45 Classic Rock Facts That Will Completely Blow Your Mind
You’ll never look at your favorite band the same way again.
1. Axl Rose is an anagram for oral sex, and his real name is William Bailey.
2. Rose used to earn $8 an hour by smoking cigarettes for a science experiment at UCLA.
3. The Clash’s “Rock The Casbah” was written after the banning of rock music in Iran.
4. Bono got his nickname from a hearing-aid store.
5. John Lennon was featured as the cover story on the first issue of Rolling Stone, but the Beatles hold the record for most covers with more than 30.
6. Jimmy Page dated a 14-year-old girl while he was touring with Led Zeppelin.
7. The Rolling Stones’ tongue logo design was inspired by the Indian Hindu goddess Kali The Destroyer.
8. London Calling was named after a phrase used in a BBC show during WWII: “Good morning America, this is London Calling.”
9. Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” is named after Route 61, the highway that goes through his home state Minnesota through the Mississippi Delta.
10. Angelina Jolie’s uncle, Chip Taylor, wrote the song “Wild Thing.”
11. Lynyrd Skynyrd got their name from a high school teacher, Leonard Skinner, who suspended students for having long hair.
12. Brian Jones, co-founder of The Rolling Stones, was proficient at over 60 musical instruments.
13. Zeppelin came up with the title “Black Dog” after a large black labrador walked into the studio while recording.
14. Eric Clapton wrote the song “Layla” for George Harrison’s wife.
15. The Doors were the first band ever to advertise a new album on a billboard.
16. John Bonham drank 40 shots of vodka the night he died.
17. Keith Moon, drummer from The Who, allegedly gave Led Zeppelin their name.
18. Led Zeppelin was once accused of defiling a groupie with a mud shark.
19. Wings recorded Red Rose Speedway at Abbey Road Studios the same time Pink Floyd recorded The Dark Side Of The Moon.
20. Each member of Nirvana was kicked out of the Nevermind release party for starting a food fight.
21. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” is dedicated to Duane Allman of The Allman Brother’s Band.
22. Prince’s “Purple Rain” is an allegory to the Jimi Hendix song “Purple Haze.”
23. Jimi created the song “Little Wing” in 145 seconds.
24. Elton John’s real name is Reginald Kenneth Dwight.
25. Fleetwood Mac founding member Jeremy Spencer abruptly left the group to join the Children of God cult.
26. The Muppet Show‘s Animal is allegedly inspired by Mick Fleetwood.
27. After making a mistake when recording “Hey Jude” Paul McCartney says, “Oh, fucking hell” at 2:58.
28. Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” is about a man attempting to convince a Catholic girl to lose her virginity to him.
29. “Killing an Arab” by The Cure is really about Albert Camus’ book The Stranger.
30. Before Neil Young joined Crosby, Stills and Nash, the members reached out to George Harrison and Eric Clapton to join the group.
31. Queen has the longest-running fan club, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
32. Paul McCartney performed at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony for the astonishing amount of 1 pound ($1.57).
33. London socialite Tara Browne is the inspiration behind the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.”
34. Before he renamed himself Bob Dylan, Robert Allen Zimmerman briefly went by Elston Gunn.
35. Malcolm Young, AC/DC guitarist, worked in a bra factory as a sewing-machine mechanic.
36. The Rolling Stones recorded “Nineteenth Nervouse Breakdown” after Mick Jagger announced how exhausted was after touring, “I don’t know about you blokes, but I feel about ready for my 19th nervous breakdown.”
37. Before joining KISS, Vinnie Vincent wrote the soundtracks for Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi.
38. The Beatles’ White Album was originally titled A Doll’s House.
39. The Eagles started out as the backup band for Linda Ronstadt.
40. Elvis recorded more than 600 songs, but wrote zero of them.
41. Chuck Berry aspired to be a professional photographer and only performed music to buy photography equipment.
42. Bill Wyman, former Rolling Stones guitarist, dated a 14-year-old.
43. Dylan’s first draft of “Like a Rolling Stone” was six pages long.
44. While Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” was recorded in one take.
45. Jimi Hendrix wrote “Purple Haze” after dreaming about walking under the sea.
Elyssa D. Durant. Ed.M.Research & Policy Analyst