Classics Du Jour


CDJ Today: December 8 in Classic Rock

Phil Collen of classic rock band Def Leppard
Phil Collen. Credit: Ross Halfin.

December 8, 2003 – Ozzy Osbourne fractures his collarbone, eight ribs and a vertebrae in his neck after he crashes his ATV at his English estate.

December 8, 2013 – Metallica become the first band ever to play on all seven continents when they play a concert inside a dome at British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station. It is only the second musical concert ever to take place on Antarctica.

December 8, 1963 – 19-year-old Frank Sinatra, Jr. is kidnapped at gunpoint at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. He is released two days later after his father pays out $240,000 in ransom.  The three kidnappers are immediately captured and sentenced to prison. During the ordeal, the kidnappers would only communicate via pay phone, so Sinatra Sr. carried a roll of dimes with him at all times, which became a lifetime habit. He was buried with ten dimes in his pocket.

December 8, 1967 – Traffic release their debut album, Mr. Fantasy, featuring Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason, Chris Wood and Steve Winwood.  Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones are featured as backup singers.

December 8, 1969 – Jimi Hendrix goes on trial in Toronto on drug possession charges.  He charms the jury by saying “he has now outgrown drugs,” and they find him not guilty.

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Classic Rock Birthdays

December 8, 1957 – Phil Collen, guitar, vocals (Def Leppard)
December 8, 1943 – Jim Morrison, vocals (The Doors) (d. 1971)
December 8, 1947 – Gregg Allman, guitar, vocals (The Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman Band) (d. 2017)
December 8, 1956 – Warren Cuccurullo, guitarist, vocals (Frank Zappa, Missing Persons, Duran Duran)
December 8, 1962 – Marty Friedman, guitar (Megadeth)
December 8, 1950 – Dan Hartman, vocals, guitar (Edgar Winter Group, solo) (d. 1994)
December 8, 1973 – Corey Taylor, vocals (Slipknot, Stone Sour)
December 8, 1944 – Mike Botts, drums (Bread) (d. 2005)
December 8, 1941 – Bobby Elliott, drums (The Hollies)
December 8, 1966 – Sinéad O’Connor (now named Magda Davitt), vocals

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Rock Remembrances

December 8, 2004 – Dimebag Darrell (born Darrell Lance Abbott) is killed by a crazed fan at the Alrosa Villa Club in Columbus.  He was 38.  Dimebag, playing with Damageplan, is one of four killed at the club that night in front of his brother Vinnie.  Dimebag was the guitarist in Pantera and much loved by music fans. He was a huge fan of Kiss, Joe Satriani, Pete Willis and Tony Iommi, and was buried with his friend Eddie Van Halen’s famous “bumblebee” guitar in a Kiss Kasket.

December 8, 1980 – John Lennon is shot five times by Mark David Chapman outside his apartment in the Dakota building in New York City and is pronounced dead 30 minutes later. He was 40. Lennon, who earlier that evening had autographed a copy of his new album Double Fantasy for Chapman, was returning home from the recording studio. Lennon was, of course, a co-founder of the Beatles and is a musical and cultural icon.

December 8, 1984 – Razzle (born Nicholas Dingley), dies in a car crash with an intoxicated Vince Neil at the wheel.  He was 24.  Razzle was the drummer of Hanoi Rocks and was on his first American tour.

December 8, 1975 – Gary Thain dies of respiratory failure due to a heroin overdose.  He was 27. Thain was best known as the bassist in Uriah Heep. The year prior to his death, Thain had suffered a severe electrical shock during a concert in Dallas.  After the incident, Thain, who had always been frail and prone to ill-health, sunk deeper into addiction.

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