December 14, 1980 – There is a 10-minute silent vigil worldwide at 2PM EST in New York City to remember John Lennon. Over 100,000 people gather in Central Park; 30,000 people observe silence in Liverpool. For those ten minutes, every radio station in New York City goes off the air. At least three Beatles fans commit suicide after the murder, leading Ono to make a public appeal asking mourners not to give in to despair.
December 14, 2004 – Thousands attend a memorial service for Dimebag Darrell in Arlington, Texas. Eddie Van Halen, Jerry Cantrell and Zakk Wylde attend the ceremony along with Darrell’s brother Vinnie Paul. Van Halen holds his cell phone up to the microphone and plays a profanity-laced message left by an excited Abbott after a concert he played with Van Halen. “I just wanted to give you a … call to tell you thank you so … much, man, for the most awesome, uplifting, euphoric, spiritual rock and roll extravaganza ever,” Abbott said in the message to Van Halen.
Classic Rock Birthdays
December 14, 1949 – Cliff Williams, bass (AC/DC)
December 14, 1946 – Jackie McAuley, vocals, keyboards (Them)
December 14, 1958 – Mike Scott, vocals, guitar (The Waterboys)
December 14, 1966 – Tim Sköld (born Thim Sköld), bass (Shotgun Messiah)
December 14, 1997 – Kurt Winter dies of kidney failure in Canada. He was 51. Winter was a guitarist and songwriter with the The Guess Who, writing such songs as “Hand Me Down World,” “Hang on to Your Life,” “Rain Dance” and “Clap for the Wolfman.” His death was attributed to excessive alcohol abuse.
December 14, 2006 – Ahmet Ertegun dies in New York City. He was 83. Ertegun was the co-founder of Atlantic Records and known for discovering and championing many leading rhythm and blues and rock musicians. He slipped and fell at the Beacon Theater backstage at a Rolling Stones benefit concert. He hit his head on the concrete, and later lapsed into a coma.