When Guns ‘N Roses broke down on their way to a gig in Seattle in 1985, they ate raw onions from a field at the side of the road, managed to hitch a ride to the club and, when afterwards the owner refused to pay them, they tried and failed to burn the club down.
In 1982, two ex-members of the band Yes started a new band, Cinema. The actual band Yes still existed at that point, but broke up shortly afterward. Two of Yes’s ex-members then joined Cinema. At that point Cinema just decided to become the band Yes.
After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Lithuanian basketball team couldn’t afford to participate in the 1992 Olympics, so the Grateful Dead funded the team’s expenses, and the team wore tie-dye uniforms.
Beethoven overcame deafness by biting a metal rod attached to his piano to hear his work. It’s called bone conduction, and can also be used to help divers talk and hear underwater, and is also used by elephants to communicate.
Gwen Stefani’s brother Eric was originally the keyboardist for No Doubt but left to become an animator for The Simpsons. He was able to put No Doubt into the background of the Lollapalloza episode when they were still pretty much an unknown band.
James Jamerson, regarded as the greatest electronic bass player ever, recorded Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, while being flat on his back as he was too intoxicated to stand upright. He was the uncredited bassist on most of the Motown Records hits in the 1960s and early 1970s.
In 2008 and at the age of 45, Flea, bass player of the multiplatinum rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, enrolled as a freshman at University of Southern California’s music program to learn the academic side of music.
In 1973 the members of Led Zeppelin gave drummer John Bonham a Harley Davidson for his 25th birthday, which he promptly rode up and down the hallways of his hotel, causing thousands of dollars in damage. The next day, he wrote a check for the damages and said “Oh, and keep the bike.”
Guns ‘N Roses once went on tour with a car that broke down, so they hitchhiked to the gig, ate raw onions from a field along the way, made it to Seattle for the gig, and when they finished, the owner refused to pay them. They responded by trying, and failing, to burn the club down.
Communist Cuba wasn’t really the best place to be a punk rocker. Rebellious teens, known as los frikis (“the freaks”), used their radios to pick up American airwaves and rock out to groups like AC/DC and Metallica. However, getting the Led out came with a pretty steep price.Kids sporting long hair, ripped jeans, and T-shirts emblazoned with rock band logos were regularly assaulted by the police. When scruffy teens showed up for school, they were often surrounded and forcibly shaved. Anyone caught listening to rock music was tossed behind bars or sent to work in the sugarcane fields. The Berlin Wall had just collapsed, the USSR was falling apart, and Fidel Castro was freaking out. Hoping to keep his regime intact, the bearded director went after anyone who stepped out of line, cracking down hard on rock music and angrily shouting, “Socialism or death!” That’s when musicians accepted the challenge.
To escape persecution, Los Frikis chose to give themselves HIV for a chance at life in a Cuban AIDS sanitarium.