Bill Graham closes San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom following a New Year’s Eve performance by the Blues Brothers and the Grateful Dead.
During a New Year’s Eve concert in Cleveland, Ohio, Bruce Springsteen is injured when a firecracker is thrown onstage from the audience.
January 4 – The Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany, known for its connections to the early days of the Beatles, reopened.
January 6 – ABC’s American Bandstand featured the debut of the “Y.M.C.A. dance” using the hand gestures forming the letters YMCA during a broadcast with the Village People.
January 9 – The Music for UNICEF Concert in held in New York City at the United Nations, starring the Bee Gees. Highlights are aired the following evening on NBC.
January 13 – Singer Donny Hathaway dies after falling 15 stories from his hotel room in New York City. According to Hathaway’s record company, Atlantic, the singer had been having some psychological problems.
January 15 – MCA Records purchases ABC Records for a reported $20 million.
February 2 – Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious is found dead from an overdose, a day after being released on bail from Rikers Island prison.
The Clash kicked off their first concert of their first American tour at the Berkeley Community Theatre outside San Francisco. Bo Diddley opened the show.
Stephen Stills becomes the first major rock artist to record digitally, laying down four songs at The Record Plant in Los Angeles.
February 10 – Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” hit No. 1 on the Billboard magazine charts, and stayed there for 4 weeks.
February 11 – 43 million viewers watch “Elvis!” on ABC, a made-for-TV movie starring Kurt Russell as Elvis.
February 15 – Minnie Riperton appears on the Grammys as a presenter with Stephen Bishop. The Bee Gees collect 4 Grammys for Saturday Night Fever.
February 23 – Dire Straits begin their first U.S. tour in Boston.
Friedrich Cerha’s completion of Alban Berg’s opera Lulu is premiered at the Opera Garnier in Paris.
Singer Johnnie Wilder, Jr. of Heatwave is paralyzed from the neck down in a car accident in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio.
February 26 – B.B. King becomes the first blues artist to tour the Soviet Union, kicking off a one-month tour there.