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Sunday, March 03, 2013

Amazing TRUE Rock N' Roll Facts

- Axl Rose's real name is William Bailey. 

- One of the most collectable Def Leppard records is the first pressing of "Pyromania". It was the last Mercury LP with it's iconic '70s "photo" label of the company's original headquarter's building in Chicago. All the other pressings bore the black Mercury label of the '80s (also on the first black label pressings, the first run of Side 2 labels has "Foolin'" retitled as "Foolin' Around". This was said to have been by a disgruntled employee at PolyGram's pressing plant.)

- "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was inspired by a deodorant. Teen Spirit is a sweet scented deodorant made by Mennen (later by Colgate/Palmolive) marketed to adolescent girls. Kathleen Hanna (lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill), spray painted "Kurt smells like Teen Spirit" on his wall. At the time the song was released, Cobain allegedly had no idea that the brand even existed; when he did find out, he was rather upset that the song had been named after a line of deodorant.

- The group UB40 took their name from the form used by the unemployment office in Britain.

- Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash recorded some smooth jazz CDs in the early 2000s.

- Mick Mars of Motley Crue originally played in a band called Motley Croo in the early '70s

- Waylon Jennings, who was Buddy Holly's bass player was once offered a seat on Holly's ill-fated charter plane in 1959. Jennings, who didn't like to fly declined the seat and the seat was given to JP Richardson (aka The Big Bopper.) Buddy Holly told Waylon "I hope you freeze on that bus" and Waylon said, jokingly "Well, I hope your plane crashes" The rest is history.

- Donald Fagan of Steely Dan had stage fright and never sang lead on the band's first concerts.

- When a poem called "Too Many Teardrops" was put to music, it was re-titled "69 Tears". Knowing that a song with such a name would never get any radio airplay, it was re-named "96 Tears" and by October, 1966 became a number one hit for Question Mark and The Mysterians. 

- Bruce Springsteen was once an opening act for Anne Murray.

-  The distinct horse logo that appeared on most of Poco's albums was designed by Saturday Night Live star, Phil Hartman.

- When Decca Records first released "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley And His Comets in the Spring of 1954, most people had never heard of Rock And Roll and the company had a hard time describing the song. The label on the single called it a "Novelty Foxtrot."

- Cher was a background vocalist on the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling". She also sang on "Be My Baby" The Ronettes and on Darlene Love's singles.

- Darlene Love, who sang lead vocals on The Crystals hits "He's A Rebel", the original version of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and "He's Sure The Boy I Love", played Danny Glover's wife in all four Lethal Weapon movies.

- When Janis Joplin was in college in 1963, a local fraternity voted her "The Ugliest Man on Campus."

- Before Neil Young joined Crosby, Stills and Nash, the original trio had already asked George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood to become the fourth member of their group.

- The estate of Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem.

-  During the last years that Elvis Presley performed live, he opened his shows with "The Theme From 2001". When asked about it, Presley said that he felt the number 2001 had a special significance in his life that he couldn't explain. Elvis died August, 16, 1977, which numerically is 8-16-1977. When these numbers are added up, they equal 2001.
- After Prince converted to being a Jehovah's Witness in May of 2001, fans could count at least 50 songs the artist can no longer perform due to their explicit content, including hits such as "Little Red Corvette" and "Cream".

- When Cher topped the Billboard Hot 100 with "Believe" in March, 1999, she became the first female over the age of 50 to have a chart topping record. 

- When Roberta Flack was awarded a gold record for her 1973, number one hit, "Killing Me Softly With His Song", she wanted to listen to her song etched in gold. She removed the disc from its frame and placed it on a turntable, only to hear "Come Softly to Me" by The Fleetwoods. 

- ABC radio decided not to play Billie Holiday's "Love For Sale" because the lyrics are about prostitution. They were also successful in getting Cole Porter to change the lyric of "I Get A Kick Out Of You", a hit for Frank Sinatra. Porter's original words were "I get no kick from cocaine". The cleaned up version was "I get perfume from Spain" (Sinatra also recorded the original version.)

