Unnecessary information can be a brilliant thing. A cow’s weight can fluctuate up to 75 pounds per day. As recently as the 1950s, doctors believed exercise was dangerous for people over 40. The technical name of a hashtag (#) is a octothorpe. Fun, yes?
For the past few decades, I’ve made a career out of researching the weird and wonderful facts about the world of music. I now share some of this knowledge with you, dear reader, in the hope that you can use it to improve your life. Or at least win a bar bet or two.
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- Leo Fender, the creator of iconic guitars such as the Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster and Precision Bass, didn’t know how to play the guitar.
- For his 34th birthday, Billy Idol took over the penthouse of the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. After three weeks of partying (and $250,000 in damage), he was asked to leave. When he didn’t, the military was called in. They shot him with a tranquilizer dart and dragged him on a stretcher.
- Bob Marley was diagnosed with a form of melanoma under his big toe nail in 1977. Although he had his toe and nail bed removed, he refused to take doctors’ advice to amputate the toe, claiming it was against his Rastafarian beliefs. . When he died in 1980, a doctor said he had “more cancer in him than I have ever seen in a living human being”. Marley might be alive today if he had parted with that toe.
- Speaking of toes, Liam Gallagher has too many. He has eleven in total including six on the left foot. This is a condition called polydactyly.
- When circumnavigating the globe in the 1980s, Duran Duran used to print the local age of consent on his daily itineraries to avoid any “misunderstanding”.
- Lip syncing is illegal in Turkmenistan. In 2005, mad president of batpoop Saparmurat Niyazov said that lip-synch created “a negative effect on the development of singing and musical art” and therefore banned it forever. By the way, he banned opera and ballet in 2001, saying that they did not correspond to the national mentality.
- When Weezer’s second album, Pinkerton, didn’t do as well as Rivers Cuomo had hoped, he dropped out of Harvard and hid in his bedroom, whose walls and ceilings were painted black and whose windows were blackened with layers of fiberglass insulation. The plan was to purge himself of all his weaknesses so he could focus on writing the perfect pop song.
- The next time you buy wine, take note of the music playing in the store. A 1993 experiment showed that when classical music was playing, people stopped and examined the labels more often and more carefully compared to when other genres of music were playing. They also bought more expensive bottles.
- The earliest documentation of surgeons playing music in the operating room is found in medical journals from the 1950s.
- In 1986, North Korea held a festival called “Rock for Peace”. I have no idea who played.
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- If you have a teenage daughter, beware of a condition called “pneumothorax” induced by a boy band. It’s caused by shouting and singing so loudly at a boy band concert that your lungs spontaneously collapse. If this happens, you need emergency medical attention.
- If you visit Chris Cornell’s grave in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, look across the road. He is buried a few meters from a memorial dedicated to Toto, the dog of The Wizard of Oz.
- The folks at KFC — yes, the chicken coop — follow less than a dozen people on Twitter. Five of them are called Herb and the other six are members of the Spice Girls. Think about it for a moment and you will understand.
- In 1996, Ringo Starr traveled to Japan to participate in an advertisement for a brand of applesauce. Why? Because “ringo” means “apple” in Japanese.
- Then, in 2004, the folks at Johnny Cash were approached by an ad agency asking for permission to use his song. ring of fire in an advertisement for Preparation H. They politely declined.
- About 12% of all of Mozart’s letters to friends and associates included at least one reference to poo. Some of the lyrics in his music were also about poo, forcing other people to make changes. If you are interested, ask Google to translate the Leck mich im Arsch symphony. He was very scatological, something some say is related to a case of Tourette.
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- Canadian music treasure Burton Cummings was once on The dating game. It was 1970 and The Guess Who was at its peak.
- It was trending music on TikTok in 2020. I don’t know why.
- Brian May, guitarist of Queen, has a line of sports bras.
- New Order drummer Stephen Morris has a very large private collection of disused military vehicless, including a tank or two.
- Before becoming super famous, the Rolling Stones wrote a jingle for a Rice Krispies TV commercial.
- British musician Spencer Davis played the lottery each week with three sets of numbers: one for himself, one for his wife and one for his dog. In 2012, the dog hit a $250,000 jackpot
- Al Dorvin hosted an Elvis Presley show in Minneapolis in 1954. To get rid of the still screaming kids in the venue, he let everyone know his boss was gone and was the first to announce “Elvis left the building”. From then on, all shows ended with Al saying that.
- The daughter of Joe Strummer of The Clash is called Jazz. Her passion is knitting. She even wrote a book on the subject titled queen of trades.
- Binary bumps on the surface of a CD are also arranged in a spiral, although CDs play from the inside out. A typical CD spiral travels almost five kilometers.
Do you have any music stories?
Alan Cross is a broadcaster with Q107 and 102.1 the Edge and a commentator for Global News.
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