1964, The Beatles released their fourth album Beatles For Sale. The album featured, “No Reply,” “I’m a Loser,” “Baby’s in Black,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “Eight Days a Week,” and “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby.”
1965, The Byrds started a three week run at number one on the singles chart with “Turn! Turn! Turn!” the group’s second number one. Unlike their first chart topper, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” the entire band was allowed to play on the recording, instead of studio musicians.
1967, This was the penultimate night of a 16-date UK package tour played at City Hall, Newcastle-Upon-Tyneon. Pink Floyd joined The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Move, The Nice, The Eire Apparent, The Outer Limits and Amen Corner. Hendrix was having equipment problems, and in his frustration rammed his Gibson Flying V into his speaker cabinets. Like an enormous arrow, the guitar became stuck in the amplifier, which the audience greeted as all was part of the act.
1969, The Allman Brothers Band performed at the Boston Tea Party in Boston, Massachusetts.
1970, Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer played at the Carolina Coliseum in Columbia, South Carolina. The Allman Brothers Band were the opening act.
1970, Iron Butterfly played at Edmonton Gardens in Edmonton, Alberta.
1971, The Montreux Casino in Switzerland burnt to the ground during a gig by Frank Zappa. The incident is immortalized by Deep Purple’s 1973 hit, “Smoke On The Water,” which includes the line, “some stupid with a flare gun, burned the place to the ground.” In 1967 the Casino became the venue for the Montreux Jazz Festival, which was the brainchild of music promoter Claude Nobs. On the night of the blaze, Nobs saved several young people who, thinking they would be sheltered from the flames, had hidden in the casino from the blaze. A recording of the outbreak and fire announcement can be found on a Frank Zappa Bootleg album titled Swiss Cheese / Fire.
1971, Led Zeppelin started a two-week run at number one on the chart with the Four Symbols album, otherwise known as Led Zeppelin IV. Featuring the 8-minute track “Stairway To Heaven,” the album stayed on the US chart for one week short of five years, selling over 23 million copies in the US alone.
1971, Sly and the Family Stone started a five-week run at number one on the singles chart with “Family Affair,” their third chart topper.
1971, T Rex scored their first number one album with their sixth release Electric Warrior. The album, which became the biggest seller of the year in the UK, contained two of T. Rex’s most popular songs, “Get It On” and “Jeepster.”
1971, Don McLean’s “American Pie”entered the Hot 100. The eight and a half minute song would eventually sell over 3 million copies.
1971, Pink Floyd were at Decca studios in West Hampstead, London composing, writing, and making initial demos for what would become Dark Side of the Moon.
1972, Led Zeppelin played to a crowd of 3500 at Green’s Playhouse in Glasgow, Scotland. Admission was £1.00 ($1.60).
1973, The Who perform at Spectrum in Philadelphia. The show is recorded and later broadcast in quadraphonic sound on The King Biscuit Flower Hour syndicated radio show in the U.S. So far, the only track officially released from this concert is “Won’t Get Fooled Again” on the 1998 CD King Biscuit: Best Of The Best. However, the broadcast has been widely bootlegged under such titles as Tales From The Who, American Tour ’73, Decidedly Belated Response, Mods and Rockers, Moon Life, Taking The Capitol and Who Are You.
1973, The Grateful Dead appeared at the Cincinnati Gardens, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1974, Genesis performed at the Mosque Theater, Richmond, Virginia.
1975, The Who appeared at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago.
1976, American guitarist Tommy Bolin died from a heroin overdose aged 25, the day after opening a show for Jeff Beck in Miami, Florida. Bolin was a member of Zephyr (1969 to 1971,) The James Gang (1973 to 1974,) and Deep Purple (1975 to 1976.)
1976, Rush appeared at the Auditorium Arena, Denver, Colorado.
1976, Workers at EMI records went on strike, refusing to package the Sex Pistols single “Anarchy In The UK.”
1977, Yes appeared at the Palais des Sports, Lyon, France.
1978, Black Sabbath performed at the Civic Arena, Long Beach, California.
1979, U2 appeared at The Hope and Anchor, Islington, London. Misnamed ‘The U2s,’ they played to only nine people and the show ended abruptly after The Edge broke a guitar string.
1979, The Who play at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, the security staff is doubled and doors are opened three hours before the concert. Roger says from the stage “You all heard what happened yesterday. We feel totally shattered. We lost a lot of family yesterday. This show’s for them.”
1980, Prince played the first night on his 31-date Dirty Mind North American tour at Shea’s in Buffalo, New York. After being told by his managers he couldn’t wear spandex pants without any underwear, Prince began performing in a long trench coat, black high heeled boots and leggings, and bikini brief trunks.
1982, Aerosmith appeared at Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana.
1982, The Jam were at number one on the UK singles chart with “Beat Surrender,” the group’s fourth UK chart topper and final single. They split in 1983, and leader Paul Weller formed the Style Council.
1983, Blue Oyster Cult performed at McNichols Arena, Denver, Colorado.
1988, Roy Orbison played his final ever gig when he appeared in Cleveland, Ohio. Orbison died of a heart attack two days later.
1993, Multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer, Frank Zappa died of prostate cancer. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention, and as a solo artist, including the 1969 album Hot Rats and 1974 album Apostrophe. Zappa recorded one of the first concept albums, Freak Out, released in 1966. It was also one of the earliest double albums in rock music, although Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde preceded it by a week.
2002, Whitney Houston admitted in an US TV interview that drink and drugs nearly killed her. Married to singer Bobby Brown, she also admitted to being addicted to sex. Houston said her business is sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, and got into the lifestyle after missing out on partying when her career kicked off at the age of 18.
2009, Liam Clancy Irish folk singer and actor died from pulmonary fibrosis. He was the youngest and last surviving member of the influential folk group, The Clancy Brothers, who are regarded as Ireland’s first pop stars.
Born on December 4: ; Bob Mosley, Moby Grape (1942); Chris Hillman, The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers (1944); Dennis Wilson, The Beach Boys (1944); Terry Woods, The Pogues (1947); Southside Johnny (1948); Gary Rossington, Lynrd Skynrd (1951); Andy Hess, bass Gov’t Mule, The Black Crowes (1966); Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z (1969)