2022-12-31

DECEMBER 31st
“Silly Love Songs,” by Paul McCartney & Wings, is the #1 Song Of The Year on the Billboard Hot 100 singles Chart.  1976
Metallica announce that their music was streamed 1.3 billion times on Spotify during the year. This marks the third year in a row that the band’s songs were played more than a billion times on the digital music service in a 12-month period. 2021
MORE TODAY IN ROCK…
Guitarist Andy James Summers is born in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, England. He travels through the New Animals and Soft Machine before landing in The Police. 1942
Burton Cummings starts his life. He’s with the Guess Who for ten years (’65 to ’75). Cummings sings “American Woman,” “No Time,” “Share The Land,” “Hand Me Down World,” “Undun,” “Laughing” and “These Eyes.” 1947
Bassist Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) is born in Colorado Springs, CO. 1951
The Replacements Paul Westerberg, the son of a car salesman, is born in Minneapolis. 1960
K-F-W-B hires the Beach Boys, appearing under that name for the first time, to perform at the radio station’s Ritchie Valen’s Memorial Dance in Long Beach. 1961
In showbiz, it’s common to drop a last name and use the middle. That’s what Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian (Scott Ian Rosenfeld) did. Born in Queens, NY, today is his birthday. 1963
Released earlier in the month, “The Beatles ‘65” goes platinum. The album contains a number of covers but also has originals “No Reply” and “I’m A Loser.” 1964
The Monkees take Neil Diamond’s “I’m A Believer” to #1 on the Billboard Top 40. 1966
A proper ‘60s send off. The Rolling Stones play one of their best and darkest songs, “Gimme Shelter,” live for the first time on the TV special, Pop Go The Sixties. 1969
Having left The Beatles more than eight months earlier, Paul McCartney files a suit in High Court to dissolve Beatles & Co. 1970
Detroit’s MC5 play their last gig. Fittingly, it’s in their hometown. 1972
Here come the Young brothers (Angus and Malcolm). AC/DC play their first gig. It’s at the Chequers Club in Sydney, Australia. 1973
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham are invited to join Fleetwood Mac. A band known for being volatile, Fleetwood Mac now has their most famous and popular line-up. It works out, at least commercially, for everybody – even if drummer Mick Fleetwood spends all his money and then some. 1974
The Grateful Dead are the last act to perform at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom. The Dead played the venue nearly fifty times. 1978
Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen crashes his car on England’s A57 while racing another vehicle. He severely injures both arms. The left one is re-attached but an infection forces the arm’s amputation. Allen continues playing with Def Leppard thanks to a specially designed drum kit. 1984
The Eagles’ Don Henley hosts a New Year’s Eve party at his Aspen Ranch. It’s here that Senator Gary Hart meets his future mistress Donna Rice. The resulting scandal forces Hart to drop out of the ‘88 presidential race. 1985
Rick Nelson, ‘50s teen idol and major Country-Rock innovator, dies in a plane crash while on tour. Six others (including four band members) are killed on a flight from Guttersville, AL, to Dallas. 1985
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis is hospitalized in San Francisco with dysentery he picked up in Borneo. The illness results in the cancellation of a New Year’s Eve show. 1992
There’s Rock all over the world to ring in Y2K: Aerosmith – Osaka, Japan, The Eagles and Jackson Browne – L.A., B-52s and Hootie & The Blowfish – Orlando, FL, Goo Goo Dolls and No Doubt– New York. And the killer show of the evening… the Bay City Rollers in Edinburgh, Scotland (kidding!). 1999
Phish end their two-year hiatus with a New Year’s Eve concert at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. 2002
Rush’s Alex Lifeson is arrested for aggravated battery against a law enforcement officer, plus five other counts. The charges stem from a drunken altercation the guitarist had with police at a Naples, FL hotel. Officers reportedly used a stun gun to subdue Lifeson. 2003
Mötley Crüe’s Mick Mars is rushed backstage to receive medical attention at the end of a New Year’s Eve concert in Detroit. A fan pulls the guitarist into the audience. “I am fine, I am undamaged,” Mars later claims. “To the girl that pulled me in, I hope she got my pick.” 2005
