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Strange Music and Musician Trivia!


Impress your friends, destroy at quiz nights and enjoy this chunky list of music triv.

-Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon earnings were invested in a floating restaurant, a fudge-making hotel, a computer game, a film nobody saw, a skateboard company, a car hire business, and a children's shoe factory. All complete failures. They fled to France as tax exiles and recorded The Wall.

-James Joseph Brown Jr, who died on Christmas Day 2006, was meant to be named after his father Joe but a mix-up on the birth certificate meant Joseph became his middle name. Once he reached adulthood, Brown legally removed the 'Jr' despite Junior/Little Junior being his nickname as a boy.

-The Carpenters signature song, We've Only Just Begun, was originally part of a television commercial for a California bank.

-Timbaland has claimed to have the sounds from every drum machine ever made.

-U2 was originally known as Feedback. To date, U2 have sold more than 70 million records, grossing $1.5 billion.

-Rage Against The Machines member, Tom Morello's father is Kenyan and was the country's first ambassador to the United Nations.

-Rock singer Marilyn Manson's real name is Brian Hugh Warner. The name Marilyn Manson comes from a combination of Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson. Coincidentally, Charles was a failed musician who wrote a couple of songs for the The Beach Boys.

-Chic's Le Freak was originally called Fuck Off. These were the words that were sung as the main hook, but they were changed to 'Freak out' before the song was recorded.

-John Lennon wrote Good morning, good morning after hearing a Corn Flakes commercial.

-Contrary to the popular belief, naming the band Bon Jovi was not Jon Bon Jovi's idea.

-One of the rumoured reasons behind Prince's decision to pull The Black Album just before its release in 1987 is that he had a bad experience on Ecstasy.

-Jon Bon Jovi's birth name is John Francis Bongiovi.

-Edward Van Halen's middle name is Lodewijk, after composer Ludwig van Beethoven. Lodewijk is the Dutch version of Ludwig.

-Red Hot Chili Peppers members quit using drugs after founding member and guitarist Hillel Slovak died of an overdose at the age of 26, in 1988.

-Steven Van Zandt (member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street band and Silvio Dante in The Sopranos) wears a bandana to cover permanent loss of hair from a car accident, where he hit a windscreen with his head.

-The first substance Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis used was marijuana, given to him by his father when he was a teen. Anthony's 'first time' was also thanks to his dad as he "let" his son sleep with his girlfriend.

-The Chemical Brothers were originally called The Dust Brothers, but had to change their moniker after the US production duo of the same name threatened legal action.

-Rock band Van Halen has a weird point in their performance contracts: there are to be M&M's waiting for them at backstage; with all the brown ones removed from the bunch. The idea behind this for the band to check if the organising company has read the contract thoroughly. Therefore, the presence of brown M&M's is a sufficient enough reason for them to cancel the concert.

-Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye recorded most of the vocal parts for their 1973 duets album in separate studios. A pregnant Ross was worried that Gaye's marijuana smoking would damage the health of her unborn child.

-When Madonna was 15 years old, she got grounded for the whole summer, for sneaking out to see David Bowie in concert.

-Many famous musicians pass in their 20's but four of the most famous ones passed at 27: Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

-Between 1948 and 1960, blues legend John Lee Hooker released over 100 singles.

-Naming the band Van Halen was not the Van Halen Brothers' idea, but former singer David Lee Roth's.

-The intro to Eddie Floyd's Knock On Wood is the same as the intro to In The Midnight Hour, but the chord progression is played backwards. Both songs were co-written by guitarist Steve Cropper.

-Def Leppard was originally called Deaf Leopard.

-The drum machine part on the recording of New Order's Blue Monday, acknowledged as the best-selling 12-inch single of all time, had to be reprogrammed after the original was lost when the power lead was knocked out. The band have said that the first beat was better.

-British singer and humanitarian Bob Geldof and INXS singer, Australian Michael Hutchence detested each other as Bob Geldof's wife British TV personality Paula Yates had an affair with Hutchence. She later got divorced but she didn't live long after Hutchence's passing.

-Funk bass legend Bootsy Collins famously appears in the video for Deee-Lite's dance anthem Groove Is In The Heart, but he contributes only additional vocals. The bassline is actually sampled from Herbie Hancock's Bring Down The Birds.

-In 2007 listeners of BBC Radio 2 ranked Queen as the 'top British band' of all time, better than The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones.

-Stevie Wonder partially lost his sense of smell in a 1973 car crash.

-On his last day as a welder, Tony Iommi, guitarist of Black Sabbath, lost the tips of his two fretting fingers. While he was recovering he found it easier to play the guitar by dropping the tuning and using lighter gauge strings, which helped give Black Sabbath its signature, dark, sound.

-Snow Patrol were originally called Polar Bear. They changed their name in 1995.

-Michael Jackson is said to have spent three weeks working on the bassline for Billie Jean.

-Black Sabbath wrote the hit song "Paranoid" in 20 minutes to fill the remaining 3 minutes of time on their upcoming album. It is now regarded as one of the greatest rock and heavy metal songs of all time.

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