Posts Tagged ‘Fun Fact’

In 1998, Wilco collaborated with Billy Bragg to release a two album series performing American folk singer, Woody Guthrie’s previously unheard lyrics. The project was organized by Guthrie’s daughter, Nora Guthrie.

The album was entitled “Mermaid Avenue” after the street in Coney Island, New York on which Guthrie lived. It was said by Guthrie’s daughter that the lyrics were intended to be performed and shared with a later generation. Since Bragg had recently performed a Guthrie tribute concert in New York City’s Central Park, it made sense for Nora to reach out to him about composing music to her father’s lyrics for release. Bragg then approached Wilco, asking them to participate as well.

Interestingly enough, Wilco wasn’t the first to know about the unreleased music. Bob Dylan used to visit Woody Guthrie in the mental hospital where he was located during the final years of his life. In one of these visits, Guthrie had told Bob Dylan where the unreleased music was located in his house, and that he could use them and perform them. When Bob Dylan went to Guthrie’s old house however, he was turned away at the door, as the family didn’t know of any unreleased music.

Mermaid Avenue

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Even the people that don’t like the Rock ‘N’ Roll music of the band AC/DC, recognize it when they hear it. They’re one of the classic Rock bands known to even the least educated of music fans. We know their music, we know their style, and we know the influence they’ve had over other rock ‘n’ roll bands. What most people don’t know however, is where they got their name.

AC/DC was an acronym written on the back of Angus and Malcolm Young’s sister’s sewing machine. The letters are an abbreviation for “alternating current/direct current”, which indicates that the machine was capable of using either type of power to operate. The band felt as though the name captured the essence of their “power-driven” performances, and so it stuck.

AC/DC

Cole Porter

Cole Porter is one of the most famous popular composers of all time. He’s written so many unbelievable classics, such as “Anything Goes”, “Let’s Do it, Let’s Fall in Love”, “I Get a Kick Out of You”, “In the Still of the Night” and so many more. He also wrote the famous tune “At Long Last Love” from the musical, You Never Know. Apart from its brilliant composition, there’s one tiny little detail about this song most people don’t know; he wrote it while waiting for emergency medical help!

In October of 1937, Cole Porter’s legs were crushed when his horse rolled on him and fractured bones in both legs. The accident left him hospitalized for 7 months following the accident, and crippled for majority of his life.

In the hours following the accident, while lying injured, in pain, and waiting for emergency care, Porter took out a pen and paper and composed the lyrics for what became “At Long Last Love”.

Almost everyone has heard the name “Big Pink” in the world of music at some point or another. Some know the name from The Band’s first album, “Music From Big Pink”. Others have heard the name from the London electronic-rock duo, “The Big Pink”. But what’s the source of this name? Well, as most things do, it all leads back to Bob Dylan.

The Band (originally The Hawks) got their start playing for Bob Dylan. Following Dylan’s famous motorcycle crash during the Summer of ’66, Bob Dylan needed to get away from the pressures of the label, his manager, and all his fans that felt betrayed by his going electric. He and The Band decided to break away from everything and seclude themselves in a house (that happened to be pink) being rented by Rick Danko from The Band, in West Saugerties, New York in 1967.

It was in this house that Bob Dylan and The Band recorded “The Basement Tapes” (released in 1975). Working so closely with Dylan inspired The Band to put out their own record, which became one of the most memorable albums of the 60s.

Big Pink

Topping the charts in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, there are very few people that haven’t heard Adele’s heart-wrenching ballad, “Someone Like You”. Something you may not know about this song though, is that it was written with Dan Wilson, the lead singer from the popular 90’s band, Semisonic (well-known for their hits “Closing Time”, “Secret Smile” and “Chemistry”).

Most people have heard Don McLean’s song “American Pie” at least once in their life, but did you know it was inspired by the abrupt death of Buddy Holly? On February 3, 1959, Buddy Holly boarded a plane that crashed not long after the takeoff, killing its passengers. When the news of Buddy Holly’s death hit the media, it became known as “the day the music died”.

Buddy Holly

When The Yardbirds split up, the band still had several tour dates in Scandinavia that they’d committed to, so Keith Relf and Chris Dreja allowed Jimmy Page to use the name “The New Yardbirds” in order to fulfill these commitments. Dreja then issued a cease and desist letter, so that after these tour dates were completed, Page would have to change the band’s name.

While out drinking with Keith Moon and John Entwistle from the band, The Who, Page made a comment about starting a band with the two of them. In response, Moon joked about that going down like a “lead zeppelin”. When Jimmy then formed his own band, he remembered this expression, and decided to use it as the band’s name. He got rid of the “a” so there would be no confusion over the pronunciation in America.

Led Zeppelin

When it comes to Alice Cooper fun facts, most people know that “Alice Cooper” was just the name of the character Vincent Furnier portrayed on stage. Through this character, he became known for his risqué live performances and giving a “face” to rock and roll. Something a lot of people don’t know though, is that Alice Cooper ran for governor of Arizona in 1988! He even had a campaign slogan: “Alice Cooper – A troubled man for troubled times.”

Alice Cooper

After a 1975 car accident, Brian Eno was left bedridden for several months. Judy Nylon had turned on the stereo for him, but the volume was too low for him to really hear the music. Unable to move to turn up the volume, he began to realize the music could serve as a part of the atmosphere, blending with other sounds. This realization led to an obsession with ambience, resulting in a ten-volume series of experimental ambient music.

The Beatles song “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”, off of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, was inspired by a poster John Lennon came across. Most of the lyrics are actually taken straight from the poster itself!

“I had all the words staring me in the face one day when I was looking for a song… I hardly made up a word.” -John Lennon