LIST: True Tales of Rock History

petergabrielweirdThe behind-the-scenes stories of legendary rock bands are almost as well known and loved as the songs themselves. Everyone knows the old standards: The Led Zeppelin mudshark incident (which probably never happened), Van Halen and the brown M & M’s, etc. What I present to you now is a list of four totally false stories of rock excess and one that actually occurred. See if you can pick the one that really happened.

1. Genesis in the Chocolate Bath

Peter Gabriel (pictured right) is a weird guy. Take “Solsbury Hill” for instance. Why name a song after a type of steak commonly served in school cafeterias? But his weirdness goes beyond food-themed records. Legend has it that on the Selling England by the Pound tour in the mid-70s, Gabriel was quite taken with a restorative procedure called “Chocolate Bath.” He would cover himself in chocolate syrup up to five times a day, which was said to hone the creative edge. Whether it worked or not is a judgment call.

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2. A Dog is Briefly in the Grateful Dead

Bob Weir was famously a sloppy drunken mess in 1972. Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia ultimately had to stage an intervention, which amounted to them telling Weir “stop sucking so much, both at guitar and as a person.” The absolute low point came when Weir refused to practice without his German Shepherd, “Poncho.” It got to the point where Weir gave Poncho a guitar and delegated most of the more difficult solos to him, much to the chagrin of Garcia. On the Dead’s classic live album, Europe ’72, midway through “Truckin'” you can hear drummer Mickey Hart clearly say “Get that fucking dog off stage.” Poncho is actually listed as co-writer on a few Dead songs.

3. AC/DC Songs are Written by a Supercomputer

After the untimely death of original vocalist Bon Scott, the rest of the band had a rough go of it, until they inexplicably hired an even better guy named Brian Johnson and released their best album Back in Black in the very same year. Haven’t you ever wondered how a clearly grieving band was able to mastermind a brand new album so quickly? The answer is surprisingly complex. Australian scientists, in an effort to really stick it to New Zealand, were in the process of developing a supercomputer for governmental purposes. They decided to help AC/DC instead, feeding thousands of keywords and concepts through the computer, dubbed “Little Fat Girl.” Even more intimidating than the list of AC/DC classics that were written by Little Fat Girl is the mountainous list of rejected songs. Such gems include “Stuck in a Rut,” “Tough Nut to Crack,” and “As Long as We’re Rockin’ (We’re Gonna Rock All Night)”.

4. Keith Richards is Hundreds of Beetles

This one is pretty self-explanatory, and I feel like this has been confirmed as true. The man cannot be killed. The English and French governments have tried. God knows Charlie Watts has tried. What other explanation can there possibly be other than that Keith Richards is not one man, but made up of thousands of individual organisms working together via a “hivemind?” Just disregard this one. It’s clearly true.

5. Pete Townshend Eats Guitar

Everyone knows that The Who called Woodstock “the worst gig we ever played.” However, here’s the rest of the story: Townshend was so upset over sound issues during the performance that he soothed his famously volatile nerves by eating his favorite meal. His favorite meal was an entire electric guitar (usually a Fender Telecaster), drowning in ketchup. Unlike The Who destroying their instruments, Townshend eating his guitar was not part of the show. The guy was addicted to guitar eating. And also hearing loss.

So which one is fake?

What? They’re all fake?

Yes, they are. But we had fun, didn’t we?

And really, hasn’t that made all the difference?

Photo credit: By Peter_Gabriel_The_Moonlight_Knight.jpg: Jean-Luc derivative work: SpinningSpark (Peter_Gabriel_The_Moonlight_Knight.jpg) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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9 comments to “LIST: True Tales of Rock History”
  1. Is it true that Ted Nugent had sex with bears, because it was the only thing intense enough for him?

  2. Yes, As far as I know, that happened in 1981. It was on the news, but it was also the day the Iran Hostage Crisis was resolved, so most people were watching that.

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