Favorite/Interesting Musical Tidbits and Trivia

coolhandgopher

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John Hall and Daryl Oates met in a service elevator which was crammed full of people who were escaping a gang fight at a dance event in Philadelphia, 1967. They were members of different bands at the time, and when they ran into each other at Temple (where they both attended) a few weeks later, Hall invited Oates to join his band.

Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" was written about groupie and his former girlfriend Cathy Smith, who would go on to infamously shoot John Belushi up with the fatal dose of heroin and cocaine.

Foreigner's "Double Vision" was inspired from a New York Rangers game that Lou Gramm and Mick Jones attended, where the Rangers goalie received a concussion during the game, had to leave the ice, and the PA announcer repeatedly told the crowd that the goalie was suffering from double vision.

Blue Oyster Cult's two biggest hits, "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "Burnin' for You" were both sung by their lead guitarist Buck Dharma, not their lead vocalist.

Detroit Lions Mel Farr and Lem Barney provided backing vocals on Marvin Gaye's sublime 1971 song, "What's Going On?"

Neil Young and Rick James were in a Toronto band together called The Mynah Birds back in the mid '60s before heading in very different directions musically.

Ace's "How Long", a mid '70s yacht rock/one hit wonder staple, was not about a jilted lover, but rather written by the lead singer (Paul Carrack) about the bassist (Terry Comer) when he discovered that Comer was working with another band.
 

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Okay, so Cathy Smith was quite the muse...I looked over her story a bit more and before Lightfoot, she was attached to The Band and the song "The Weight" is supposedly about the "band baby" that Smith had where the paternity was uncertain between Levon Helm and Rick Danko.
 

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Frank Zappa hired Tina Turner and the Ikettes to sing on his song Montana. They were paid the going hourly rate even though Ike Turner tried to make Zappa pay them only $25 per song. It was all part of Ike's dickish, abusive nature. He didn't want them getting uppity.

Regarding Don't Fear the Reaper, contrary to urban legend/televangelist paranoia the song is not about suicide. Buck Dharma and his wife got into a health scare of some sort and had some long conversations about mortality.

Spinal Tap took the bit about getting trapped in a pod during Rock and Roll Creation from an event that happened to Yes. Drummer Alan white was trapped in a pod at a show during the Tales From Topographic Oceans Tour.
 

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Okay, so Cathy Smith was quite the muse...I looked over her story a bit more and before Lightfoot, she was attached to The Band and the song "The Weight" is supposedly about the "band baby" that Smith had where the paternity was uncertain between Levon Helm and Rick Danko.
Rick Danko is one of my favorite bass players ever. That's all I have to add to this.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Jimi Hendrix started out playing guitar as a backup musician for the Isley Brothers and Little Richard.

when he formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience, in 1967 they landed a gig as the warmup act on a tour by....the Monkees.

Hendrix lasted 8 shows on the tour. After doing a show at Forest Hills, he flipped off the crowd and they quit the tour.

Can you imagine an audience that came to see the Monkees and here is this dude with the big afro doing things with a guitar that no one has ever seen before? that had to be a head trip.
 


short ornery norwegian

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On the original studio recording of "Jesus Christ Superstar," the part of Jesus was sung by Ian Gillian.

At the time, he was the lead singer of Deep Purple.
 

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Pharrell Williams was part of the Wreckx-N-Effects camp and contributed one lyrical line to their classic, "Rump Shaker" (which in in the conversation for greatest hip hop song about women's posteriors with, of course, Baby Got Back).
 

TurfGopher

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i heard Pharrell wrote a whole verse on rump shaker
 

Nokomis

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I've always thought it was cool that the members of U2 all went to high school together and have kept the same lineup ever since. I'm not a huge U2 fan, but that's pretty impressive to become the biggest band in the world with three of your classmates.
 
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The original Beastie Boys included a girl (Kate Schellenbach who went on to play with Luscious Jackson) until Rick Rubin made her quite.
 

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On the original studio recording of "Jesus Christ Superstar," the part of Jesus was sung by Ian Gillian.

At the time, he was the lead singer of Deep Purple.
Speaking of JCSS, that live tv thing with John Legend was not the first time Alice Cooper played the role of King Herod. He also sang the part in a 90s revival in London.
 

