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.
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.”
Ryan Adams and Bryan Adams not only share very similar names, they also share the same birthday! Both were born on November 5th (Bryan is 15 years Ryan’s senior).
Morrissey is the long lost cousin of former Tottenham and Ireland international striker Robbie Keane.
Jason Statham once appeared in an Erasure video painted in blue while standing around in his undercrackers. Check out ‘Run to the Sun’ if you don’t believe us.
New Order’s ‘World in Motion’ – England’s official 1990 World Cup song – was originally titled ‘E for England’, until the FA realised the name might be misconstrued as a reference to rave culture. Oops.
Johnny Marr once played in a band with Curly Watts from Coronation Street. The guitarist and actor Kevin Kennedy played a Jubilee party in 1977 under the name the Paris Valentinos.
All six Kings of Leon albums have five syllables in the title. Apparently they didn’t notice until after ‘Only By The Night’ and have continued superstitiously with the tradition.
Blondie named themselves after Hitler’s dog Blondi.
Aphex Twin once agreed to remix a Madonna track, the only stipulation being that she do an impression of a pig. Madge reluctantly agreed, but changed her mind ahead of recording. “I really wanted to hear Madonna doing a pig impersonation!” said Richard D. James later.
It’s only faintly detectable, but The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ samples the Breeders’ ‘S.O.S’. As both bands were signed to the same family of labels (XL and imprint 4AD), clearing wasn’t a problem.
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.
The title of Nick Drake’s ‘Five Leaves Left’ album sounds profound, right? Sorry to disappoint you – it was inspired by the fact he’d nearly run out of Rizlas.
Guitar distortion was popularised by The Kinks’ Dave Davies. Bored with his sound, Ray’s kid brother took a knife to his cab and sliced the speakers creating that dirty sound. The Kinks recorded ‘You Really Got Me’ and rock music would never be the same again.
The most expensive paparazzi photo ever sold was of a bald Britney Spears in 2007. The scumbag… sorry photographer who took the snap was awarded with a cool $500,000 for his endeavours.
Emeli Sande’s real name is Adele, though she couldn’t call herself Adele because that name was already taken by another fairly successful singer called Adele. You might have heard of her.
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.
Lily Allen lived with comedian Harry Enfield for three years. Her mother, film producer Alison Owen, was in a relationship with the creator of Loadsamoney, making him Lily’s “common law stepdad” for a time, according to Harry.
Back in 1989, long before she became a household name, Kevin and Perry star Kathy Burke starred in Morrissey’s ‘Ouija board, Ouija board’ video.
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.
In what sounds like the greatest night out of all time, Freddie Mercury once dressed Princess Diana up as a male model to sneak her into a London gay club.
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.
Comedian Ricky Gervais used to help Suede get gigs before they were famous (he refutes he was ever their official manager) and was the man responsible for getting a demo to Saul Galpern who signed them to his label Nude.
Industry experts have estimated an artist would have to get over 4 million plays on Spotify in a month to earn minimum wage from the streaming service. No wonder streaming is still a hot topic among bands like Radiohead…
Pop singer and ex-Neighbours actress Holly Valance is the third cousin of late lewd 70s funnyman Benny Hill.
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”.
When Coldplay formed, they wrote a manifesto pledging that “any member of the band caught using hard drugs will be dismissed immediately”.
Eminem requests on his rider a wooden pond to keep his beloved koi carp in wherever he goes on tour.
The Beastie Boys, meanwhile, back in the day, were known to put in a possibly optimistic requests for rainbow-coloured condoms while on tour.
One of Jimi Hendrix’s first ever session jobs was playing with Little Richard. However, he was kicked out of Richard’s backing band for showing off too often and detracting from the main attraction.
Mat Osman of Suede’s brother Richard is the Richard Osman that presents BBC One television quiz Pointless.
It’s now estimated more Ramones t-shirts have been sold worldwide than Ramones albums. Goddamn you, Top Shop.