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Rusty Day
Birth name Russell Edward Davidson
Born 29 December 1945, Garden City, MI, USA
Died 3 June 1982, Longwood, FL, USA (aged 36)
Genres Rock, Heavy metal, Hard rock, Psychedelic rock, Blues-rock
Occupations Musician, Performer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1968 - 1982
Associated acts Ted Nugent
Amboy Dukes
Uncle Acid & The Permanent Damage Band
Rusty Day & The Midnighters

Russell "Rusty Day" Edward Davidson (born in Detroit, MI, USA) was a rock vocalist and frontman, best known for his work with the bands Amboy Dukes and Cactus. He was known for his powerful vocals and out-of-control lifestyle.

Career with The Amboy Dukes

Day joined Ted Nugent's band The Amboy Dukes in 1968, after their former vocalist, John Drake, was fired. Day himself had just quit his own band, Rusty Day & The Midnighters. Rusty stayed only for one album, Migration.

Career with Cactus

Cactus was initially conceived in late 1969 as a supergroup of the Vanilla Fudge rhythm section of bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice with guitarist Jeff Beck and singer Rod Stewart. However, Beck had an automobile accident and Stewart joined Ronnie Wood in the Faces. Out of frustration, Bogert and Appice formed what we now know as Cactus in early 1970. The cast was complete when Day joined them on vocals and Jim McCarty joined on lead guitar.

Having made a name for himself in Detroit's rock scene as a force to be reckoned with, Rusty worked to restore one of Detroit's most legendary bands, Detroit, to the national stage. Detroit, the band, was formed as an offshoot of The Detroit Wheels by members Johnny 'Bee' Badanjek, W.R. Cooke, and others. Detroit's initial flame burned out quickly due to many different issues going on at once. Rusty, tried his hand at restoring the glory with his line up.

Rusty found himself unable to really dig in with his modern versions of Cactus and Detroit, and having turned down AC/DC's request to have him join their band to replace Bon Scott (seeing it as not quite the right fit), he thus formed Uncle Acid & The Permanent Damage Band which scored him a deal with Epic Records.


In 1982, Day was working on an album with Uncle Acid & The Permanent Damage Band, as well as dealing cocaine. Day owed money to Ron Sanders, one of the guitar players in his band, after a minor cocaine deal. Monte "Mondo" Thomas, Day's lead guitarist and close friend, explained Sanders as: "...a madman, he was a millionaire and a real bad coke fiend." Thomas and Day both lived in Day's house in Longwood, Florida, along with Day's 11-year-old son Russell. Thomas had agreed to drive a friend out of town, and was therefore not present when Sanders opened fire with a machine gun, shooting through the windows in Day's house, killing Day, his son Russell, and a house guest, Garth McRae. Ron Sanders shot himself six weeks later, after police had surrounded his house due to entirely different charges than the triple murder weeks before.



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