Dusty Hill from ZZ Top wanted to feel “normal” after their “Worldwide Texas Tour”. So he cut his hair, got a job at an airport, went by the name of “Joe” and would go out on Friday nights with coworkers so he could feel “grounded”.
As a child, Jimi Hendrix carried an actual broom with him everywhere around school for over a year, as a pretend guitar. The school’s social worker tried to get funding for a real guitar, insisting that leaving him without one might result in psychological damage.
The Spanish singer-songwriter Julio Iglesias was a professional footballer signed with Real Madrid. When he was recovering from an accident that ended his career, a nurse gave him a guitar so that he could recover the dexterity of his hands. In learning to play, he discovered his musical talent.
In 2002, the band Creed put on such a bad show at the Allstate Arena in Illinois that a $2,000,000 class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all of the fans in attendance.
Johnny Cash performed dressed all in black, in contrast to most of the major country acts in his day – rhinestone suits and cowboy boots. Cash wrote the song “Man in Black” to explain that he wore black for the poor and hungry and those betrayed by age or drugs.
Upon joining Black Sabbath in 1979, Ronnie James Dio began using the sign of the horns. The previous singer in the band, Ozzy Osbourne, was rather well known for using the “peace” sign. Dio, not wanting to copy Osbourne, chose to use the sign his grandmother always made.
Gene Simmons of the rock group KISS attempted to claim the “devil horns” hand gesture for his own. According to CBS News, “Simmons filed an application on Friday, June 16, 2017 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a trademark on the hand gesture he regularly uses during concerts and public appearances — thumb, index and pinky fingers extended, with the middle and ring fingers folded down. According to Simmons, this hand gesture was first used in commerce — by him — on Nov. 14, 1974. He is claiming the hand gesture should be trademarked for “entertainment, namely live performances by a musical artist [and] personal appearances by a musical artist.” Simmons abandoned this application on June 21, 2017.
While writing the popular 1990s song Friday I’m in Love, The Cure frontman Robert Smith became convinced that he stole the tune from somewhere, and was so paranoid that he called every person he knew and played the song for them, asking if they recognized it. It was, indeed, unique.
During a concert in Ireland, Dave Mustaine (of Megadeth) drunkenly dedicated a song to “the cause” and yelled “give Ireland back to the Irish!”. A riot then broke out between the Catholics and Protestants and Megadeath had to travel in a bulletproof bus.
After losing a drunken bet with his bandmates, Sabaton singer Joakim Broden had to walk to the band’s next gig. Broden walked from Falun, Sweden to Trondheim, Norway, over ~700km, staying at fans’ houses and accepting food/beer donations along the way to complete the journey.
After a head injury, Derek Amato was diagnosed with Acquired Musical Savant Syndrome, and suddenly could play expert level piano. When asked during an interview to perform a simple song, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. He attempted, struggled, and gave up.
Sixto Rodriguez, a US-based ’70s musician, became a construction worker after commercial failure in the US. However, unbeknown to him, he achieved cult-like status in South Africa, where both his albums went platinum. His daughter found out after discovering a website dedicated to him, in 1997.
Bill Withers, the singer song writer of “Aint no Sunshine” was a factory worker making airplane toilets when he wrote the hit song at age 31. After the song hit gold, the record company presented him with a gold toilet marking the start of his new career.