13 Surprising Stories From Rock Legends We Just Found Out Recently

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via David Bowie / Youtube

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The world of music is full of false myths and half-truths that have enlarged –in many cases– to the great icons of rock. The popular imagination is wide and there is no music star who has escaped the hoax, the rumor, or the most thunderous joke. Here are the 13 Surprising Stories From Rock Legends We Just Found Out Recently:

 

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David Bowie Sent A Heartfelt Reply To His First American Fan Letter

In December 1967, Bowie received his first American fan letter from 14-year-old Dodd, who had obtained a promo edition of the artist’s debut album from her uncle (who managed a radio station). She wrote to Bowie, telling him that his work was as excellent as The Beatles’ and proposing to set up a fan club in the United States for him.

Bowie was so thrilled to receive a fan letter from the United States that he wrote her a personal reply, detailing his plans for the future and self-aware misspelled words:

Dear Sandra,

When I called in this, my manager’s office, a few moments ago I was handed my very first American fan letter – and it was from you. I was so pleased that I had to sit down and type an immediate reply, even though Ken is shouting at me to get on with a script he badly needs. That can wiat (wi-at? That’s a new English word which means wait).

I’ve been waiting for some reaction to the album from American listeners. There were reviews in Billboard and Cash Box, but they were by professional critics and they rarely reflect the opinions of the public. The critics were very flattering however. They even liked the single “Love You Till Tuesday.” I’ve got a copy of the American album and they’ve printed the picture a little yellow. I’m really not that blond. I think the picture on the back is more “me.” Hope you like those enclosed.

In answer to your questions, my real name is David Jones and I don’t have to tell you why I changed it. “Nobody’s going to make a monkey out of you” said my manager. My birthday is January 8th and I guess I’m 5’10”. There is a Fan Club here in England, but if things go well in the States then we’ll have one there I suppose. It’s a little early to even think about it.

I hope one day to get to America. My manager tells me lots about it as he has been there many times with other acts he manages. I was watching an old film on TV the other night called No Down Payment a great film, but rather depressing if it is a true reflection of The American Way Of Life. However, shortly after that they showed a documentary about Robert Frost the American poet, filmed mainly at his home in Vermont, and that evened the score. I am sure that that is nearer the real America. I made my first movie last week. Just a fifteen minutes short, but it gave me some good experience for a full length deal I have starting in January.

Thank you for being so kind as to write to me and do please write again and let me know some more about yourself.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed, “David Bowie”)

 

There’s An Explanation For Why ‘Dream On’ Is So Unique From Other Aerosmith Tunes

The frontman of Aerosmith described why “Dream On” differs from the group’s other tunes:

I changed my voice when we did the final vocals… I was insecure, but nobody told me not to do it. I thought I didn’t sound right on tape… I used this voice for [the entire album]… except “Dream On.” “Dream On” is the real me.

 

Kris Kristofferson Flew Into Johnny Cash’s Yard In A Chopper To Hand-deliver His Demo Tape

Kristofferson was convinced that his song “Sunday Morning Coming Down” would persuade people of his talent, so he deviated from normal Army Reserve chopper flying training trip and landed on Cash’s yard to hand-deliver the demo. 
The following week, Cash announced on TV, “Here’s song written by Kris Kristofferson. Don’t forget that name.”

Trace Adkins’ Wife Shot Him In The Chest, But He Recovered

According to Adkins’ memoirs, his ex and second wife, Julie Curtis, was wary of her husband’s excessive drinking and begged him to leave the house before pulling a pistol on him in 1994. When he approached her to seize the weapon, she fired, and the bullet pierces through his lungs and heart. w Friends and relatives were expressing their farewells to him in the hospital when he unexpectedly recovered.

 

Marcy Playground’s Lead Vocalist Claims ‘Sex And Candy’ Breakthrough Was ‘Too Much’ To Bear

The song’s popularity comes as a shock to vocalist John Wozniak.”We were actually pretty frickin’ flabbergasted with the hugeness of it all,” he told MTV. “It was like going from playing fun little pickup games of grade-school T-ball to, all of a sudden, being a major-league baseball team in the pennant race for the World Series.”

Following the failure of their second album, the band quit their partnership with Capitol Records, citing excessive commercial stress. “I don’t mind having a hit,” Wozniak said, “but ‘Sex and Candy’ was too much for anybody, especially as a first hit.”

 

To Deter Scalpers And Rich Bastards, Billy Joel Gives Away Front-row Seats At His Concerts

Billy Joel stated in 2014 interview with Billboard that “good morale” is vital to him, his band, and his personnel, which is why he always reserves the front row for those who cannot afford decent tickets. 
As he puts it: 

We never sell front rows, we hold those tickets at just about every concert. For years, the scalpers got the tickets and would scalp the front row for ridiculous amounts of money. Our tickets are cheap, under $100, some in the $80s, the highest is about $150. I’d look down and see rich people sitting there, I call ’em “gold chainers.” Sitting there puffing on a cigar, “entertain me, piano man.” They don’t stand up, make noise, sit there with their bouffant haired girlfriend lookin’ like a big shot. I kinda got sick of that, who the hell are these people, where are the real fans? 

It turns out the real fans were always in the back of the room in the worst seats. We now hold those tickets, and I send my road crew out to the back of the room when the audience comes in and they get people from the worst seats and bring ’em in to the front rows. This way you’ve got people in the front row that are really happy to be there, real fans. 

