Today in Music History… December 8th
Here’s what happened on this day in music history for December 8th
The Beach Boys released their first single, “Surfin’.”
The Beatles released the album “Magical Mystery Tour” in the UK.
Traffic released the album “Mr Fantasy.”
Graham Nash quit the Hollies, and announced that he was starting a new group with former Byrds singer David Crosby and former Buffalo Springfield member Stephen Stills.
Jimi Hendrix detailed his drug usage while testifying at his trial for hashish and heroin possession in Toronto. He claimed he’d smoked pot four times, smoked hash five times, dropped LSD five times, and snorted cocaine twice, and explained that he’d, quote, “outgrown” drugs. The jury eventually found him not guilty.
Steam’s single “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” was certified Gold.
Carly Simon’s album “No Secrets” was certified Gold.
Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” peaked at number two on the pop singles chart.
Chicago’s “Just You ‘n’ Me” peaked at number four on the pop singles chart.
Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “I’ve Got To Use My Imagination,” Paul McCartney’s “Helen Wheels,” and Brownsville Station’s “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room” broke into the Top 40.
Uriah Heep bassist Gary Thain died of a drug overdose. He was 27.
Bob Dylan wrapped up his Rolling Thunder Revue tour with a show at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The Eagles released the album “Hotel California.
Styx’s “Babe” returned to the number one spot on the pop singles chart.
The Eagles’ “The Long Run” and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Don’t Do Me Like That” broke into the Top 40.
John Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York City apartment building. He was 40.
The Kinks’ album “One For The Road” was certified Gold.
Billy Joel’s album “Songs in the Attic” was certified Gold.
Don Henley’s album “I Can’t Stand Still” and Glenn Frey’s album “No Fun Aloud” were certified Gold.
Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page were among those who performed at a benefit concert for multiple sclerosis organizations at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The show was organized by former Faces member Ronnie Lane, who also had the disease.
Former Coasters manager Patrick Cavanaugh was found guilty of murdering group member Buster Wilson.
Paul McCartney’s “No More Lonely Nights” peaked at number six on the pop singles chart.
Glen Campbell’s daughter Ashley Noell was born.
Eddie Money’s album “Can’t Hold Back” was certified Gold.
Aerosmith’s album “Permanent Vacation” was certified Platinum while Yes’ album “Big Generator” was certified Gold.
Paul McCartney resigned a recording deal with Capitol Records.
Surviving members of the Grateful Dead announced that with the death of frontman Jerry Garcia, the group was breaking up.
Bob Seger announced that he would go on tour in 1996 — marking his first road trip in eight years.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band announced that they were getting back together again for a tour. It was their first road trip together in nearly a decade.
New York City Police cleared and closed Central Park, ousting John Lennon fans who were trying to hold an all-night vigil at Strawberry Fields on the anniversary of the former Beatle’s death.
James Brown made an exclusive deal with Internet retailer Emusic.com to sell his MP3 holiday album “James Brown Christmas for the Millennium and Forever.”
John Lennon was honored in Cuba with a statue in a park in Havana to mark the 20th anniversary of his death.
Paul Simon was among the artists recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors celebration in Washington, DC.
Ozzy Osbourne had emergency surgery following an all-terrain vehicle accident on his property in England. He was riding the four-wheeler when it flipped over and pinned him underneath it. He suffered a shattered collarbone, six broken ribs, a fractured vertebra in his neck, and internal bleeding in the accident. He’d stopped breathing and had no pulse when a member of his security team found him. The guard was able to revive him before he was taken to the hospital.
Stevie Wonder received the Century Award at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards.
Jimmy Buffett read excerpts from his then-new novel “A Salty Piece of Land: Stories That Are Mostly True,” and treated the crowd to a few songs at a special performance at the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts in New Orleans.
Reps for Dick Clark announced that the legendary TV personality was in the hospital after having suffered a stroke earlier in the week. His condition forced him to miss his annual “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” holiday special for the first time in the show’s 33-year history.
Yoko Ono made a rare public appearance at the “Imagine” mosaic in New York’s Central Park, where about 200 fans had gathered to mark the 25th anniversary of former Beatle John Lennon’s death.
Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul McCartney were among the multiple nominees named for the upcoming Grammy Awards ceremony.
Yoko Ono’s chauffeur launched an alleged extortion plot against the late John Lennon’s widow — on the anniversary of the former Beatle’s death. A few months later Ono agreed to let prosecutors make a plea deal, and the driver pled guilty to a lesser felony charge of attempted grand larceny in the third degree and the extortion charge was dropped.
Doors Drummer John Densmore filed for divorce from his wife, filmmaker Leslie Neale, citing irreconcilable differences. A month earlier they marked their 16th anniversary.
Paul McCartney celebrated the birth of his first granddaughter with daughter Stella’s delivery of a baby girl. Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis is the former Beatle’s fourth grandchild, as she has an older brother and two male cousins.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and former Stone Poneys co-founder Kenny Edwards were among the performers at a tribute concert honoring the late Warren Zevon. The show served as a fundraiser and awareness builder for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Zevon died of mesothelioma in September 2003.
On the anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination, the first illumination cycle of the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik, Iceland came to an end. It had been lit two months earlier, on the anniversary of the late Beatle’s birthday. Yoko Ono spent the anniversary in Japan for the Dream Power John Lennon Super Live 2007 concert, a fundraising event for the Spirit Foundation celebrating Lennon’s life and work.
The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger were on hand for a special 65th birthday celebration for the band’s late frontman Jim Morrison at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood, California. During the event a plaque was placed on the exact spot on the bar that the singer supposedly once relieved himself. The alleged incident, which happened roughly 40 years earlier, wasn’t exactly celebrated at the time and got Morrison banned from Barneys.
Charity concerts helped mark the 28th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. Yoko Ono was among the performers at the John Lennon Super Live concert in Tokyo, which supported organizations building schools across Asia and Africa; while Rosanne Cash was the headliner for the 28th annual John Lennon Tribute Concert at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York City, which raised money for World Hunger Year.
Bon Jovi frontman Jon Bon Jovi joined Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker in cutting the ribbon on the HELP Genesis JBJ Soul Homes in the city’s North Ward.