Posts Tagged ‘Fun Facts’


We all have our morning pick me ups, most of us just drink coffee. However, some people, like Stevie Ray Vaughn, put a gram of cocaine in Crown Royal to start the day. Mmmmmm! It’s a good thing he went to rehab when he did because his “pick me ups” had eaten through his stomach lining to the point of ulceration. Not exactly the best thing to do to your stomach, liver, brain, and mouth, but even that doesn’t take away from his godlike abilities.

Flying Lotus

Steven Ellison aka “Flying Lotus,” has been producing electronic music for the past 13 years and has released 4 studio albums since 2006. He is a notable figure in the electronic music community, because he is quite good at what he does. Hard work and dedication to his craft have put him where he is now, but some of that is in his blood too.

Steven is the great grandnephew of legendary Jazz musicians Alice and John Coltrane. That’s right, JOHN COLTRANE. You might not hear that much influence in his music, but perhaps you’d hear it more in his cousin, Ravi Coltrane’s music. Ravi has taken on the great task of living up to his last name by becoming a jazz musician as well.

If you have never heard of, or listened to Flying Lotus, I highly suggest that you do. “Los Angeles”, and “Cosmogramma” are my favorite albums. Check them out!


Danger Mouse is a man by the name of Brian Burton (Pictured above, right of the Storm Trooper). He is a producer and multi-instrumentalist, whose work you have probably heard on a vast array of albums and collaborations since 2004. The name Danger Mouse came from an old British cartoon that he decided to dress up as for live shows, due to shyness. The first notable piece of work was his release of The Grey Album, which is a mix of a capellas from Jay-Z’s “Black Album” and samples from The Beatles “White Album.” Originally intended to just be shared between himself and his friends, it blew up all over the Internet and caught the attention of several artists. Damon Albarn, frontman of Gorillaz and Blur, recruited Danger Mouse to help produce Gorillaz’s sophomore effort, “Demon Days.” This opened several doors and he has since gone on to collaborate with MF Doom (DANGERDOOM), The Black Keys (Attack & Release, El Camino), Ike Turner, Beck (Modern Guilt), Norah Jones (Little Broken Hearts), U2, Portugal. The Man (Evil Friends), and Jack White. You might also recognize him from the bands Gnarls Barkley and the more recent Broken Bells. There is no predicting what he will do next, but I’m sure it will be definitely worth listening to. Many have considered him to be one of the best producers of the new millennium and he’s only been around for 10 years! Personally, I am very much looking forward to what his future collaborations and projects have in store for us.

It is well known that in the music industry, it’s all about who you know. Quite often, musicians attribute their successes to a maniacal work ethic, their teachers, and well connected contacts. Lucky for Steve Miller, he had a teacher that could get him in contact with almost anyone in the business. That man was Les Paul! Steve’s father was a successful doctor who was good friends with Les Paul. In fact, Mr. Miller was Les’ best man when he married Mary Ford. Steve had started playing guitar around age 5 and Les came over to visit quite a bit. Before he knew it, Les had not only become his instructor, but also a great source of inspiration and support. Steve went on to form a few blues bands before he finally got the right line up and formed The Steve Miller Blues Band. They eventually dropped the “Blues” from the name and became a notable classic rock group. Instead of a Gibson Les Paul, Steve played a Fender Stratocaster most of the time. He may not have used the equipment that his instructor designed, but used something of his that may have been better – his technique.


Johnny Cash’s badassness may never cease to amaze. But hey, let’s just add to it! Before his days as a globe trotting, country superstar, he was in the military. He joined the Air Force in 1950 and was stationed in Landsberg, Germany as a morse code intercept operator during the Cold War. In 1953, he picked up a message that would shake the world. Johnny Cash was the first American to find out that Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin had died. Cash found out before Dwight Eisenhower, who was not only the President at the time but also had stood next to Stalin during WWII. Just one of many middle fingers Johnny had given to the government in his time.

