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Anniversaries

Anniversaries

Kenney Jones
YouTube
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35 Years Ago: The Who Announce Kenney Jones as Keith Moon’s Replacement

Drummer Kenney Jones was already highly regarded in the British rock scene by the end of 1978, when he got the unexpected opportunity of a lifetime: being tapped to replace the late Keith Moon in the Who. The group announced its new drummer in January 1979, but Jones' tenure with the band would prove to be difficult and relatively brief, punctuated by internal strife and changing musical trends.

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YouTube.com
YouTube.com
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44 Years Ago: Jimi Hendrix Debuts Band of Gypsys

Jimi Hendrix's short-lived power trio Band of Gypsys made its debut appearances with a series of concerts held on Dec. 31, 1969, and Jan. 1, 1970, at New York City's Fillmore East. By the end of January, Hendrix had broken them up, but not before releasing a classic live set from the shows.

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Neal Schon, Angus Young
Richard McCaffrey / Michael Putland, Getty Images
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40 Years Ago: AC/DC and Journey Both Play Their First Concerts on the Same Night

It's impossible to predict the future, but it seems safe to say that no matter what happens this New Year's Eve in the world of classic rock, it won't measure up to Dec. 31, 1973, when future rock titans Journey and AC/DC both played their very first concerts on the same night.

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Chris Walter, Getty Images
Chris Walter, Getty Images
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37 Years Ago: The Cars Play Their First Show

By most accounts, Ric Ocasek and Ben Orr's first band was a total failure. In 1976, the duo -- which actually went by the name Ocasek & Orr at first -- picked up a few members, became Cap'n Swing and gigged around Boston. But they didn't really catch on. By the end of the year they had a new name, and on New Year's Eve, they made their public debut. It was only a matter of time before the Cars would drive straight onto radio playlists.

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YouTube
YouTube
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35 Years Ago: The Winterland Ballroom Closes With Epic Grateful Dead Concert

The Winterland Ballroom, where scores of memorable live albums and movies were recorded, went out in style on Dec. 31, 1978. The Grateful Dead headlined a farewell concert that stretched out for more than eight hours -- with Jerry Garcia and band playing a stunning six of them.

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Bruce Springsteen
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
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35 Years Ago: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Firecracker Show’

Bruce Springsteen’s 1978 tour in support of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ took him from clubs and theaters to arenas over the course of its seven months. But it came close to ending in disaster. On Dec. 31, 1978 — the second-to-last-night of the tour — Springsteen got hit in the face with a lit firecracker.

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Rick Allen Crash
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29 Years Ago: Def Leppard Drummer Rick Allen Loses Arm in Car Crash

In one of the scariest and ultimately inspiring stories in recent rock history, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen nearly lost his life and did lose his left arm in a car accident on Dec. 31, 1984.

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Pink Floyd.com
Pink Floyd.com
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40 Years Ago: Pink Floyd Try to Make an Album Without Musical Instruments

As 1973 drew to a close, Pink Floyd abandoned their plans for a highly experimental follow-up to 'The Dark Side of the Moon,' their smash hit album from earlier in that year. The new project was to be called 'Household Objects,' and true to that title, the group's plans were to record it without any musical instruments. 

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The Beatles
Dove, Getty Images
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43 Years Ago: Paul McCartney Sues to Breaks up the Beatles

One of the reasons the Beatles defined the 1960s is because they broke up shortly after that decade had ended. On Dec. 31, 1970, Paul McCartney took the first step in dissolving the group by filing a lawsuit against his three bandmates and their parent company, Apple Corps.

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George Harrison
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
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14 Years Ago: George Harrison Attacked at Home

“They used us as an excuse to go mad, the world did," George Harrison said in the Beatles' 1995 'Anthology' documentary. "And then blamed it on us.” But even he could never suspect that, four years later, those words would ring true again when, on Dec. 30, 1999, a mad man attacked Harrison in his own house, nearly killing him.

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YouTube
YouTube
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31 Years Ago: Vinnie Vincent Plays His First Kiss Concert

On Dec. 29, 1982, Kiss played their first concert with guitarist Vinnie Vincent, who took over for founding member Ace Frehley during the recording of the band's 'Creatures of the Night' album.

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Tim Hardin
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33 Years Ago: Songwriter Tim Hardin Dies

Although Tim Hardin’s recorded output did not fare well commercially, his songs were loved and covered by some of the most recognizable names in the music business. He died of a heroin overdose on Dec. 29, 1980 at the young age of 39.

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