- In 1970, MGM records, under the leadership of President and future lieutenant governor of California, Mike Curb, canceled the recording contracts of 18 of their acts because they believe the performers promoted hard drugs in their songs. Among those who were dropped were squeaky clean night club performers Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Interestingly, they kept Eric Burdon and War, who made drug references in most of their songs.

- In 1986, Frank Zappa's album, "Jazz from Hell" had an "explicit lyrics" warning sticker put on it by Fred Meyer Music Markets. "Jazz From Hell" was entirely instrumental.

- In 2001, radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications, the largest owner of radio stations in the United States, compiled an advisory list of songs which stations might wish to avoid playing in the short term following the terrorist attacks on The World Trade Center and The Pentagon. That list includes such classic rock standards as:

Steve Miller "Jet Airliner"
Van Halen "Jump"
Queen "Another One Bites the Dust"
Queen "Killer Queen"
Pat Benatar "Hit Me with Your Best Shot"
Kansas "Dust in the Wind"
Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven"
The Beatles "A Day in the Life"
The Beatles "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
The Beatles "Ticket To Ride"
The Beatles "Obla Di, Obla Da"
Bob Dylan "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
Arthur Brown "Fire"
Paul McCartney and Wings "Live and Let Die"
Billy Joel "Only the Good Die Young"
Barry McGuire "Eve of Destruction"
Steam "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey"
Drifters "On Broadway"
Shelly Fabares "Johnny Angel"
Los Bravos "Black is Black"
Peter and Gordon "I Go To Pieces"
Peter and Gordon "A World Without Love"
Elvis "(You're the) Devil in Disguise"
Zombies "She's Not There"
Elton John "Benny & The Jets"
Elton John "Daniel"
Elton John "Rocket Man"
Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls of Fire"
Santana "Evil Ways"
Louis Armstrong "What A Wonderful World"
Youngbloods "Get Together"
Ad Libs "The Boy from New York City"
Peter Paul and Mary "Blowin' in the Wind"
Peter Paul and Mary "Leavin' on a Jet Plane"
Rolling Stones "Ruby Tuesday"
Simon And Garfunkel "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
Happenings "See You in September"
Carole King "I Feel the Earth Move"
Yager and Evans "In the Year 2525"
Norman Greenbaum "Spirit in the Sky"
Brooklyn Bridgevv "Worst That Could Happen"
Three Degrees "When Will I See You Again"
Cat Stevens "Peace Train"
Cat Stevens "Morning Has Broken"
Jan and Dean "Dead Man's Curve"
Martha & the Vandellas "Nowhere to Run"
Martha and the Vandellas/Van Halen "Dancing in the Streets"
Hollies "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
San Cooke / Herman Hermits, "Wonderful World"
Petula Clark "A Sign of the Times"
Don McLean "American Pie"
J. Frank Wilson "Last Kiss"
Buddy Holly and the Crickets "That'll Be the Day"
John Lennon "Imagine"
Bobby Darin "Mack the Knife"
Surfaris "Wipeout"
Blood Sweat and Tears "And When I Die"
Dave Clark Five "Bits and Pieces"
Tramps "Disco Inferno"
Paper Lace "The Night Chicago Died"
Frank Sinatra "New York, New York"
Creedence Clearwater Revival "Travelin' Band"
Neil Diamond "America"
Tom Petty "Free Fallin'"
Bruce Springsteen "I'm On Fire"
Bruce Springsteen "Goin' Down"
Phil Collins "In the Air Tonight"
Chi-Lites "Have You Seen Her"
Animals "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"
Fontella Bass "Rescue Me"
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels "Devil with the Blue Dress"
James Taylor "Fire and Rain"
Edwin Starr "War"
Lynyrd Skynyrd "Tuesday's Gone" 


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