Rusty Day

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Rusty Day
Cactus (1970).png
Cactus in 1970 (Left to right: Tim Bogert, Rusty Day, Jim McCarty (guitarist), & Carmine Appice).
Background information
Birth name Russell Edward Davidson
Born (1945-12-29)December 29, 1945
Garden City, MI, USA
Died June 3, 1982(1982-06-03) (aged 36)
173 Parsons Road, Longwood, FL, USA
Genres Rock, Heavy metal, Hard rock, Psychedelic rock, Blues-rock
Occupation(s) Musician, Performer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1966 - 1982
Associated acts Ted Nugent
Amboy Dukes
Rusty Day & The Midnighters
The Detroit Wheels
The Band Detroit
Steve Gaines
Uncle Acid & The Permanent Damage Band

Russell Edward "Rusty Day" Davidson, also known as "Pachuco" by his closest friends, (born in Garden City, Michigan) was a rock vocalist and frontman, best known for his work with Steve Gaines, Cactus, & Ted Nugent's American Amboy Dukes.

Career with The American Amboy Dukes[edit]

Day joined Ted Nugent's band The American Amboy Dukes in 1969, after their former vocalist, John Drake, was fired. Day had just quit his own band, Rusty Day & The Midnighters. He stayed only for one album, Migrations.

Career with Cactus[edit]

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 became known 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, Day worked to restore The Band Detroit to national prominence. The Band Detroit was formed as an offshoot of The Detroit Wheels by members Steve Gaines (who later joined Lynyrd Skynyrd), Teddy "T-Mel" Smith, Nathaniel Peterson, Terry Emery, Bill Hodgeson, and others. There is a recording of Rusty Day, Steve Gaines, and the rest of the band performing in 1973 called The Band Detroit - The Driftwood Tapes, which got released as a Lynyrd Skynyrd bootleg in 1998.

In 1976, Day re-incarnated Cactus by placing an ad in Rolling Stone which stated that he needed exceptionally good guitar, bass, and drums. This line-up lasted from 1976 until 1979, and featured Gary "Madman" Moffatt, who currently drums for .38 Special.

Day, having turned down AC/DC's request to have him join their band to replace Bon Scott, and Rossington-Collins's request to have him replace Ronnie Van Zant, eventually formed Uncle Acid & The Permanent Damage Band which scored him a deal with Epic Records.


Day was fatally shot at his home on June 3, 1982. His son and Garth McRae were also fatally shot during the same attack. The murder officially remains unsolved, although the Seminole County Sheriff's Office believe the victims may have known the perpetrator, and that the killings may have been drug related.[1]


  • Knight, K. J. Knight Moves: The K. J. Knight Story. S.l.: Trafford On Demand Pub, 2011. Print.
  • Miller, Steve. Detroit Rock City: The Uncensored History Of Rock & Roll In America's Loudest City, 2013, ISBN 978-0306820656


External links[edit]