Classic Rock Tidbits and Trivia

Carly Simon's father was co-founder of Simon & Schuster, the book publishing company.

David Crosby and Steven Stills were known as "The Frozen Noses" when they first started singing together in 1968, in reference to their drug habits and confirmed by Crosby, "Stills and I were just starting to become cokeheads at the time, so the name Frozen Noses was, well, it spoke for itself." When Graham Nash joined the duo after this recording, Crosby, Stills & Nash were born.

In 1960 Zappa played cocktail music in lounges and worked on his first recordings and the score for a B movie, The World’s Greatest Sinner. He also appeared on Steve Allen’s TV show, performing a "bicycle concerto", plucking the spokes and blowing through the handlebars.

Bobby Vee once kicked Robert Zimmerman out of his band because he thought he had no future as a musician. Zimmerman would go on to have a career as a folksinger, calling himself Bob Dylan.

Charles Manson and his family lived with Beach Boy Dennis Wilson and Dennis introduced him to Terry Melcher who Manson wanted to produce his songs. TheTate Murders took place in the house where Terry Melcher and Mark Lindsay were living but moved out two weeks earlier. The Beach Boys did actually record a song by Charles Manson called  "Never Learn Not to Love".

The Rascals were discovered in a Long Island night club. Over their objections, manager Sid Bernstein (who had promoted the famous Beatles concerts at Carnegie Hall and Shea Stadium) dubbed them the Young Rascals, although the "Young" was permanently dropped from the billing a couple of years later. The Hammond B-3 which Felix Cavaliere played became a signature of the genre known as "the Long Island Sound".

"Wild Thing", the 1966 hit by the Troggs was written by Chip Taylor, the brother of actor Jon Voight.

The title of the Byrds' 1966 hit "Eight Miles High" is not a drug reference. It actually refers to the altitude reserved for military air craft. Rather than a drug reference, the lyrics were referring to the flight to England for a concert tour.

The Beatles song Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds was said to mean LSD but was actually a crayon picture by Julian Lennon. Lennon's son, Julian, showed his father a nursery school drawing he called "Lucy - in the sky with diamonds", depicting his classmate, Lucy O'Donnell. Julian said, "I don't know why I called it that or why it stood out from all my other drawings, but I obviously had an affection for Lucy at that age. Lucy O'Donnell Vodden died of the immune system disease lupus in 2009.

Keith John Moon was an English musician, best known for being the drummer of English rock group The Who. He gained acclaim for his exuberant and innovative drumming style, and notoriety for his eccentric and often self-destructive behavior, earning him the nickname "Moon the Loon". Moon joined The Who in 1964.The group called the Yardbirds changed their name to Led Zeppelin by the suggestion of Keith Moon of The Who.

Johann Sebastian Bach, who was born in 1685, wrote the music for three hit records of the rock and roll era, "Whiter Shade Of Pale" by Procol Harum, "A Lover's Concerto" by the Toys and "Joy" by Apollo 100.

When asked if it bothered him when people made wise cracks about his big nose, Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr once said "it goes up one nostril and down the other." 

Steppenwolf lead singer, John Kay, was rarely seen without dark sunglasses due to the fact that he was legally blind since childhood.

The Animals 1964 classic "House of the Rising Sun" was the first number one song to have a playing time of more than 4 minutes.

Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”, released August, 1964 tells the story of a man who sees a pretty woman walking by. He yearns for her and wonders if, as beautiful as she is, she might be lonely like he is. At the last minute, she turns back and joins him.

In early 1965 Patti Boyd, future wife of George Harrison, along with John and Cynthia Lennon were having coffee when a dentist, John Riley, the son of a London police officer, laced their coffee with LSD. The four of them were furious and left extremely scared. Boyd threatened to break a store window until Harrison dragged her away.

The song "It's All Over Now", written by Bobby Womack, was recorded in Chicago in 1964 by The Rolling Stones, and became their first #1 hit single... in the UK!!

