 - Paul McCartney's backing band, Wings, breaks up
- August 1 - MTV debuts on cable television, playing music videos 24 hours a day
- The musical Cats begins its 18 year run on Broadway
- Menudo's golden era (1981-1985) begins in Latin America, parts of Europe and Asia.
- U2 appears on the Tomorrow show with Tom Snyder[?], their first U.S. television apperance
- Phil Collins releases his first solo album (although he won't leave the band Genesis until 1995)
- Joe Walsh[?] leaves the Eagles
- Hunters & Collectors[?] forms
- Sonic Youth forms
- Throbbing Gristle split up
- Social Distortion's career starts