Home Day In Music History This Day In Rock History: Dec 31st

This Day In Rock History: Dec 31st


John Denver
John Denver

  • 1961, The Beach Boys made their live debut using their new name when they appeared at Long Beach Civic Auditorium, California.
  • 1963, The Kinks made their live debut when they played at the Lotus House Restaurant, London. Now recognised as one of the most important and influential rock acts of the era, brothers Ray Davies and Dave Davies remained members throughout the group’s 32-year run.
  • 1966, The Monkees started a 7-week run at No.1 on the US singles charts with the Neil Diamond song ‘I’m A Believer’. Also No.1 in the UK in 1967.
  • 1968, Joe Cocker, Amen Corner, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Small Faces, Free and Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band all appeared at Alexandra Palace, London. Tickets 25 shillings, ($3.00).
  • 1973, Australian band AC/DC made their live debut when they appeared at Chequers Bar in Sydney.
  • 1979, Blondie’s gig at The Apollo Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland was broadcast live on BBC 2’s ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’.
  • 1982, Max’s Kansas City in New York City closed down. The venue had been a launching pad for such artists as The New York Dolls, Bruce Springsteen and The Velvet Underground.
  • 1984, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen crashed his Corvette Stingray, on the A57 outside Sheffield, Allen lost his left arm in the accident. Allen was on his way to a New Year’s Eve party at his family’s home when a Jaguar passed him. The driver had been egging Allen on and would not allow him to pass. In his rage to pass this driver, he did not see a turn up ahead and lost control of his car. He was thrown from the car, with his left arm severed due to the seatbelt not being properly fastened.
  • 1991, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers all appeared on the same bill at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, California.
  • 1991, Ted Nugent donated 200 pounds of venison to a Salvation Army soup kitchen in Detroit with the message ‘I kill it, you grill it’.
  • 1999, The Manic Street Preachers performed to 57,000 fans at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. The Guinness Book of Records confirmed that the concert set a new record as the biggest indoor show ever staged in Europe, tickets £30.
  • 2001, UK record chain HMV listed the best selling music products over Christmas: ‘No Angel’ by Dido was the best selling album, Kylie Minogue sold the most calendars, Kurt Cobain:  ‘Heavier Than Heaven’ was the best selling book and D-12 T-Shirt was listed as the No.1 seller.
  • 2003, Kevin MacMichael, guitarist with Cutting Crew died of lung cancer aged 51. (1987 US No.1 & 1986 UK No.4 single ‘I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight’). Also worked with Robert Plant and The Rankin Family.
  • 2005, According to official figures singer-songwriter James Blunt’s ‘Back To Bedlam’ was the biggest selling UK album of 2005. The former soldier, who was virtually unknown this time last year, outsold Coldplay’s album ‘X&Y’ which finished second and Robbie Williams came in third place with ‘Intensive Care’ album. The rest of the Top 10: No.4. Kaiser Chiefs – ‘Employment’, 5. Gorillaz – ‘Demon Days’, 6. Westlife – ‘Face To Face’, 7. KT Tunstall – ‘Eye To The Telescope’, 8. Kelly Clarkson – ‘Breakaway’, 9. Faithless – ‘Forever Faithless – The Greatest Hits’ and No.10, Eminem – ‘Curtain Call – The Hits’.
  • 2005, The John Lennon song Imagine was voted the nations favourite song a quarter of a century after his death. A UK radio station conducted the poll of 7,000 listeners. The Beatles were voted into second and third place with ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Let It Be.’
  • 2009, Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi from Status Quo were both appointed OBEs for services to music and charity.
  • 2012, A draft of a letter John Lennon written to Eric Clapton on Sept. 29, 1971 asking him to collaborate on a musical project sold for $35,000 at an auction. Still in pristine condition, the latter was originally estimated to fetch somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000.

Born on this day:

  • 1942, Born on this day, Andy Summers, guitarist, The Police (1983 UK & US No.1 single ‘Every Breath You Take’, plus 4 other UK No.1 singles).
  • 1943, Born on this day, Henry John Deutschendorf, (John Denver), singer, songwriter. 1974 UK & US No.1 single ‘Annie’s Song’. Killed in a plane crash on 12th October 1997.
  • 1948, Born on this day, US singer Donna Summer, (1977 UK No.1 single ‘I Feel Love’ 1979 US No.1 & UK No.11 single ‘Hot Stuff, over 25 other top 40 hits). Summer died on May 17, 2012, at her home in Naples, Florida at the age of 63. She was diagnosed with lung cancer not related to smoking.
  • 1951, Born on this day, Tom Hamilton, bass, Aerosmith, (1989 UK No.13 single ‘Love In An Elevator’, 1989 album ‘Pump’ spent 53 weeks on the US charts, 1993 US No.1 & UK No.2 album ‘Get A Grip’, 1998 US No.1 & UK No.4 single ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’).
  • 1951, Born on this day, Fermin Goytisolo, KC and the Sunshine Band, (1975 US No.1 single ‘That’s The Way, I Like It’, 1983 UK No.1 single ‘Give It Up’).
  • 1960, Born on this day, Paul Westerberg, guitar, vocals, The Replacements, (1984 album, ‘Let It Be’).
  • 1961, Born on this day, Scott Taylor, guitar, Then Jerico, (1989 UK No.13 single ‘Big Area’).
  • 1963, Born on this day, Scott Ian, Anthrax, (1991 UK No.16 single ‘Got The Time’).
  • 1979, Born on this day, Bob Bryar, drummer, My Chemical Romance, (2006 UK No.1 single ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’, 2006 US No.2 album ‘The Black Parade’).

Photos: Getty


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