Although the press often refers to them as the 'Brothers Gibb', the Bee Gees said that they took their name from two friends that helped them out in their early days, Bill Goode and a disc jockey named Bill Gates.

Sonny and Cher first performed by the name Caesar and Cleo. They were also called the first hippies of mainstream.

The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album became a cultural benchmark in 1967 and won the Grammy for "Album Of The Year", the first rock record given that award.

"God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys was the first Top 40 song to have God in the title. It was released in 1966 and was banned by a number of radio stations but in spite of that (or maybe because of) it was named the 25th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.

Reg Presley, the lead singer for The Troggs on their five million selling, 1966 hit "Wild Thing", went on to become one of Britain's premier UFO experts.

The inspiration for the line "I read the news today, oh boy, four thousand holes in Blackburn Lancashire" in The Beatles' song "A Day In The Life" came to John Lennon after he read a newspaper article about a plan to fill 4,000 potholes in the roads of the Northwestern English town of Blackburn.

When a poem called "Too Many Teardrops" was put to music, it was re-titled "69 Tears". Knowing that a song with such a name would never get any radio air play, it was re-named "96 Tears" and by October, 1966 became a number one hit for Question Mark and The Mysterians.

The original version of "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen cost just $36 to record, but sold over 12 million copies.

According to The Surfaris' rhythm guitarist Bob Berryhill, the cracking noise at the start of "Wipeout" is supposed to represent a breaking surf board. The sound was produced by splitting a piece of plywood near a microphone and the laughing voice that went along with it was provided by their manager, Dick Smallen.

The Four Seasons' Frankie Valli was arrested by Columbus, Ohio Police in September 1965, after his manager forgot to pay his hotel bill.

Pink Floyd carries the title "loudest group in the world". Rumour has it that while playing in front of a lake in London in 1970 the group was so loud a number of fish were killed.

The Rascals' first television performance was on the program Hullabaloo on February 27, 1965, where they performed their debut single, "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore".

Did you know? "The Who" has never had a #1 record in the U.S.

The chords and structure of Tommy James' (and the Shondells) 1967 Billboard #10 single, "Mirage", were actually the chords to his previous hit, "I Think We're Alone Now" in reverse, created when it was accidentally played backwards during a writing session.

By 1968, around eighty-five different manufacturers had sold over 2.4 million cassette players world wide and in that year alone, the cassette business was worth about $150 million.

Before Pete Townshend of the Who began working on the rock opera "Tommy," he had planned to write an opera about a big white rabbit that ruled the world.

In order to give fans a "gold record", the first 100,000 copies of "We're An American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad were stamped out of gold colored vinyl.

Rest in peace Victor Tallarico who passed away on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 at age 95, and was Dad to Aerosmith's rock legend Steven Tyler. Our heartfelt condolences to Steven and his family.

Before they formed The Lovin' Spoonful, John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky were in a group called The Mugwumps, whose other members included Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty, who would rise to fame with The Mamas and The Papas.

Phil Collins was an extra during the filming of the first Beatles' movie, "A Hard Days Night".

Paul Revere and The Raiders' first chart entry, "Like Long Hair" was based on Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C-Sharp Minor", written in 1897.

Cher was a background vocalist on the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".

The most expensive guitar in the world is a Fender Stratocaster once owned by Eric Clapton. Nicknamed "Blackie", it sold at auction for $959,500. on June 25th, 2004.

Jethro Tull's 1968 debut single, "Sunshine Day" was erroneously credited to Jethro Toe.

While Pink Floyd were recording "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" at EMI's studios in Abbey Road, London in 1967 The Beatles were in another of the studios recording "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

Ringo Starr was a successful drummer with the Liverpool band 'Rory Storm and the Hurricanes' before he joined the Beatles. 

Elvis Aron Presley entered the United States Army at Memphis, Tennessee, on March 24, 1958. He left active duty at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on March 5, 1960, and received his discharge from the Army Reserve on March 23, 1964.

