Useless information can be a brilliant thing. A cow’s weight can vary by as much as 75 pounds per day. As late as the 1950s, doctors believed that exercise was dangerous for people over 40. The technical name of a hashtag (#) is a octohorpe. fun, yeah?
For the last several decades, I’ve made my profession uncovering weird and wonderful facts about the world of music. I am now sharing some of that knowledge with you, dear reader, in the hope that you can use it to improve your life. Or at least win a cash bet or two.
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- Leo Fender, the creator of legendary guitars like 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. They shot him with a tranquilizer dart and dragged him out on a stretcher.
- Bob Marley was diagnosed with a form of melanoma under the nail of his big toe in 1977. Although he had the toe and nail bed removed, he refused to take the doctors’ advice to amputate the toe, saying it went against his Rastafarian beliefs. When he died in 1980, a doctor said he had “more cancer in him than I’ve ever seen in a living person.” Marley might still be alive today if he had parted with that toe.
- Speaking of toes, Liam Gallagher has too many. He has eleven total with six left footed. It’s a condition called polydactylism.
- When they toured the world in the 1980s, Duran Duran had the local age of consent printed on their daily itineraries to avoid “misunderstandings”.
- Lip syncing is illegal in Turkmenistan. Back in 2005, batpoop-mad President Saparmurat Niyazov declared that lip-synching had “a negative impact on the development of singing and the art of music,” and thus banned it forever. Incidentally, in 2001 he banned opera and ballet on the grounds that they did not correspond to the national mentality.
- As Weezer’s second album, pinkerton, didn’t do as well as Rivers Cuomo had hoped, he left Harvard and hid in his room, whose walls and ceiling were painted black and whose windows were blacked out with layers of fiberglass insulation. The plan was to rid himself of all weaknesses so he could focus on writing the perfect pop song.
- Next time you’re shopping for wine, pay attention to the music playing in the store. A 1993 experiment showed that when classical music was being played, people stopped and scrutinized the labels more frequently and more closely than when other genres of music were being played. They also bought more expensive bottles.
- The first documentation of surgeons playing music in the operating room appears in medical journals in the 1950s.
- In 1986, North Korea held a festival called “Rock for Peace”. I have no idea who performed.
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- If you have a teenage daughter, beware of a condition called boyband-induced “pneumothorax.” It is caused by screaming and singing so loud at a boy band concert that the lungs spontaneously collapse. In this case, you need emergency medical care.
- When visiting Chris Cornell’s grave in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, look across the street. He is buried a few meters from a memorial to Toto the dog The Wizard of Oz.
- The folks at KFC — yes, the Chicken Place — follow fewer than a dozen people on Twitter. Five of them are named Herb and the other six are members of the Spice Girls. Think about it for a while and you will understand.
- In 1996, Ringo Starr went to Japan to take part in an advertisement for a brand of applesauce. Why? Because “ringo” means “apple” in Japanese.
- Then, in 2004, Johnny Cash’s people were approached by an advertising agency asking permission to use his song ring of fire in a Prep H commercial. They politely declined.
- About 12 percent of all of Mozart’s letters to friends and associates contained at least one reference to poop. Some of the lyrics to his music also talked about poop and required other people to make changes. If you’re interested, let Google translate those Kiss my ass Symphony. He was very scatological, something some say is linked to a case of Tourette’s.
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- Canadian musical sweetheart Burton Cummings once had his turn The dating game. It was 1970 and The Guess Who were at their peak.
- This was a musical trend on TikTok in 2020. I do not know why.
- Queen guitarist Brian May has a range of sports bras.
- New Order drummer Stephen Morris has a very large private collection of retired military vehicles, including a tank or two.
- Before they became super famous, the Rolling Stones wrote a jingle for a Rice Krispies TV commercial.
- British musician Spencer Davis played the lottery every week with three sets of numbers: one for him, 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 screaming kids who were still in the venue, he let everyone know his boss was gone and was the first to announce, “Elvis has left the building.” From that point on, all shows ended with it that Al said that.
- Joe Strummer of the Clash’s daughter is named Jazz. Her passion is knitting. She even wrote a book on the subject Queen of Crafts.
- The binary bumps on the surface of a CD are also arranged in a spiral pattern, although CDs are played inside out. A typical CD spiral runs almost five kilometers.
Do you have any music trivia of your own?
Alan Cross is a broadcaster on Q107 and 102.1 the Edge and a commentator for Global News.
Subscribe now to Alan’s Ongoing History of New Music Podcast on Apple Podcast or Google Play
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