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This Weekend in Music History

The Yardbirds – Photo by John Pratt / Getty Images

October 19th, 1966: The Yardbirds land in New York for their 1st US tour with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on lead guitars. However, after only two dates of the tour, Beck developed acute tonsillitis and had to quit the group. He would go on to form The Jeff Beck Group, which would give Rod Stewart his first major exposure.

October 20th, 1977: Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines of Lynyrd Skynyrd are all killed along with their manager Dean Kilpatrick when their rented plane ran out of fuel above Gillsburg, Missouri.  The plane crashed into a wooded area in the middle of a swamp, seriously injuring the rest of the band and crew. They were on their way to play at show at Louisiana University later that evening.

October 20th, 1978: The Police make their US debut at C.B.G.B.S in New York City. The trio had flown coach on low cost tickets from the UK with their instruments as carry-on luggage.

October 20th, 2006: George Michael smokes a joint during an interview on a TV show. Show was filmed backstage at a concert in Spain, where marijuana is legal, and Michael said “It’s the only drug I’ve ever thought worth taking, this stuff keeps me sane and happy. But it’s not very healthy.”

October 21st, 1976: Keith Moon plays his last show with The Who at the end of their North American tour at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto. On September 7, 1978, Moon would die of an overdose of a sedative Heminevrin, that had been prescribed to prevent seizures induced by alcohol withdrawal.

October 21st, 1997: Elton John’s ‘Candle In The Wind’ was declared by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the biggest selling single record of all time. It had sold 31.8 million in less than 40 days and raised more than $32 million for charity.

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