Sammy Hagar is joined by fellow Van Halen alum, bassist Michael Anthony, for a series of New Year’s gigs at the Red Rocker’s Cabo Wabo club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. “I’m usually in the snow for the holidays, so this will be quite a change,” writes Anthony. 2006
“Say It’s Not True” from Queen + Paul Rodgers is released as a CD single. The song was originally available exclusively as a download. Profits benefit former South African president Nelson Mandela’s 46664 charity, which promotes HIV awareness and prevention. 2007
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant is named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s annual New Year Honours List. Plant is acknowledged “for services to music” in the United Kingdom. 2008
In an interview with Spinner magazine, Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) claims that the major labels are out of touch with fans and are afraid to take a risk on quality music. “Something about the need for the major label system to corner the market has squeezed the excitement out of music,” says Corgan. 2010
Bono and The Edge (pre-taped) and My Chemical Romance make guest appearances on NBC’s New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly. The U2 bandmates are interviewed regarding their troubled Broadway show “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.” My Chemical Romance perform “Sing.” 2010
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are on the Caribbean island of St. Barts at the estate of billionaire Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich for what is billed as the “world’s most expensive” New Year’s Eve party – 300 guests and a $7.8 million budget or $26,000 per guest. RHCPs perform “Louie, Louie” with Toots (of Toots And The Maytals). 2011
Guns N’ Roses wrap up their “Chinese Democracy” tour at The Joint in The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. The album of the same name was released in ’08. 2011
Black Sabbath have the best-selling Classic Rock T-shirt in the U.K. Sabbath’s U.S. tour shirt from ‘78 gets a sales surge after it is worn by actor Robert Downey, Jr., who played Tony Stark in the Iron Man/Avengers Assemble films. 2012
“Queen + Adam Lambert Rock Big Ben Live,” is a New Year’s Eve show broadcast on BBC One. Lambert earns rave reviews. 2014
Mötley Crüe play what they claim is their last show together (not even close) at the Staples Center in L.A. Tommy Lee’s drum roller coaster gets stuck, and while roadies attempt to fix the problem, Lee, following much swearing, asks women to expose themselves. “This is the last time you’re going to be seeing the four of us together on stage,” frontman Vince Neil tells the audience. 2015
“Only One,” a collaboration between Rapper Kanye West and Paul McCartney, is released. As a result, West’s fans ‘discover’ McCartney. 2015
The Kinks’ Ray Davies receives a knighthood for his service to the arts as part of Queen Elizabeth’s annual New Year Honours list. 2016
Paul McCartney makes a surprise appearance during The Killers’ New Year’s Eve performance at the St. Barts home of Roman Abramovich (see above).  They perform The Beatles “Helter Skelter.” 2016
Ozzy Osbourne headlines Ozzfest New Year’s Eve at the Forum in L.A.  But the highlight comes when Rob Zombie is joined by Marilyn Manson and Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx for a rendition of “Helter Skelter.” Manson and Zombie recorded a studio version of the song several months earlier.  Mötley Crüe laid down their rendition in ’83.  Popular song. 2018
Pink Floyd founding member and drummer Nick Mason makes the British New Year’s Honors list and is awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to music. Mason is the only Pink Floyd member to appear on all of the group’s essential albums (including but not limited to “Dark Side Of The Moon,” “Wish You Were Here” and “The Wall”).   2018
Avril Lavigne with Travis Barker (Blink 182) and Måneskin perform during Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve as the program celebrates its 50th anniversary. The ABC show is hosted by TV personality Ryan Seacrest who took over from Clark, the original host, in ’05 after Clark suffered a stroke.  2021