Happy holidays and Merry Christmas, rockers! This week kicks off with a batch of important musical events, from the births of Jimmy Buffett and Lars Ulrich to the sad passings of Lemmy Kilmister and George Michael. Read on for some major events, historic record releases and notable births and deaths happening from December 25 through 31.


Events

1960 – A 12-year-old James Taylor receives his first guitar as a Christmas present.

1963 – Capitol Records releases the first Beatles single in America- “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” along with “I Saw Her Standing There.”

1967 – The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour movie debuts on Great Britain’s BBC television network.

1968 – The Miami Pop Festival takes place, marking the first major rock festival held on America’s East Coast. Fleetwood Mac, Chuck Berry, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly, the Grateful Dead and more perform.

1968 – Led Zeppelin sets off on their first U.S. tour, opening in Denver, Colorado, for Vanilla Fudge and Spirit.

1973 – AC/DC hit the stage for the first time in Sydney, Australia.

1974 – Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham are recruited to become members of Fleetwood Mac.

1975 – The Faces formally call it quits.

1981 – The J. Geils Band performs for prisoners at Boston's Norfolk Correctional Center,

1984 – Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen loses his left arm after crashing his Corvette. He remains the drummer of Def Leppard.

1985 – Country rocker Rick Nelson is killed, plus six other passengers, when the chartered airplane that they are flying crashes.

1999 – George Harrison is stabbed by a mentally disturbed intruder who breaks into his home.

1994 – Green Day performs at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Earlier that year, the band was playing small clubs, so this is a major change.


Releases

1967 – Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding

Bob Dylan

1967 – Leonard Cohen: The Songs of Leonard Cohen

1969 – Grand Funk Railroad: Grand Funk

1969 – Blue Cheer: Blue Cheer

1971 – America: America

1975 – Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Head On

1976 – Blondie: Blondie

1979 – Todd Rundgren’s Utopia: Adventures in Utopia

1980 – Steve Winwood: Arc of a Diver


Births

Pops Staples – Dec. 28, 1915

Johnny Otis – Dec. 28, 1921

Bo Diddley – Dec. 30, 1928

Odetta – Dec. 31, 1930

Scotty Moore – Dec. 27, 1931

Del Shannon – Dec. 30, 1934

Felix Pappalardi (Mountain) – Dec. 30, 1939

Phil Spector – Dec. 26, 1940

Mike Pinder (The Moody Blues) – Dec. 27, 1941

Ray Thomas (The Moody Blues) – Dec. 29, 1941

Rick Danko (The Band) – Dec. 29, 1942

Michael Nesmith (The Monkees) – Dec. 30, 1942

Pete Sinfield (King Crimson) – Dec. 27, 1943

John Denver – Dec. 31, 1943

Mick Jones (Foreigner) – Dec. 27, 1944

Noel Redding (bass player for the Jimi Hendrix Experience) - Dec. 25, 1945

Davy Jones (The Monkees) – Dec. 30, 1945

Jimmy Buffett - Dec. 25, 1946

Edgar Winter – Dec. 28, 1946

Marianne Faithfull – Dec. 29, 1946

Patti Smith – Dec. 30, 1946

Cozy Powell – Dec. 29, 1947

Jeff Lynne – Dec. 30, 1947

Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) – Dec. 31, 1947

Donna Summer – Dec. 31, 1948

Alex Chilton – Dec. 28, 1950

Robin Campbell (lead guitarist for UB40) - Dec. 25, 1954

David Knopfler (Dire Straits) – Dec. 27, 1951

Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) – Dec. 31, 1951

Annie Lennox - Dec. 25, 1954

Paul Westerberg – Dec. 31, 1959

Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain) – Dec. 29, 1961

Lars Ulrich – Dec. 26, 1963

Dexter Holland (The Offspring) – Dec. 29, 1965

Noel Hogan (guitarist for the Cranberries) - Dec. 25, 1971


Deaths

Bert Berns (wrote “Hang on Sloopy” and “Twist and Shout”) – Dec. 30, 1967

Freddie King – Dec. 28, 1976

Chris Bell (Big Star) – Dec. 27, 1978

Tim Hardin – Dec. 29, 1980

Dennis Wilson – Dec. 28, 1983

Rick Nelson – Dec. 31, 1985

Dean Martin - Dec. 25, 1995

Clarence “Satch” Satchell (The Ohio Players) – Dec. 30, 1995

Floyd Cramer – Dec. 31, 1997

Curtis Mayfield – Dec. 26, 1999

Meri Wilson – Dec. 28, 2002

Hank Garland – Dec. 27, 2004

Delaney Bramlett – Dec. 27, 2008

Stevie Wright (The Easybeats) – Dec. 27, 2015

Lemmy Kilmister – Dec. 28, 2015

Motorhead

George Michael - Dec. 25, 2016

George Michael