101 Other Things You Didn't Know About Rock N' Roll

101 interesting facts about rock 'n' roll.

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There was already a great column named 101 Things You Didn't Know About Rock 'N' Roll, so I decided to add the "other". I tried to make a great list without using any of the things already used in the last article, and I hope something didn't collide. It may be a bit long, but that's the point, isn't it? Okey, here we go:

01. Steven Tyler once left a show after just one song. The band had supposedly switched the setlist around and the Aerosmith vocalist was too wasted to realise that the concert had just begun.

02. Tony Iommi was a member of Jethro Tull for 10 minutes.

03. Despite releasing an album called "Speed Metal Symphony" and playing in Megadeth for a decade, Marty Friedman is not a heavy metal fan. Uh, what?

04. When James Hetfield first auditioned Lars Ulrich, he thought he was the worst drummer he'd ever heard.

05. The power chord was invented by Link Wray, whose signature track "Rumble" is featured in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction".

06. In total, 4 keyboard-players of the Grateful Dead has died (and none by age).

07. Chuck Schuldiner, often called "the architect of death metal", died a christian. Death's upside-down cross was turned the right way on the last few albums.

08. Napalm Death's debut album "Scum" suffers from an extreme line-up change. Only drummer Mick Harris plays on both sides of the album.

09. The largest concert ever was by Rod Stewart with 3,5 million people attending.

10. "Cinnamoon Girl" by Neil Young has a guitar solo which only consists of one note. The same goes for the intro riff in "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin.

11. Iron Maiden was signed with a record contract on a concert where bassist Steve Harris sang, because their vocalist Paul Di'Anno was absent.

12. A critic once suggested that Paul McCartney was dead and the person on the cover of "Abbey Road" is a phonie. He even suggested that the band member's positions where symbolic (John Lennon in white as Jesus, etc.). Believe it or not, it's actually not true.

13. Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" album has spent over 1500 weeks on the charts since it's release.

14. Joni Mitchell has used over 50 different tunings in her career.

15. Dream Theater's third line-up sometimes performed under the name "Nightmare Cinema", where the band member's changed instruments (John Petrucci played drums, Mike Portnoy played bass, John Myung played keyboards and Derek Sherinian played guitar). They would mostly play "Perfect Strangers" by Deep Purple and "Suicide Solution" by Ozzy Osbourne. A video can be found on YouTube.

16. Mtrhead-vocalist Lemmy was once a roadie for Jimi Hendrix.

17. Malcolm Young was a member of the Velvet Underground, which is not the same band you probably know of.

18. Frank Zappa has an asteroid named after him, "3824 Zappafrank".

19. Paul Kossof from Free died of an heroin overdose in 1975. Kossof survived, and concluded that he probably was invincible. He died 6 months later of another overdose.

20. Johnny Greenwod has developed Repetitive Strain Injury in his arm for playing too fast. Well, duh. Apparently, same thing happened to one of the Immortal-guitarists, too. It was so bad he couldn't even use soap. So stay away from tremolo picking, children.

21. Because he sleeps upside down at night, Keith Richards can't be killed by ordinary weapons.

22. Martin Scorsese was an editor of the "Woodstock"-movie.

23. If you watch the movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" you will see a guitar-player named Tommy Johnson, who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for good guitar skills. Tommy Johnson actually bore the legend before Robert Johnson did so.

24. John Fahey didn't perform public after 3 albums, which was 6 years into his recording career.

25. Prince is a Jehova's Witness.

26. Mark Knopfler and his Dire Straits would lower their volumes when playing at pubs so that drinkers could carry a conversation at the same time that the band played.

27. The guitar on the "Texas Flood"-album cover is not actually a Fender Stratocaster.

28. Zakk Wylde's name is actually Jeffery Phillip Wiedlandt.

29. According to John Lennon, "Dig A Pony" and "And Your Bird Can Sing" were the worst songs he ever wrote.

30. The german heavy metal band Helloween released an album called "Pink Bubbles Go Ape". Apart from the title track, the album contains such songs as "Number One" and "Heavy Metal Hamsters". It was not a success.

31. The Dream Theater-instrumental "The Dance Of Eternity" contains 22 different time signatures.

32. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of The Mars Volta has a collection of over 100 guitar pedals.

33. Nevermore 7-stringer Jeff Loomis were supposedly able to play Yngwie Malmsteen's "Trilogy" album at age 14, and almost joined Megadeth when 16. According to Dave Mustaine, the age was the only reason he wasn't taken in.

