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100 iconic moments from music history

  • The Beatles perform live on American TV in 1964

    Beatlemania hit the United States on Feb. 9, 1964, when the Fab Four—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr—performed live on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Around 700 lucky spectators got to watch the now-legendary show in person, according to Richard Harrington of The Washington Post. “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” would climb to the #1 spot on U.S. music charts the following month.

  • Bob Dylan introduces the Beatles to pot

    Bob Dylan met with the Beatles at The Delmonico Hotel in New York on Aug. 28, 1964, and offered them a joint. Some members of the band say it was the first time they got high, according to Rick Cusick of High Times. The experience would go on to influence the Beatles’ future music.

  • Pete Townshend smashes his guitar on stage

    Pete Townshend of The Who smashed his guitar during a performance at the Railway Tavern in 1964. Rolling Stone would call it one of the “50 moments that changed rock ՚n’ roll.” The North London hotel that once housed the venue has since hung up a plaque commemorating the event, according to the Mirror.

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  • Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone births modern rock

    Bob Dylan’s stream-of-consciousness song “Like a Rolling Stone” was released in 1965. The 6-minute song was a change from formulaic pop songs that typically clocked in at under three minutes, and is credited as giving birth to the modern rock song, according to Sean O’Hagan of The Guardian.

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  • I Got You, Babe becomes top hit

    “I Got You, Babe,” the duet by Sonny and Cher, took the top spot on the U.S. charts in 1965. The musical couple would launch “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” show on CBS six years later.

  • Bob Dylan plays electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival

    Fans were divided on Bob Dylan’s choice to play an electric guitar at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. The event may have ended the Folk Revival movement that he helped lead, and would go on to influence other artists’ preference for electric over acoustic, according to Alva Yaffe of Musicoholics.

  • The Rolling Stones release “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

    The Rolling Stones released “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” as a single in 1965, and it became an instant rock ’n’ roll classic. The Stones performed a censored version of it on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 13, 1966. The lyric “trying to make some girl” was bleeped out of the family show.

  • The Beach Boys release Pet Sounds

    After years in the making, the Beach Boys’ psychedelic album “Pet Sounds” was finally released in 1966. It marked a major shift in studio technique and style for the band, and would go on to inspire the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” “Pet Sounds” would eventually be considered “one of the most influential albums in music history,” according to Norman Abjorensen, author of “Historical Dictionary of Popular Music.”

    [Pictured: Al Jardine and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys recording 'Pet Sounds' at Western Recorders studios in the spring of 1966.]

  • The Velvet Underground teams up with Andy Warhol

    Andy Warhol-produced LP “The Velvet Underground & Nico” was released in a famous banana sleeve in 1967. The album would become one of the most influential rock records in history, according to Sean O’Hagan of The Guardian.

    [Pictured: Nico and Sterling Morrison of the Velvet Underground.]

  • The Beatles release Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

    The Beatles continued their journey into psychedelic music with the release of the album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in 1967. It took the #1 spot on the Billboard Top LPs chart for 15 weeks in the United States.

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