April 24, 2024

This Day in History: 2024-12-31


Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks 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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Metallica reports that their music was streamed 1.6 billion times on Spotify during the year. For the fourth straight year the band’s songs have been played more than a billion times on the digital music service in a 12-month period. “Enter Sandman” surpassed the one billion streams mark by itself.  2022

Modest Mouse’s founding drummer, Jeremiah Green, dies at age 45. This news comes days after Green’s stage four cancer diagnosis was revealed to the public. 2022

Green Day take the stage during ABC’s broadcast of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” and call out Donald Trump’s supporters by changing the lyrics to their ‘04 hit “American Idiot.”  Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong sings “I’m not part of the MAGA (Make America Great Again) agenda” rather than the original line, “I’m not a part of a redneck agenda.”  2023