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Bob Dylan just set a new record. He is the first artist to have at least one album chart in the top 40 on Billboard's Album chart in each decade from the 1960's to the 2020's. His new album is opening at #2 on the new chart. It's Dylan's 23rd album to hit the top 10 and the 50th to hit the top 40. to put this in perspective, his 1st album on the top-40 chart was "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" in the fall of 1963.

I know Bob is an acquired taste for some, but the new album has some of his best stuff in a long time. Picked it up in the store on Saturday. Oddly enough, it's a two-disc CD, but the 2nd disc only has one song on it - "Murder Most Foul," which clocks in at a little over 17 minutes - Dylan's longest song ever.
 

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Bob Dylan just set a new record. He is the first artist to have at least one album chart in the top 40 on Billboard's Album chart in each decade from the 1960's to the 2020's. His new album is opening at #2 on the new chart. It's Dylan's 23rd album to hit the top 10 and the 50th to hit the top 40. to put this in perspective, his 1st album on the top-40 chart was "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" in the fall of 1963.

I know Bob is an acquired taste for some, but the new album has some of his best stuff in a long time. Picked it up in the store on Saturday. Oddly enough, it's a two-disc CD, but the 2nd disc only has one song on it - "Murder Most Foul," which clocks in at a little over 17 minutes - Dylan's longest song ever.

Dylan is still great. His live shows haven't been anything to brag about for ever, but he still brings it to recordings.
 



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I just learned that Stevie Wonder's Superstition was supposed to be for Jeff Beck. Beck was playing guitar on one of Stevie's albums and Stevie had agreed to write a song for Beck as part of the payment. One day Beck was messing around on drums, Stevie heard him and told him he liked the beat and to keep playing.

Stevie then wrote Superstitious using that beat and they made some demo tracks of it. The intention was to let Beck have it but Beck's solo album was delayed and once Berry Gordy heard the song he insisted Stevie keep it as he knew it was a sure fire hit. No real hard feelings about it apparently. As big as Beck's ego was back in the day he apparently really respected Stevie.

 

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I just learned that Stevie Wonder's Superstition was supposed to be for Jeff Beck. Beck was playing guitar on one of Stevie's albums and Stevie had agreed to write a song for Beck as part of the payment. One day Beck was messing around on drums, Stevie heard him and told him he liked the beat and to keep playing.

Stevie then wrote Superstitious using that beat and they made some demo tracks of it. The intention was to let Beck have it but Beck's solo album was delayed and once Berry Gordy heard the song he insisted Stevie keep it as he knew it was a sure fire hit. No real hard feelings about it apparently. As big as Beck's ego was back in the day he apparently really respected Stevie.
Truly one of the greatest songs of all time. The guitar hook, drums, horns, and Stevie's voice all fit together perfectly. Too bad the lyrics are just sort of goofy. But the music is peerless.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Talking about Jeff Beck - still amazes me to think about the run of guitar players in the Yardbirds.
Eric Clapton was the original lead guitar player. He left and was replaced by Jeff Beck. Beck left and was replaced by Jimmy Page. that's three of the all-time great guitar players in the same band.

then, of course, the Yardbirds broke up. So Jimmy Page put together a new group. At first, he was going to call the group the "New Yardbirds."

According to legend, either Keith Moon or John Entwistle of the Who made a wisecrack that the new band would go down "like a lead balloon."

that gave Jimmy Page the idea for the band's name - Led Zeppelin. And the rest is history.
 

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Talking about Jeff Beck - still amazes me to think about the run of guitar players in the Yardbirds.
Eric Clapton was the original lead guitar player. He left and was replaced by Jeff Beck. Beck left and was replaced by Jimmy Page. that's three of the all-time great guitar players in the same band.

then, of course, the Yardbirds broke up. So Jimmy Page put together a new group. At first, he was going to call the group the "New Yardbirds."

According to legend, either Keith Moon or John Entwistle of the Who made a wisecrack that the new band would go down "like a lead balloon."

that gave Jimmy Page the idea for the band's name - Led Zeppelin. And the rest is history.
Jimmy and Jeff played together for a while with the Yardbirds.
 

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Here's an odd one I just learned. Lou Reed's first solo album featured Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman of Yes on several tracks. They just happened to be checking out the new studio where it was being recorded and Reed asked them to play. You can hear Howe's distinctive style on this cut.

