This Week In Classic Rock History

NOV 19-25: Historic events this week from Tom Petty, Elton John, REO Speedwagon, The Beatles, Metallica and The Band

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NOVEMBER 19, 1994: DAVE GROHL & THE HEARTBREAKERS
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers were without a drummer when they were booked for their 5th SNL appearance.

Heartbreakers drummer, Stan Lynch, had quit the band a month and a half earlier.

Petty tapped (former) Nirvana drummer, Dave Grohl for the gig, and offered him a permanent job afterwards.

After careful consideration, they both agreed Grohl needed to focus his burgeoning talent on his own project, which would come to be known as Foo Fighters.

• • •
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), wrapped 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 BEATLES’ “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 24, 1998: METALLICA’S 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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