1955—Elvis Presley signs Col. Tom Parker as his manager. Not a real colonel, Parker's previous "management" experience involved promoting his act Tom Parker and His Dancing Turkeys.
1965—Harrods department store closes its door for a full day to allow the Beatles do their Holiday shopping.
1966—Several thousand teenagers battle with Kansas City police after a James Brown concert is halted because of what officials call "obscene dances being performed on the stage."
1967—The band Strawberry Alarm Clock tops the chart with Incense and Peppermint. The song was originally intended to be a B-side and was not even sung by a member of the band. The vocals on the recording were sung by Greg Mumford, a friend of the band who was hanging around the studio during recording.
1969—John Lennon returns the MBE Award (Members of the British Empire) awarded to the Beatles in 1965. The note attached to the returned medal reads "Your Majesty, I am returning this MBE in protest against Brittan's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam, and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts." Though the Queen never publicly reacted to the medals return, we can only assume that "One was not amused."
1974--John Lennon joins Elton John on stage at Madison Square Garden, in New York. It would turn out to be Lennon's last concert performance. He would be gunned down outside his apartment six years later.
1976--The Band tape their farewell concert, The Last Waltz, at the Winterland's Ballroom in San Fransisco. The five hour set included performances from Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Dr. John and others. A film of the concert was directed by Martin Scorsese and released the following year.
1976—Perhaps attempting to live up to his nickname "The Killer", Jerry Lee Lewis, is arrested after drunkenly brandishing a pistol at the gates of Graceland and demanding to see Elvis.
1983—The 14-plus minute video for Michael Jackson’s Thriller is premiered in LA.
1991—Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury publicly announces that he has been diagnosed with the AIDS virus. He passes away from AIDS-related pneumonia the following day.