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10 Years Ago: Ozzy Osbourne Nearly Dies in ATV Accident

“HE DID WHAT???”

These words (or others along these lines) have frequently echoed across the annals of rock and roll history, but rarely louder than on the occasion when heavy metal wildman, Ozzy Osbourne, decided that jumping behind the wheel of an all-terrain-vehicle seemed like a good idea.

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John Lennon
Harry Benson, Getty Images
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33 Years Ago: John Lennon Murdered

John Lennon would have turned 73 this past October, but as we all know, his life was tragically cut short by four bullets from an assassin's gun. John Lennon died 33 years ago today.

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Travis Tritt and the Eagles
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20 Years Ago: The Eagles Reunion Begins

The pages of rock history are full of nasty band breakups, and the Eagles' -- whose 1980 split included the infamous concert during which Don Felder and Glenn Frey agreed to meet backstage for a beatdown -- was acrimonious enough that few fans expected to ever see a reunion. But on Dec. 6, 1993, hell started freezing over, all thanks to country superstar Travis Tritt.

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Beggars Banquet Cover Art
ABKCO
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45 Years Ago: The Rolling Stones Forced to Change ‘Beggars Banquet’ Cover

The Rolling Stones and controversy go together like fish and chips. In 1968, one of their best-known controversies kept their classic album 'Beggars Banquet' album off shelves for nearly six months in a protracted dispute over the legendary "toilet cover."

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Mick Jagger Altamont
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44 Years Ago: Rolling Stones Altamont Speedway Concert Ends in Homicide

The Rolling Stones were trying to prove their critics wrong by booking a free festival to wrap up their 1969 tour at Altamont Speedway on Dec. 6, 1969. But what they intended as a way for their fans to come together for a day of music and celebration turned into a tragic debacle that ended with a homicide -- effectively bring the peace-and-love ethos of the '60s to a jarring end.

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Frank Zappa
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20 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Dies

Frank Zappa was one of the most innovative and versatile rock musicians of his generation, creating a vast body of work that encompassed almost every genre of music -- but he wouldn't have wanted to hear it. The mercurial genius actively resisted those kinds of labels and effusive public praise, focusing instead on the work itself in a career that spanned more than three decades. He died on Dec. 4, 1993 at the age of 52 after a long battle with prostate cancer.

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Smoke on the Water
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42 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Concert Fire Inspires ‘Smoke on the Water’

On Dec. 4, 1971, the small town of Montreux, Switzerland, became a place forever linked to rock history. A fire at the Montreux Casino during a concert by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention inspired Deep Purple's classic 'Smoke on the Water.'

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Elvis Presley '68 Comeback Special
Legacy Recordings
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45 Years Ago: Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback Special Airs

We've seen everything from Elvis Presley Christmas ornaments to commemorative Barbie dolls in the 36 years since the icon's death. But in late 1968, Presley's career was in decline after several years of corny movies and a slow drift from his rock 'n' roll roots.

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Oli Scarff, Getty Images
Oli Scarff, Getty Images
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37 Years Ago: Pink Floyd’s Giant Inflatable Pig Breaks Free

Whether it was an epic publicity stunt or a genuine mishap remains a topic of debate in some circles. Either way, the cover shoot for 1977's 'Animals' remains one of Pink Floyd's signature moments.

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Who Cincinnati 1979
Cincinnati Enquirer
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34 Years Ago: 11 Fans Die at The Who’s Cincinnati Concert

Eleven fans died 34 years ago today during a stampede to the front of Riverfront Coliseum for a Who concert. Eight others were seriously injured in the crush, which happened as the crowd raced in before a December 3, 1979 show.

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Ruben header
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45 Years Ago: Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention Release ‘Cruising With Ruben & the Jets’

On Dec. 2, 1968, a mysterious group of pompadoured cartoon faces turned back the clock of music history to highlight the golden era of doo-wop with their self-referencing album ‘Cruising With Ruben & the Jets.’

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Keystone / Getty Images
Keystone / Getty Images
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46 Years Ago: Traffic’s ‘Mr. Fantasy’ Released

Traffic are rightly remembered today as titans of jazz-rock and soul -- but on their 1967 debut album, 'Mr. Fantasy,' released 46 years ago this month, Steve Winwood and company were busy riding the psychedelic coattails of 'Sgt. Pepper.'

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