Elton John was originally a classically trained musician who studied at the Royal Academy of Music. He won a scholarship to study there at the age of eleven and became famed for his ability to play by ear. He left before graduation to pursue a career in rock ‘n’ roll! His full name is Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE. He is both a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and a Knight Bachelor! Elton has a close connection with the British Royal Family thanks to his friendship with Princess Diana.
When the high-profile razor firm, Gillette, approached ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill with the idea of shaving off their beards for an ad, the two hirsute men politely declined. Oh yeah, we almost forgot to mention that Gillette had offered them one million dollars to shave off their beards! One million dollars!
Before the band, Queen, became known around the world as Queen, it was known as Smile. The name change occurred around the same time that Farrokh Bulsara, the lead vocalist, changed his name to Freddie Mercury. Mercury, in talking about the band’s name, once said: “It’s very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid. It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations.” We couldn’t agree more!
The Rolling Stones
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were actually schoolmates at Wentworth Primary School in Dartford, Kent. When Jagger changed schools, the two lost touch and ran into each other seven years later at a train station. They soon realized that their musical tastes were similar and formed a band, which evolved into the Rolling Stones, shortly thereafter.
Though it is said to be purely coincidental, Pink Floyd’s album The Dark Side of the Moon synchs perfectly with the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. Detractors of the phenomenon argue that the coincidence is merely a result of the mind’s tendency to create patterns and discard any data that doesn’t fit in with this pattern. What do you think?
Ever wonder where Paul David Hewson’s stage name Bono came from? Apparently, the name originated from a hearing aid store in Dublin where he grew up! Before officially taking up the name Bono, Hewson also toyed around with some other pseudonyms, such as Bonavox of O’Connell Street, Bonavox, Boono Vox, and Steinhegvanhuysenolegbangbangbang!
Before social media, billboards were widely used to advertise the latest albums. The first band to try this medium was the The Doors in 1967. For $1,200 a month, a sign near the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles was reserved for the band, advertising their album to all the L.A. disc jockeys traveling to work.
Though Elvis recorded more than 600 songs, he lacks any full writing credits. It was not uncommon for his record company to make songwriters give up 50% of the credit before Elvis would even agree to perform the song!
“Every breath you take and every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you.” These are the opening lines of the hit song from The Police. Though it sounds like a nice love song, and is often played as a wedding song, it is actually about an obsessive stalker. Sting wrote the song after separating from his first wife, Frances Tomelty. “I think it’s a nasty little song, really rather evil. It’s about jealousy and surveillance and ownership,” Sting once explained.
Fronted by Nirvana’s drummer Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters certainly has a strange name. But where does it come from? Foo fighter was a term used by pilots during the Second World War to describe mysterious aerial phenomena over Europe and the Pacific Ocean. While he was recording the first Foo Fighters tape, Grohl admitted that he was also reading up a lot on UFOs!