Johnny Cash in the Army

Black Sabbath has gone through many changes over the years. However, the one thing that has remained is its guitarist, Tony Iommi. A living legend and part of an elite group of left handed players such as Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Paul McCartney. Picking a Black Sabbath song out of a lineup is pretty easy. They forged their own sound and blazed a trail for an entirely new take on rock n roll. Their sound was derived from Bill Ward’s barbaric drumming and Tony’s heavy 6 string distortion. Tony had a very unique guitar setup, one that was made out of necessity.

Just before he had become a professional musician, he worked in a steel factory as a welder. One day he was asked to work the press that cut the steel, so that it could go on to be welded. Having very little experience with the press, he made a big mistake that would ultimately pay off huge in the end. Tony had cut off the tips of his right middle and ring fingers. Not a big deal. Unless you are a left handed guitarist…like Tony. This was merely a temporary setback. Determined, he went on and melted down some plastic, fit it to his fingers, sanded them down, and wrapped the tips on leather. To help ease the process, he slackened his guitar strings to make note bending easier. Combining the fingertip cover with his loose string setup gave his Gibson a mean, yet definitive tone that made rock n roll history. Would Black Sabbath have been the same in lieu of Tony’s accident? Maybe. Am I thankful that it happened? A little bit. Sorry Tony!

Long live Rock n Roll.

Tony Iommi

What do The Eagles and The Fall of Troy have in common? That would be the father-son duo of the Eraks. Thomas Erak is the lead singer and guitarist of The Fall of Troy and his father was a session bassist for The Eagles. Thomas is a very well rounded musician, playing the drums, bass, and guitar. Thinking back to my days as a 15 year old-post hardcore listener, I still remember how incredible Thomas’ abilities are. His guitar playing alone is something to marvel at, but he can also sing out of time over his own riffs. The Fall of Troy may never be as popular or well known as The Eagles, but the talent in each of these bands are rarely matched.

Thomas Erak's Musical Family

Fun Fact #15: Brian the Brain

Posted: February 8, 2013 by b0ynamedsue in Fun Facts
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Brian May has become one of the most notable and distinguished individuals to come out of the UK. His excellence echoes throughout his career with Queen, but he’s more than just a musician. If being the guitarist of Queen and being named Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire aren’t enough, then I guess earning a PhD in Astrophysics might do it. Yep, that’s Doctor Brian May to you. He worked on most of his degree in the early 70’s while touring and recording with Queen, but he finally finished it in 2008. You can definitely hear his genius through his guitar playing, but this is just ridiculous. It seems that the terms “Space Rock” and “Star Struck” suddenly take on a whole new meaning. Oh and let’s not forget that he also built his own guitar (see below). Well done Dr. May, ROCK ON!


Fun Fact #13: “Lucille”

Posted: January 25, 2013 by b0ynamedsue in Fun Facts
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B.B. King has been around a long time, a very long time. He is revered as the king of the blues by many and he tends to stick to the same guitar. That guitar is a Gibson ES-335, a beautiful piece of craftsmanship in my opinion. Like many other legends, he has named his beloved instrument.

The story behind “Lucille” starts back in 1949 at a small venue in Arkansas. It was one of his first shows and the place that he was playing at was heated by kerosene lamps. Pretty flammable stuff. An altercation between two men erupted and during the brawl they had knocked over one of the lamps and lit the whole place on fire. Everyone evacuated, but B.B. realized that he had left his $30 Gibson guitar inside the blaze. He charged back inside and returned with his guitar shortly after, triumphant. Later on he found out that this fight had started out like most fights, over a girl – a girl named Lucille. Thus he named his guitar and every single one after that, Lucille. It serves as a reminder to avoid foolishness, such as fighting over women…and running in to burning buildings.

Gotta love B.B.


In 1958, a man by the name of Link Wray release a song called “The Rumble.” It had no lyrics, just a menacing guitar hook. The song did very well and received a lot of attention from younger folks. In fact, it received so much attention that it was banned from the airwaves due to the possibility that it might insight “juvenile delinquency.” However, this didn’t slow Link down at all because guitarists such as Pete Townsend and Jimmy Page site him as an inspiration for picking up the guitar. Have a listen and see what you think!