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This Week In Classic Rock History

Historic events this week from Elton John, REO Speedwagon, The Beatles, Freddie Mercury, Metallica and The Band

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NOVEMBER 20, 2022: ELTON’S FINAL US CONCERT
On the brink of retiring from performing live, Elton John performed his final US concert at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The 24-song set featured five tracks from his Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, and included “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with a special appearance from Kiki Dee.

The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, which began in 2018 (with a 2 year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic), will wrap up July 8, 2023 in Sweden.

NOVEMBER 21, 1980: HI INFIDELITY
REO Speedwagon’s 9th album featured their first Top 10 songs, with “Keep on Loving You” topping the charts, and “Take It on the Run” peaking at #5.

Hi Infidelity would go on to spend 15 non-consecutive weeks at #1 in 1982.

It’s REO’s only #1 album, and is far and away their biggest selling album, with over 10 million sold in the US alone.

NOVEMBER 22, 1968: “THE WHITE ALBUM”
The Beatles’ self-titled epic, simply known as “the white album”, contains 30 songs in all. Only 16 feature all four Beatles.

Featuring “Back in the USSR”, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, The Beatles became the group’s 12th US #1 album.

“The white album” remains The Beatles’ biggest selling album in the US with 24 million in sales.

• • •
NOVEMBER 23 & 24, 1991: CONFIRMS RUMORS/PASSES AWAY
After years of rumors speculating that he was stricken with an illness, Queen’s Freddie Mercury confirmed that he was living with HIV/AIDS.

24 hours later, Mercury succumbed to AIDS-related bronchial pneumonia.

He was 45

• • •
NOVEMBER 24, 1998: GARAGE INC.
Metallica followed up Load and Reload with a double album set of covers.

Disc 1 featured covers of Black Sabbath, Bob Seger, BÖC and others. Disc 2 focused on the band’s earliest influences.

Metallica won a Grammy for their cover of the traditional Irish song, “Whiskey in the Jar”, popularized by Thin Lizzy.

• • •
NOVEMBER 25, 1976: THE LAST WALTZ
The Band’s “Farewell Show” was filmed by Martin Scorsese on Thanksgiving Day.

Intended to be just a performance by The Band, it morphed into an all-star night with guest performances from Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Ringo Starr, Stephen Stills, Dr. John, Bob Dylan and many more.

The Last Waltz has been preserved in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

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