Jimi Hendrix enlisted in the US Army in May, 1961 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He got an honorable discharge in 1962 after hurting his ankle during a jump as paratrooper.

"Just as Jesus created wine from water, we humans are capable of transmuting emotion into music." Carlos Santana

In 1965, a Los Angeles group called the Crossfires changed their name to The Tyrtles as an unveiled homage to The Byrds, but soon amended the spelling to The Turtles, who's biggest hit was "Happy Together" in 1967.

Misheard lyrics, such as "There's a bathroom on the right" instead of the correct "There's a bad moon on the rise"  is called a mondegreen.

Steven Stills went with his friend Peter Tork to the audition to try to become a Monkee.

James (Jim) Douglas Morrison of The Doors, was born in Melbourne, Florida on 12/8/43 and died 7/3/71 in Paris, France. His nickname, "Mr. Mojo Risin", is an anagram for Jim Morrison.

The lead guitar part on the Beatles' 1965 chart topper "Ticket To Ride" was played by Paul McCartney, not George Harrison.

According to those close to the band, The Hollies chose their name from some Christmas holly decorating Graham Nash's house - not in homage to Buddy Holly, as a long time rumor has it.

The Beatles first performance at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England was on February 1, 1961.

"Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin is ranked number 75 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs ever written, and "Stairway to Heaven" is ranked number 6 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 1000 greatest songs ever written.

The term "heavy metal" first appears in the Steppenwolf song "Born To Be Wild".

The first 100,000 copies of "We're An American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad were stamped out of gold coloured vinyl.

The Star Trek show has featured both Mick Fleetwood and Iggy Pop.

Davy Jones appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show with the Broadway cast of Oliver! on Feb. 9, 1964 - the same night The Beatles (the band The Monkees were modeled after) made their first appearance on the show.

Paul McCartney wrote "Hey Jude" for Julian Lennon after John's divorce from his first wife, Cynthia. The song's original name was "Hey Julian", then changed to "Hey Jules" before settling on the final title.

When he was a boy, David Bowie took art lessons from Peter Frampton's father, Owen.

Cream, considered the world's first rock super-group was born in 1966 with Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce.

At 53 years of age Eric Clapton found out that his father, who he never knew because he was raised by his maternal grandparents, was a Canadian Pilot.

Did you know? Eric Clapton used to be a stained glass window designer before music.

The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace. Carlos Santana

Did you know: In 1967 The Golliwogs were offered the chance to record a full length album, but only if the band changed it's name..........they became Creedence Clearwater Revival.

When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there. George Harrison

May we all have a vision now and then of a world where every neighbour is a friend! Abba

There's something beautifully friendly and elevating about a bunch of guys playing music together. Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones


- The Pendletones performed their first gig under their new name, The Beach Boys. The vocal group appeared at the Ritchie Valens Memorial Concert Dance in Long Beach, CA.
1961 - Janis Joplin had her first singing engagement at Beaumont, Texas’ Halfway House.
1963 - The Kinks made their live debut at the Lotus House in London.
- The Beatles began a European tour in Paris.
1965 - John Lennon’s father Alfred released a U.K. single today, titled “That’s My Life (My Love And My Home)".
1966 - The Monkees took Neil Diamond’s “I’m A Believer” to #1 on the  Billboard Top 40.
Vanilla Fudge headlined New Years Eve show with Richie Havens, The Youngbloods & Cold Blood at the Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA.
1969 -
Jimi Hendrix unveiled his new group Band of Gypsys at the Fillmore East in New York City. The series of four concerts featured bassist Billy Cox and Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles backing Hendrix on guitar. Highlights of these performances appeared on the album Band of Gypsys in mid-1970.
1969 - BBC television broadcast the program Man of the Decade, and the chosen one was John Lennon! Rolling Stone named Lennon its man of the year, while Lennon himself admitted to the New Musical Express that he was considering leaving the Beatles.

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