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.
Before he was a famous musician Johnny Cash was a military code breaker for the US Air Force. He worked as a as a Morse Intercept Operator in Germany, handling the hardest jobs, intercepting Russian intelligence & deciphering code transmissions. He copied the 1st news of Stalin’s death.
Prior to their music careers, Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten would often perform Alice Cooper covers on the streets for money. People would pay them to stop.
In 2007, renown violinist Joshua Bell once played 6 Bach pieces at a metro station in DC. He played some of the hardest songs ever on a $3,500,000 violin for 45 minutes, and made $32 with 6 people watching. He frequently sells out shows for $100 a piece. There was no applause.
In 2014, Taylor Swift accidentally released 8 seconds of white noise on iTunes for $1.29. It became #1 in Canada almost immediately before being removed.
In 2015, 1000 musicians played ‘Learn to Fly’ by foo fighters together in the town of Cesena, Italy in an effort to get the band to come to their town and play. The band responded and came to the town to play a 27-song-set, starting off with ‘Learn to Fly’. Here’s the full video of the 1000 musicians in action.