50 Interesting Facts about Popular Bands – Part 1

1Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones were so impressed with the backup singer's voice in "gimme shelter" that you can hear them hooting in the background. They kept it in the studio recording as well.

2. At 52, Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman married 18-year-old Mandy Smith but divorced after a year. Bill's 30-year-old son then Stephen married Mandy's mother, aged 46. If Bill and Mandy had remained married, Stephen would have been his father's father-in-law and his own grandpa.

3. Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts, was sleeping one day when Mick Jagger phoned drunk to Watts' hotel room asking where was his drummer. Watts got up, suited-up, went to Jagger's room, punched him, and then replied: "Don't ever call me your drummer again. You're my fu*king singer!"

4. The Rolling Stones would never have been formed if Keith Richards and Mick Jagger hadn't accidentally met at a train station in 1961. Richards struck up a conversation with Jagger about the blues records that he was carrying. The connection was instant and the rest is history.

5. The Rolling Stones were criticized for high ticket prices on their 1969 US tour so they decided to hold a free concert. The festival was organized by the Grateful Dead and took place at the Altamont Speedway in 1969. It was a disaster and signaled the end of the hippie movement.

6Brian Jones

Brian Jones

In 1969, the founder and the original leader of the Rolling Stones (Brian Jones) got kicked out of the band and then died less than a month later.

7. Robert Kennedy was assassinated during the exact same week that the Rolling Stones were recording 'Sympathy for the Devil.' The original lyrics were "I shouted out 'Who killed Kennedy?'" but Jagger changed it to "I shouted out 'Who killed the Kennedys?'"

8. Nirvana and Soundgarden shared a member named Jason Everman who went on to became a Green Beret.

9. Dave Grohl was so intimidated by Kurt Cobain that he hid a lot of the music he made while on tour with Nirvana. After Cobain's death, the tucked away music would become Foo Fighters' first album.

10. When Weird Al Yankovic did a parody of Nirvana's song, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," (which is called "Smells Like Nirvana") Nirvana's lead singer Kurt Cobain considered the parody as a sign that they had "made it" as a band.

11Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain

When Davie Bowie heard Nirvana's cover of "The Man Who Sold the World", he said he was "blown away" by the fact Kurt Cobain liked his work and said "it would have been nice to have worked with him, but just talking with him would have been real cool".

12. Nirvana purposely hired a bad video director, Sam Bayer, so that the music video for Smells Like Teen Spirit would turn out to be rough and 'not corporate' like. But the video was so well received that it gave the band, along with MTV, major corporate success.

13. Nirvana was adamantly told not to play the song "Rape Me" at the 1992 MTV Music Awards. Nevertheless, at the start of the performance, Cobain started playing the chords to "Rape Me" as MTV producers watched in horror. He then switched back to "Lithium", as scheduled.

14. Rolling Stones readers voted Nirvana at one of the worst bands of the 1990's. Right along with Creed, Limp Bizkit, and Hanson.

15. Dave Grohl tried to quit Nirvana once after he overheard Kurt Cobain calling him a 'sh*tty drummer', but was convinced to stay by the band's manager.

16Krist Novoselic

Krist Novoselic

During a brief power-outage at Nirvana in Munich, Krist Novoselic joked “We’re on the way out. Grunge is dead. Nirvana’s over." It would be Nirvana's last concert before Cobain's death.

17. The Rolling Stones magazine originally gave Nirvana's Nevermind a 3-star rating in 1991. They now give it 5 stars and rank it as the 17th greatest album of all time.

18. Nirvana was kicked out of their own release party for Nevermind because of a food fight.

19. Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin's manager, is reported to have secured 90% of gate money from concerts performed by them. His trust and loyalty to Led Zeppelin was such that his managerial arrangement with the band was via a gentlemen's agreement.

20. Led Zeppelin let Ben Affleck use "When the Levee Breaks" in Argo with a condition that he digitally alter the player's needle drop to correct spot on the record.

21Band Spirit

Band Spirit

Led Zeppelin was sued by the band Spirit for stealing the famous intro to "Stairway to Heaven" from its song "Taurus".

22. Metallica's lawyer once sent a cease and desist letter to a Metallica cover band. Metallica later said they had no idea the letter had been sent and offered an apology and told Rolling Stone that they had started out as a cover band, adding "Heck, we even recorded a two-disc album of covers!"

23. In 2013, Metallica performed in Antarctica just to break a record and be the first musical act to perform on all 7 continents.

24. In 2014, Metallica's lead guitarist Kirk Hammett lost his phone that had over 250 ideas for riffs on it and didn't have a backup. Because of this, he has no songwriting credits on the new album.

25. Metallica was told that expletives were prohibited during their performance at the 1996 MTV Europe awards performance. They were expected to play a slow song from their new album. Instead, they played the two most offensive songs that they had.