34. Dimebag Darrell was also asked to join Megadeth, but declined because he would rather play with his brother.

35. According to Alice Cooper, Jim Morrison's pants would stand straight without any support due to the fact that the Doors vocalist didn't change it for a whole year.

36. Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel was supposedly inspired by Jeff Beck.

37. Noel Gallagher of Oasis doesn't remember what his songs were about. He's not the only one.

38. "Fade To Black" is not actually about suicide, but stolen Marshall amps.

39. During the tour for "Lean Into It", Mr. Big was sponsored by the Japanese power tool manufacturers Makita. In return, the band wrote "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little", otherwise known as "The Drill Song" thanks to Paul Gilbert and Bill Sheehan using drills to give the song quite the unusual climax.

40. You don't need technique to be good. According to David Gilmour, his godly signature style has emerged from his lack of technique. That's good enough for me.

41. The Led Zeppelin instrumental "Moby Dick" was often used as a launching point for John Bonham's drum solo, which would often last an entire half hour.

42. Dragonforce guitarist Sam Totman's album collection only consists of about 5 CDs. In contrast, Opeth's Mikael kerfeldt's collection has about 3000-4000.

43. The power chord was invented by Link Wray.

44. While many bands and artists prefer to keep their songs completely rehearsed before going in the studio, Bob Dylan took the other way around. He would hire a group of musicians to come into the studio and record the songs. Fair enough, except that only Dylan knew the songs when the record-button was pressed. The musicians were forced to guess the chords and just go with the flow, not knowing how fast or long the song was going to be. "Why go through all of that?", you might say. To be spontaneous, of course!

45. Guns N' Roses holds the record for "most impressive chart entry". With the release of "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II", both albums entered the two first slots at the album charts, a feat never done ever before or since.

46. The Edge turned up to U2's first rehearsal with his brother Dick and a home-made electric guitar carved in the shape of a swan.

47. Ted Nugent first appeared in his concerts dressed as Tarzan.

48. Max Cavalera got drunk once and puked on Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, returning 10 minutes to ask him for his autograph.

49. John Bush almost joined Metallica as a singer instead of James Hetfield.

50. The easiest song ever? A strong candidate is by far The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows", with nothing but a C-chord as accompaniment.

51. Steve Vai plays the devil's guitarist in the movie "Crossroads" (no, not the Britney Spears one).

52. You know you're outplayed when your solo lasts 8 bars, while the other guitarist in your band has a solo for over a hundred bars, which is the case for Television's "Marquee Moon".

53. The name "Blackwater Park", the 5th album by Opeth, is actually taken from a german band 1970's progband with the same name.

54. Zakk Wylde didn't start to play guitar until he was 15.

55. Joe Perry makes and bottles his own hot sauce.

56. T-Rex's "Ride A White Swan" is about Marc Bolan's white Stratocaster.

57. During a live gig with one of his first bands, Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris supposedly played the intro of one of the songs so bad that the singer came in late, because he thought Harris was tuning his bass.

58. Yngwie Malmsteen plays with a scalloped fretboard, which actually makes it harder to play fast. Ironic, huh?

59. The drum sound on Buddy Know's 1957 hit, "Party Doll" was actually made by a cardboard box filled with cotton.

60. Jethro Tull's 1968 debut single, "Sunshine Day" was wrongfully credited to Jethro Toe.

61. Ringo Starr almost joined another Liverpool band called Kingsize Taylor And The Dominoes. What do you mean you haven't heard about them?

62. The longest album title ever is by Fiona Apple and has 90 words. The album is called (here goes): "When The Pawn Hits The Conflicts He Thinks Like A King What He Knows Throws The Blows When He Goes To The Fight And He'll Win The Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters The Ring There's No Body To Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand And Remember That Depth Is The Greatest Of Heights And If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where To Land And If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right".

63. Jimmy Page played on Tom Jones' super-hit "It's Not Unusual".

64. Most of the people singing on "We Are The World" don't actually like the song. Cyndi Lauper even said it sounded like a Pepsi commercial.

65. The Beatles was technically never officialy signed.

66. Buddy Holly asked his future wife for a date, 30 seconds after meeting her and proposed later the same week. Six months earlier, he had recorded a song called "Take Your Time".

67. The first #1 album in the US to be non-available on vinyl was Vanilla Ice's "To The Extreme".

68. Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson from the first Megadeth line-up were actually jazz/fusion musicians.

69. Grand Funk Railroad took their name after a Michigan landmark, The Grand Trunk Railroad. Oh, history could have been so different.

