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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Classic Rock

1. The mighty final chord of The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” was played by ten hands in three pianos simultaneously: Lennon’s, Mc Cartney’s, Starr’s, Martin’s (their manager?) and Evan’s (their roadie).

2. In 1968 Jimi Hendrix bought a studio located in the 52 West Eight Street, Greewnwich Village, New York, with the idea of transforming it into a nightclub. His sound technician convinced him of turning it into a studio and in August 27th 1970 “Electric Ladyland” officially opened it’s doors. Both recording rooms haven’t changed a bit since Jimi jammed there (one still has the same paints hanging on the walls and sofas, and the other -Purple Haze- still has the purple console). When The Clash recorded “Sandinista!” there, they swear Jimi’s spirit added an extra guitar line in the album. That may sound weird (and stoned) but the truth is that doors close on their own, floors creak and a magic can be sensed in the air (or so they say).

3. Slash’s favorite song is “Nobody’s Fault” by Aerosmith. As he said, “first heard it at the house of a girl I wanted to date. I went to her house, talked for a while, smoked a joint, and then she put the CD (Rocks), it hit me like a ton of bricks…and I totally forgot about her”.

4. Black Sabbath’s guitarist, Tony Iommi, lost part of two fingers at age 17 in an accident. However, he managed to continue playing using a device which made his two stump fingers “longer”, and tuning the guitar three steps down in order to loosen the strings and bend them more easily. His first song with his new “style” was a damn good one: “Iron Man”.

5. Once, a treasured Les Paul Standard that originally belonged to Aerosmith’s Joe Perry came into Slash’s possession. Joe had had this guitar (his favorite) taken by his ex-wife or stolen (depending on which story you read), and a dealer eventually got hold of it and offered it to Slash. He snapped it up since it symbolized the influence Aerosmith had had on him. Joe pleaded with Slash to have it returned, but he didn’t - until Joe’s 50th birthday when he presented it as his birthday present.

6. During the recording of “The Dark Side Of The Moon”, the guys from Pink Floyd wrote on little papers questions like “Are you afraid of death?” and gave them to everybody that was working at Abbey Road studio at the time. This included all the roadies, sound technicians, the Irish doorman, and even Paul McCartney (who was recording a solo album at the same studio). The answers to the questions were recorded, and the best ones were put on the disc. However, Paul’s answers weren’t put on the disc because “he tried to be funny”.

7. At age 47, the Rolling Stones’ bassist, Bill Wyman, began a relationship with 13-year old Mandy Smith, with her mother’s blessing. Six years later, they were married, but the marriage only lasted a year. Not long after, Bill’s 30-year-old son Stephen married Mandy’s mother, age 46. That made Stephen a stepfather to his former stepmother. If Bill and Mandy had remained married, Stephen would have been his father’s father-in-law and his own grandpa.

8. Unlike pretty much every rock star, Frank Zappa didn’t like beer. He used to say his body “gets along better with pepper, tobacco and coffee”. This is kinda contradictory because Frank said “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.

9. Ummagumma (a Pink Floyd album) is a British slang term for sex.

10. There is an ongoing battle within the Classic Rock world between the influences and plain superiority of the Northern Vs. Southern States. This is first evident in Neil Young’s Southern Man criticizing southern slavery. This is responded to by Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama. This timeless battle again continues with Warren Zevon’s Play It All Night Long. Go ahead and have a listen to these. It really is quite interesting. The song “Alabama Getaway” by The Grateful Dead was also involved in the said North vs. South battle. (Thanks Adam for the tip!)

Any corrections or clarifications are welcome and appreciated.

Original here

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