1 January

Pick a Day

Music History Events: Performance Debuts

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September 6, 1997 Elton John sings a new version of "Candle In The Wind" at Princess Diana's funeral. This rendition, which replaces "Goodbye Norma Jean" with "Goodbye England's Rose," becomes the best-selling single of all time in the UK.More

September 8, 1993 Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) appear on stage together for the first time, performing at Club Lingerie in Los Angeles. They play "Pennyroyal Tea" and "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?"

October 23, 1991 Rage Against the Machine play live for the first time with a show at California State University, Northridge, opening with "Killing In The Name," which is still an instrumental.

October 22, 1990 The band Mookie Blaylock, soon be known as Pearl Jam, make their stage debut at The Off Ramp in Seattle. In the audience are members of Soundgarden and Seattle Mariners pitcher Randy Johnson.

November 6, 1975 The Sex Pistols play their first-ever gig, opening for the band Bazooka Joe at St. Martin's School of Art in London. Bazooka Joe's lead singer is Stuart Goddard, who is so inspired by the set that he drops out of art school and takes the name Adam Ant.

May 15, 1975 Fleetwood Mac play their first concert with new members Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks at a show in El Paso, Texas.

April 16, 1974 Queen make their US live debut at Regis College in Denver, Colorado, supporting Mott the Hoople. Their trek ends early when Brian May develops hepatitis a month later.

April 9, 1973 Queen play the Marquee Theater in London, their first concert since signing with EMI Records.

November 6, 1970 Aerosmith perform their first-ever gig when they play at Nipmuc Regional High School in Mendon, Massachusetts. They go on to become the best-selling American rock band of all time, selling over 150 million albums worldwide. They also hold the record for the most gold and multi-platinum albums by an American group.

August 25, 1970 The little-known 23-year-old singer Elton John plays his first live show in the United States, co-headlining with the singer/songwriter David Ackles at The Troubadour in West Hollywood. The show gets rave reviews, giving him a huge career boost in America.More

June 27, 1970 The group Smile change their name to Queen and perform for the first time under that moniker.More

March 8, 1970 Diana Ross performs for the first time as a solo artist, starting an 11-night engagement at the Monticello in Framingham, Massachusetts, where she hones her act for her Las Vegas debut in May. She left The Supremes two months earlier.

December 26, 1968 Led Zeppelin's first US tour begins in Denver. They're the opening act for Vanilla Fudge.More

November 18, 1968 A group called Pogo, which includes Randy Meisner, Jim Messina and Richie Furay, debuts at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. They change their name to Poco to avoid legal action over the comic strip Pogo.

July 16, 1967 Arlo Guthrie debuts "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" at the 1967 Newport Folk Festival. The song runs 18 minutes long and tells a true (but greatly exaggerated) story about how he was arrested one Thanksgiving morning for illegal dumping. The ticket later made him ineligible for the draft, keeping him out of the Vietnam War. Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Judy Collins, Janis Ian, and Tom Paxton also play the festival this day.

July 12, 1962 The Rolling Stones make their live debut at the Marquee Club in London subbing for Long John Baldry's Blues Incorporated. The band members are Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Dick Taylor, Ian Stewart and future Kink Mick Avory.

December 11, 1960 Aretha Franklin plays her first concert, performing at the Village Vanguard in New York City.

August 7, 1957 The Quarrymen (minus new member Paul McCartney, away at Scout camp) make their debut at Liverpool's Cavern Club. Manager Alan Sytner instructs them not to play Rock and Roll, but midway through their skiffle performance, John lights into a version of Elvis' "Don't Be Cruel," which the crowd loves. The group, of course, becomes The Beatles.

November 22, 2009 At the American Music Awards, Adam Lambert makes a statement with a lascivious performance of his debut single, "For Your Entertainment," where he drops a smooch on his (male) keyboard player.More

October 28, 2003 Tonight's The Night, a musical play written around the hits of Rod Stewart, opens in London's West End.

March 17, 2003 Cliff – The Musical opens at The Prince of Wales Theatre in London. The show, which is based on the life of Cliff Richard, closes three months later.

September 6, 2002 With Ian Astbury on lead vocals and Stewart Copeland on drums, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of The Doors perform their first concert as "The Doors of the 21st Century." The show is part of the Harley-Davidson Open Road Tour at the California Speedway in Fontana.

September 20, 2001 Jennifer Lopez does her first full set as a headliner when she plays a show in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

November 10, 2000 Singer-songwriter Billy Yates makes his Grand Ole Opry debut, performing his single "What Do You Want From Me Now."

June 4, 2000 In Atlanta, Bruce Springsteen debuts "American Skin (41 Shots)," a song he wrote about the New York police killing of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed suspect. Eight days later, he performs the song at his concert in Madison Square Garden, which is protested by some members of the NYPD.More

September 21, 1996 Hank Williams III, 23, makes his debut at the Grand Ole Opry, following the legacy of his father, Hank Williams Jr., and grandfather,Hank Williams, in performing there. His set includes "Lovesick Blues," which Hank Sr. played at his Opry debut in 1949.

September 9, 1982 The Broadway musical Your Arms Too Short To Box With God, which is based on the Book of Matthew, is revived at the Alvin Theatre in New York with Al Green and Patti LaBelle in the cast.

June 2, 1981 Prince makes his live British debut at The Lyceum Ballroom in London. He does not play the UK again for five years.

November 15, 1978 Echo & the Bunnymen give their performance debut at Eric's Club in Liverpool, England.

October 20, 1978 The Police make their US performance debut at CBGB's in New York.

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