70. Opeth/Trivium/Killswitch Engage-producer Andy Sneap used to be in a band called Sabbat, which is not the "other" band.

71. All Morbid Angel-albums are titled alphabetically ("Altars Of Madness", "Blessed Are The Sick", "Covenant", etc).

72. Performance contracts for Van Halen stipulated that they should be provided with a supply of M&Ms at every show, but all of the brown one had to be removed.

73. "Rock and rock" is a slang for sexual intercourse.

74. Before the Diana Ross/Florence Ballard/Mary Wilson version of The Supremes came to fame, there was actually an all-male quartet called just that.

75. The most played song on jukeboxes in the US is "Crazy" by Patsy Cline. 76. Paul Anka's first album sold 300 copies, while the sophomore album sold nine million.

77. Neil Young collects model trains.

78. Among the suggestions for what the name W.A.S.P. really meant, was the catchy phrase "We Are Sexul Perverts", but it could also be "Women's Air-Force Service Pilots".

79. Antoine "Fats" Domino and his wife Rosemary have eight children, all whom have names starting with an "A".

80. Upon meeting the band Pink Floyd for the first time, a record company executive asked them "which one's Pink?". It was later was used as a line in "Have A Cigar".

81. 60% percent of all records sold in the US in February and March, 1964, belonged to The Beatles.

82. Jimmy Page's band The Firm (founded in 1984) was said to be a vehicle to show people that he was not a washed up drug user. In the fall of the same year, he was arrested for possession of cocaine.

83. Elvis Presley had a show opener called "The Theme From 2001". It was named so because he always felt there was something special about the number 2001. He died 08.16.1977, which adds up to 2001.

84. Cannibal Corpse has actually sold millions of albums, despite being banned in several countries.

85. Prince recorded every instrument at his debut album himself. At 17. Not bad.

86. Justin Hawkin's falsetto vocals were initially just a joke. Initially?

87. The 10-minute solo on "Maggot Brain" by Funkadelic is 100& improvised by Eddie Hazel. Producer George Clinton told Hazel to play like his mother just did

88. Steve Vai only joined Whitesnake to get his music heard. Oh, really?

89. As with Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani initially wanted to be a drummer.

90. Most of the time, covers aren't really accepted as being better or even yet as good as the originals. That wasn't the case with Jimi Hendrix's version of "All Along The Watchtower", which Bob Dylan found so good that when he played live, he would play it like Hendrix instead of like his own version.

91. Dimebag Darrell's brother, Vinnie Paul, was initially a tuba player.

93. The effects at the end of Link Wray's "Rumble" is caused by holes in the amplifier, which Wray supposedly poked himself.

94. The Edge wanted to be a surgeon as a kid.

95. One of the many problems which the early Pink Floyd faced with Syd Barrett was the fact that he would play the same note during an entire concert. And you said drugs made great music?

96. Jethro Tull's Jon Anderson finds Thin Lizzy noisy.

97. Derek Sherinian of Dream Theater fame once proposed the idea of him being rhythm guitarist in the band. John Petrucci declined, saying it would look too much like the 80's hair-band Winger.

98. "Hangar 18" by Megadeth has 11 guitar solos.

99. The title track of Black Sabbath's sophomore album, is a filler song written in one hour. The result: the band changed the album's title from "War Pigs" to "Paranoid" and the song became their biggest hit, not to mention their only mainstream-known song.

100. The guitar solo in Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird" was initially a pause in the set for vocalist Ronnie VanZant to rest his vocal cords.

101. According to Guinnes World Records, the shortest song ever is "You Suffer" by Napalm Death, which is 1,3 seconds long.

Puh, that's all!