 

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How about Bruce Springsteen only having a single Number #1 song, and it was Manfred Mann's Blinded by the Light, that he wrote. Mind blowing!
 

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How about Bruce Springsteen only having a single Number #1 song, and it was Manfred Mann's Blinded by the Light, that he wrote. Mind blowing!
Not as surprising as the Springsteen trivia, but The Grateful Dead only had one song make the Top 40, Touch of Grey in 1987 (which made it all the way to #9)
 

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Not as surprising as the Springsteen trivia, but The Grateful Dead only had one song make the Top 40, Touch of Grey in 1987 (which made it all the way to #9)
Speaking of the Dead. The Amazon 5 part documentary: Long Strange Trip is great.
 

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Speaking of Springsteen, he does share one record -
"Born in the the USA" is one of only three albums that produced 7 songs that charted in the top 10.
Janet Jackson with "Rhythm Nation," (4 songs hit #1, 2 hit #2 and 1 hit #4)
Michael Jackson with "Thriller" (2 hit #1, followed by #2, #4, #5, #7 and #10.
and Springsteen. "Dancing in the Dark" hit #2; "Glory Days" #5, "I'm on Fire" #6, "My Hometown" #6,
"Cover Me" #7, "Born in the USA" #9 & "I'm Going Down" #9.

FWIW - Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" and Michael Jackson's "Bad" are the only albums to each produce 5 #1 singles.
 

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If you get a chance, watch Dan Rather's Big Interview of Gene Simmons. Gene makes the comment that rock and roll is approx 60 years old, and you can name countless great artists and songs from 1958 to 1988. But from 1988 to today, there are very very few artists and songs, that will pass the test of time. Really a great interview to watch. FYI, Dan mentioned Nirvana and Gene said "OK, I will give you that one, but they only had 2 albums"
 

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If you get a chance, watch Dan Rather's Big Interview of Gene Simmons. Gene makes the comment that rock and roll is approx 60 years old, and you can name countless great artists and songs from 1958 to 1988. But from 1988 to today, there are very very few artists and songs, that will pass the test of time. Really a great interview to watch. FYI, Dan mentioned Nirvana and Gene said "OK, I will give you that one, but they only had 2 albums"
Ok, boomer. :rolleyes: That's especially rich coming from Simmons. I don't think KISS has aged particularly well.
 

coolhandgopher

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If you get a chance, watch Dan Rather's Big Interview of Gene Simmons. Gene makes the comment that rock and roll is approx 60 years old, and you can name countless great artists and songs from 1958 to 1988. But from 1988 to today, there are very very few artists and songs, that will pass the test of time. Really a great interview to watch. FYI, Dan mentioned Nirvana and Gene said "OK, I will give you that one, but they only had 2 albums"

Off the top of my head, here are R & R bands from '88 onward who have been producing high quality music that will be in my musical rotation for years to come: Wilco, Los Lobos, Old '97s, Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam, REM, Weezer (I realize some of these bands started before '88, but my point is their careers have been very relevant from '88 onward). Of course, outside of those bands that I listed towards the end, they never hit it big on the radio, they did not come up during the arena rock era, so they're not going to be featured on classic rock radio stations and many of these bands came into existence/relevance in the post-MTV video golden age, so they were not consumed by the masses or even the edge of the masses. Where would Nirvana be without Smells Like Teen Spirit video? Pearl Jam without Jeremy? Soundgarden without Black Hole Sun? REM-Everybody Hurts? I haven't seen any of those videos in years, but because of the pure repetition of their airplay (which coincided with my college years), I can envision those videos without giving it a thought.

The narrow specialization of everything that the internet brought to us has taken away the shared experience. You might have hated grunge or hair metal or hip hop or tear jerking ballads, but as a kid in the '80s and '90s, you knew Nirvana and Poison and Dr. Dre and Sinead O'Connor because it was inescapable. It may have sucked at the time, but there's a shared experience there that doesn't exist with music today, no matter how much better the music might be (and I'll again reference the bands I listed above, along with acts such as Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers, who are working the outlaw country territory mighty damn well). It's easy to find your niche and stay inside that world today, unlike times past.