 

Tim McGraw Was Detained For Assaulting A Cop, While Kenny Chesney Stole A Cop Horse

Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney co-headlined the George Strait Country Music Festival in Nyc in June 2000. Chesney approached the daughter of a state sheriff and asked if he may mount her dad’s police horse. He jumped aboard and rode the horse for a joyride, defying all warnings to halt.

When surrounding cops tried to capture Chesney, McGraw and his road manager leapt in to assist him. A brawl occurred, and the two stars were detained.

Chesney was charged with disorderly conduct, which is a fairly insignificant misdemeanor, but McGraw was charged with assaulting an officer, which is a tortious act. Both were cleared of all charges and maintain the entire incident was a mistake.

 

Fastball Wrote ‘The Way,’ A Song About A Elderly Couple Who Mysteriously Disappeared

Fastball’s “The Way” may appear to be lighthearted song about couple embarking on journey together, with lyrics like:

Anyone can see the road that they walk on is paved in gold
And it’s always summer
They’ll never get cold
They’ll never get hungry
They’ll never get old and gray

It was, in some ways, the band’s motivation. Tony Scalzo, the band’s lead vocalist, was reading through the papers for concepts for their second album when he came across an ongoing narrative about a missing couple, Lela and Raymond Howard.

The Howards were an old couple that left Salado, Texas, for the yearly “Pioneer Day Festival” and never returned. Raymond, 88, had recently undertaken brain surgery, while Lela, 83, was suffering from dementia-like memory problems. Their family believes the pair was lost while driving and overlooked the exit for the event, which was just a 15-minute drive. They had been gone for many weeks when authorities discovered them, dead in their car after it plunged into a ravine in Arkansas.

 

Cass Elliot’s Final Supper Was A Ham Sandwich, And It Wasn’t What Killed Her

According to legend, The Mamas & The Papas vocalist died after choking on a ham sandwich. When her body was discovered on July 29, 1974, in London, there was a ham sandwich in the room, but it wasn’t the meal that caused her death.

Elliot battled with her weight and was susceptible to fasting and binging. The harm done to her body was exacerbated by drug and alcohol misuse, although no narcotics were discovered in her bloodstream when she passed. The latter was unknown to Elliot’s manager, Allan Carr, who attempted to debunk claims that she died of a drug overdose.

As per the coroner’s findings, Elliot suffered a heart attack. In his memoirs, her bandmate “Papa” John Phillips put it bluntly: “Her heart had just given out after 33 years, and that was some big heart.”

 

Charles Manson Sold A Song To The Beach Boys

Wilson arranged for Manson to record in his brother’s studio (which did not go well) and even purchased the rights to one of his music, “Cease to Exist,” which Manson allegedly sold for a “one-time cash payment and a motorcycle.” However, Manson did not like the idea of Wilson modifying some of the verses and sent him a single bullet as a heads up.

Manson’s song was renamed “Never Learn Not to Love” by the Beach Boys, and he was not given songwriting attribution.

 

Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ Not Only Contributed To Bringing In The Grunge Movement, But It Also Opened The Path For The Alt-Rock Wave Of The 1990s

Only a few recordings in history can claim to have changed the landscape of music as we recognize it. When Nevermind was released in September 1991, it not only transformed the direction of rock music irrevocably, but it was also accountable for launching a cultural upheaval that startled a whole city as well as the world. To suggest that Nirvana alone started the grunge revolution would be preposterous, particularly with bands like Mother Love Bone, Alice in Chains, and many others at the forefront of that revolution, yet without Nevermind’s popular triumph, grunge music may never have left Seattle.

Almost every tune on the record is memorable in its own sense, from the introductory track to the album’s closing, Kurt Cobain’s eerie “Something in the Way.” Not only did the album’s overwhelming success concentrate attention on grunge and alternative groups in the early 1990s, but it also placed Seattle on the map. According to Charles Cross of The Seattle Times:

Nirvana’s unlikely and unprecedented success changed Seattle’s very idea of itself. Their weirdness and their edge became our weirdness and our identity. We already had tech, but Seattle in 1991 was still primarily thought of as a port town that was a gateway to other places physically and culturally. Nirvana helped make Seattle the center of something, even as an outlier. Microsoft made Seattle wealthy. Nirvana, with much help from other bands, and from labels like Sub Pop, made Seattle cool.

 

Brian May Of Queen Holds A Ph.D. In Astrophysics

Brian May is not only a living legend, he is also an astrophysicist and wrote a doctoral thesis. The Queen co-founder and guitarist showed a gift for music from a very young age. At the same time, little May was getting perfect grades in Physics and Mathematics, an aptitude that he continued to demonstrate throughout his life. His passion for science led him to study at the Imperial School in London, an institution that awarded him the degree of Doctor of Astrophysics in 2007.

 

The Strange Night Ozzy Osbourne Bit Off The Head Of Live Doves And A Bat

Ozzy Osbourne has been known for living on the edge, and for doing things out of the ordinary, such as decapitating live birds, and inhaling ants, however, his madness reached another extreme when he bit the head of a live bat. Although it was not the most radical thing that the event has done, it was left for a chapter in the history of his life and music, that is why we will tell you why he did it.

It is not well known in what period the event occurred, whether it was before or after decapitating some birds, however, for a time it was believed that the musician’s favorite hobby was biting live animals.

The musician arrived late to the meeting, and with a couple of drinks too many, so much so that he began to fight with one of the production company’s PRs. According to Ozzy, he had already planned to put on a show at the end of the meeting by releasing three doves. But, when the discussion escalated, he preferred to take out the first bird and bite its head off. Afterward, he repeated his actions against the bird. According to him, he did it to end the argument.