43 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Raginggoblin
    Link wray didn't invent the power chord, but he was the first to se it with any rock and roll attitude.
    new_decade
    correction, keith richards cant be killed by "conventional" weapons! pffff poor research tsk tsk
    rock_and_blues
    you really cant say "tomorrow never knows" is the easiest song, because its just a drone created by george's sitar, and everything else is just backwards noise, including the solo. so really there is a whole lot going on its not just a strummed c chord over and over.
    DaddyTwoFoot
    For #4, Hetfield never auditioned Lars. Metallica was Lars' idea, and they were both in it from the beginning together.
    krymson
    hemi-san wrote: it blows me away that paranoid is more popular than iron man. besides was it on there that the song black sabbath was actually based on what happened to their bassist. he woke up in the middle of the night and he saw this figure standing at the end of his bed pointing at him. ill let you make the connection
    That was on the song black sabbath on the album black sabbath not Paranoid
    Malakian=God
    For number 96 Jon Anderson never played in Jethro Tull, it was Ian Anderson Interesting list, i liked it.
    sueycide
    The thing about EVH and Stevie Vai wanting to be a drummer... well you can add on more name to that list. Daron Malakian of System of a Down. His parents didn't buy him one because they said "You can't turn drums off."
    slashsnake221
    wow dude this is pretty sick.. and the eddie thing kinda made me thinkg.. i wanted 2 be a drummer also.. but i play guitar now, so i wonder if ill be as good as eddie someday =) i can only hope and practice.. but realy good job and dude the elvis thing creeped me out a bit
    eyewhin
    #83: Elvis Presley did indeed open his show with a song that was commonly referred to as "Theme from 2001;" however, it had nothing to do with the fact that he liked the number. The real title of the song is, "Also Sprach Zarathustra." The song was used for the opening scene in, "2001, A Space Odyssey." That is how the song got its more commonly known name.
    wichonespink
    Great column, but I think for # 92 you should put that Tony Iommi in grade school beat up and picked on Ozzy.
    Dante's Inferno
    5150man wrote: hey man, I'm the guy who wrote the other 101 things...I liked this one, specially the fact that quite a few of the facts were about metal..hopefully you won't have as much "wrong" facts as I did (and if you do, probably not even the very musicians remember if they are true or no)...cause most of the comments I got were just about how I aman ignorant *****, and I wouldn't wish that for anyone again, cool article hopefully someone will do "Other Other 101 Things You Didn't Know About Rock And Roll" and the three of us can form a club
    You have no idea how long it took to make this. You took all the good ones! The third won't probably be as good, there's not much left now. And yes I tried to vary genres. Everything from blues to metal, just to get as much as possible. Thanks for the good response!
    hemi-san
    it blows me away that paranoid is more popular than iron man. besides was it on there that the song black sabbath was actually based on what happened to their bassist. he woke up in the middle of the night and he saw this figure standing at the end of his bed pointing at him. ill let you make the connection
    bonzo_lives
    Ive seen Kingsize Taylor and the Dominos!! do i get points for that? Also to anyone from liverpool they are still giggin regularly go see them
    Muusik
    That's cool, must of taken you a while to type up though. And yeah, no 92 IS missing.
    fhqwgads
    Everyone knows about the Paul is Dead conspiracy. Theres a huge article on it in wikipedia. Also, I'm pretty sure that Iron Man and War Pigs are main'stream songs, despite their length.
    S0ulja23
    I still prefer the first. This one has less interesting facts (except for some) and doesn't have enough depth to each fact.
    xtremepunk0024
    43 and 5 are the same!!!!! so its actualy 99 things because 92 is missing too. But it still has some pretty interesting stuff
    5150man
    that's awesome! the swear word starred itself! wonder if it happens the same with cursing in spanish...hijos de puta
    Dante's Inferno
    Sorry about the missing ones. I know there might be some mistakes, but I hope you all can enjoy it anyway. Thanks for the replies.
    Gypsy Eyed
    fact number 10 is totally wrong. The intro riff to 'immigrant song' isn't just 1 note played.. it's BASED around 1 note, but it's not only 1 note that's played.
    Thin-Lizzy
    21. Because he sleeps upside down at night, Keith Richards can't be killed by ordinary weapons.
    hahahaha, ****ing awesome!
    suicidalmoose
    04. When James Hetfield first auditioned Lars Ulrich, he thought he was the worst drummer he'd ever heard. LOL. James hetfield should trust his instincts more...
    stidhamdan
    34.What if dimebag would have joined megadeth?That could have been pretty cool mixing there style's
    LedZepp11
    Gypsy Eyed wrote: fact number 10 is totally wrong. The intro riff to 'immigrant song' isn't just 1 note played.. it's BASED around 1 note, but it's not only 1 note that's played.
    Actually, it is one note. its just one is an octave higher.
    5150man
    hey man, I'm the guy who wrote the other 101 things...I liked this one, specially the fact that quite a few of the facts were about metal..hopefully you won't have as much "wrong" facts as I did (and if you do, probably not even the very musicians remember if they are true or no)...cause most of the comments I got were just about how I aman ignorant *****, and I wouldn't wish that for anyone again, cool article hopefully someone will do "Other Other 101 Things You Didn't Know About Rock And Roll" and the three of us can form a club
    pantallica95
    dimebag wanted to be a drummer too. but once vinnie paul started getting better than dime he wouldnt let him play the drum set they had so dime got a guitar and they started jammin to (surprise)smoke on the water.