1942 – Guitarist Andy Summers of the Police is born in Blackpool, England.
1943 – Kinks bassist Peter Quaife is born in Tavistock, England.
1947 – The Guess Who’s singer Burton Cummings is born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
1951 – Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton is born in Colorado Springs, Colo.
1965 – The Beatles begin a European tour in Paris.
1965 – John Lennon’s father Alfred releases a U.K. single today, titled “That’s My Life (My Love And My Home).”
1968 – Vanilla Fudge and an unknown Led Zeppelin perform a New Year’s Eve gig in Portland, Ore.
1969 – Jimi Hendrix unveils his new group Band of Gypsys at New York’s Fillmore East.
1969 – BBC television broadcast the programme Man of the Decade, who is … John Lennon!
1970 – Paul McCartney files suit against John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison as the Beatles Co, effectively ending the band. Lennon tells the press that McCartney wanted to dominate the group all along, and reveals that he’s [i.e. Lennon] taken drugs since he was 17.
1973 – Having only recorded three tracks, Pink Floyd abandon their idea to make an album using only household objects and settle for recording Wish You Were Here instead.
1974 – Ron Wood denies reports that he will join the Rolling Stones as a replacement for the recently departed Mick Taylor.
1974 – A document signed by all the Beatles confirms the dissolution of their partnership.
1976 – The Cars give their debut performance at Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, N.H.
1978 – San Francisco’s Winterland Theater closes its doors after a farewell performance by the Grateful Dead and the Blues Brothers.
1982 – The E Street Band’s guitarist Miami/Little Steven Van Zandt marries Maureen Santora in Asbury Park, N.J. His boss Bruce Springsteen is the best man. Little Richard, who conducted the ceremony, duets with Percy Sledge on “When a Man Loves a Woman” at the reception.
1984 - Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car accident on his way to a New Year’s party at his parents’ home in Sheffield, U.K. The arm was sewn back on, but it had to be removed three days later due to infection.
1985 – Rick Nelson dies in an airplane crash near DeKalb, Texas.
1992 – Keith Richards and his X-Pensive Winos headline at New York’s Academy, with Pearl Jam in support. The Rolling Stones themselves are currently negotiating a $30 million advance on their 1993 world tour.
1996 – Paul McCartney is awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.
2003 - Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and his son were arrested at a hotel in Naples, FL for allegedly assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and drunken violent behavior at a New Year’s Eve party. Charges were dropped in 2005
2003 – They used to call him “God,” but now you can call him “Eric Clapton CBE.” The Cream guitarist and The Kinks’ Ray Davies are both made Commanders of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year’s Honors List.
2004 – The Who’s Roger Daltrey is made a Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music and charity work.
2009 – Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi from Status Quo were both appointed OBEs for services to music and charity.