Get ready to blow away the competition at any music pub quiz! For no real reason, here’s 33 of our favourite bits of rock ‘n’ roll trivia. Let’s kick off with Matt Bellamy, who didn’t have to look far for inspiration for the song ‘Muscle Museum’. In most English dictionaries, the word ‘Muscle’ comes before ‘Muse’ and ‘Museum’ proceeds it.
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The second night of Oasis’ historic takeover of Knebworth Park at the height of their Britpop pomp almost didn’t happen after Liam Gallagher went on a drinking binge of epic proportions after the first evening because he “thought we were only doing one Knebworth gig.” Noel later said: “If I could go back in time, I’d probably have told him to leave off the sauce.”
The best band that never was? On the first pressing of ‘Spiderland’, cult post-rock innovators Slint’s acclaimed and hugely influential only album, they put out a call for a female vocalist to join the group. A then unknown PJ Harvey wrote to the American act offering to join – but they had split up by the time the letter reached them.
The words “mamma mia” once spent 11 consecutive weeks topping the charts in 1975/76, appearing prominently in Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, which stayed at no.1 for 9 long weeks, then again in the title of the no.1 that displaced it – you’ve guessed it, Abba’s ‘Mamma Mia’. The next chart-topper – Slik’s ‘Forever and Ever’ – let the side down.
Freddie Mercury’s first love was Jimi Hendrix. The Queen singer followed the axe legend on tour during the late ’60s and tried playing guitar himself – though he realised that he was much better suited to piano. “There’s no way you can compare him. You either have the magic or you don’t. There’s no way you can work up to it. There’s nobody who can take his place,” he later revealed.
Since the release of Dr Dre’s ‘2001’ in 1999, Tupac has released five more albums of original material than the NWA rapper – despite being dead. If Dre doesn’t get his skates on and release the long-awaited ‘Detox’ before November 16, it’ll overtake ‘Chinese Democracy’ as one of music’s most long-gestating album releases.
Credit: Dr Pepper
For 2012’s Watch The Throne tour, when asked by management if he and Kanye West wanted in the way of stage design, Jay Z requested a NASA space shuttle. As in a real NASA space shuttle. It had to be politely explained to him how big space shuttles are, how they couldn’t fit into any of the venues and how buying one would bankrupt everyone involved.
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys once wrote a rap song called ‘Smart Girls’ but shelved it midway through recording. It is genuinely the worst thing this reporter has ever, ever heard. Sample lyrics: “Smart girls, talk about smart girls, sexy ladies with high IQs”.
Credit: Andy Willsher/NME