Finally, that Gene Simmons is positioning himself as the arbiter of quality music is rich. I don't have anything against Kiss, but they were considered a novelty back in their heyday and I don't think anyone could credibly argue that their catalog stacks up against the titans of the classic rock era.
 

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Off the top of my head, here are R & R bands from '88 onward who have been producing high quality music that will be in my musical rotation for years to come: Wilco, Los Lobos, Old '97s, Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam, REM, Weezer (I realize some of these bands started before '88, but my point is their careers have been very relevant from '88 onward). Of course, outside of those bands that I listed towards the end, they never hit it big on the radio, they did not come up during the arena rock era, so they're not going to be featured on classic rock radio stations and many of these bands came into existence/relevance in the post-MTV video golden age, so they were not consumed by the masses or even the edge of the masses. Where would Nirvana be without Smells Like Teen Spirit video? Pearl Jam without Jeremy? Soundgarden without Black Hole Sun? REM-Everybody Hurts? I haven't seen any of those videos in years, but because of the pure repetition of their airplay (which coincided with my college years), I can envision those videos without giving it a thought.

The narrow specialization of everything that the internet brought to us has taken away the shared experience. You might have hated grunge or hair metal or hip hop or tear jerking ballads, but as a kid in the '80s and '90s, you knew Nirvana and Poison and Dr. Dre and Sinead O'Connor because it was inescapable. It may have sucked at the time, but there's a shared experience there that doesn't exist with music today, no matter how much better the music might be (and I'll again reference the bands I listed above, along with acts such as Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers, who are working the outlaw country territory mighty damn well). It's easy to find your niche and stay inside that world today, unlike times past.

Finally, that Gene Simmons is positioning himself as the arbiter of quality music is rich. I don't have anything against Kiss, but they were considered a novelty back in their heyday and I don't think anyone could credibly argue that their catalog stacks up against the titans of the classic rock era.

What he said.

Also great post-'88 list, let's add Jason Isbell.
 

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Ok, boomer. :rolleyes: That's especially rich coming from Simmons. I don't think KISS has aged particularly well.
I agree, but Simmons was discussing the music over the decades and not KISS.
 

coolhandgopher

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What he said.

Also great post-'88 list, let's add Jason Isbell.
That was a massive oversight on my part, yeah he is something special. Shout outs to the likes of Gilian Welch, Lucinda Williams, Valerie June, Margo Price, Kasey Musgraves also. I do believe it’s the genre of music where the highest quality is being produced these days.
 

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John Hall and Daryl Oates met in a service elevator which was crammed full of people who were escaping a gang fight at a dance event in Philadelphia, 1967. They were members of different bands at the time, and when they ran into each other at Temple (where they both attended) a few weeks later, Hall invited Oates to join his band.

Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" was written about groupie and his former girlfriend Cathy Smith, who would go on to infamously shoot John Belushi up with the fatal dose of heroin and cocaine.

Foreigner's "Double Vision" was inspired from a New York Rangers game that Lou Gramm and Mick Jones attended, where the Rangers goalie received a concussion during the game, had to leave the ice, and the PA announcer repeatedly told the crowd that the goalie was suffering from double vision.

Blue Oyster Cult's two biggest hits, "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "Burnin' for You" were both sung by their lead guitarist Buck Dharma, not their lead vocalist.

Detroit Lions Mel Farr and Lem Barney provided backing vocals on Marvin Gaye's sublime 1971 song, "What's Going On?"

Neil Young and Rick James were in a Toronto band together called The Mynah Birds back in the mid '60s before heading in very different directions musically.

Ace's "How Long", a mid '70s yacht rock/one hit wonder staple, was not about a jilted lover, but rather written by the lead singer (Paul Carrack) about the bassist (Terry Comer) when he discovered that Comer was working with another band.
I think he was AWOL at the time.
 

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Jimi Hendrix started out playing guitar as a backup musician for the Isley Brothers and Little Richard.

when he formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience, in 1967 they landed a gig as the warmup act on a tour by....the Monkees.

Hendrix lasted 8 shows on the tour. After doing a show at Forest Hills, he flipped off the crowd and they quit the tour.

Can you imagine an audience that came to see the Monkees and here is this dude with the big afro doing things with a guitar that no one has ever seen before? that had to be a head trip.
Thought I read once that Jimi was in the 82nd Airborne.
 




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