A Few Classic Rock Facts
"The Spinal Tap way"

UFO's Pete Way and Paul Chapman would routinely medicate themselves after bingeing on cocaine on tour in the late 70's by downing bottles of Night Nurse, leading to Way earning the nickname Mr Medinite.

Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne bassist Geezer Butler gave up alcohol after an incident in Rio De Janeiro. Having staggered out of the hotel bar at 4am, Butler took exception to being stared at by on of the hotel guests. When they refused to respond to his questioning, Butler headbutted them. The bassist came round the next morning in agony with his face covered in dried blood. Geezer's victim turned out to have been a marble statue in the hotel foyer.

Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro died in 1992 from a heart atteck, rumoured to have been triggered by insecticide he was spraying in his garden at the time.

Led Zep's drummer John "Bonzo" Bonham was forced to abandon a gig in Nuremberg, Germany on the bands 1980 tour due to crippling stomach cramps. It was later discovered that Bonzo had consumed a mere 27 bananas before showtime.

During their 110 - date 1984 Powerslave tour, Iron Maiden's drummer Nicko McBrain requested a change of hotel suite 97 times; citing the colour of the wallpaper in one as a problem.

Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan once had a flight case specially made to the excact dimensions of a Kellogg's Cornflake box, in which to keep his favourite microphone.

Before settling on his school uniform, AC/DC's Angus Young experimented with various outfits, including one for masked outlaw Zorro and another for Superman. With Clark Kent in mind, roadies built a telephone box on stage for Young to emerge from. The prop was abandoned when one night, Super-hero Angus became trapped inside.

Led Zeppelin's 1977 US tour set included a backdrop of Stonehenge. Black Sabbath revived the idea for their 1983 US tour, but their 26 foot high fibreglass stones were too big to fit in most venues.

Ozzy Osbourne's 1982 Diary Of A Madman tour featured a stage set resembling a castle. One night, newly hired bassist Pete Way found that the portcullis from which he was supposed to emerge had jammed shut. As the show began, dry ice pumping - the theme from the Omen blaring, the rest of the band were set free, while poor Pete remained trapped behind bars.

Ritchie Blackmore loves playing practical jokes on band members. In 1976, Rainbow's keyboard player Tony Carey became his latest victim. Aside from having a javelin thrown through an open window into his hotel room, Carey awoke one morning on tour and opened his door to find a brick wall had been constructed in front of it, entombing the ivory-tinkler until hotel staff could dismantle it.

Rainbow once performed a gig in Paris with their promoter Eric "ET" Thomson suspended naked from the lighting rig.

Born and raised in the north east, Whitesnake's frontman David Coverdale enjoys his English luxuries. David's rock star mansion in the Nevada Desert has outside speakers installed from which the sound of British birdsong is piped to remind the rock god of home.

After Van Halen concerts in the 70's, one of the bands road crew was required to pour mineral water over frontman David Lee Roth's feet.

For their 1982 The Eagle Has Landed tour, Saxon played beneath a model of an enormous eagle. Disappointingly, the band had been forced to abandon their original plan for the bird to lay a gigantic egg on stage from which lead singer "Biff Byford" would be hatched.

Keen to make a grand entrance for their performances at the 1979 Knebworth Festival, US shock-rockers The Tubes drove a stretch Cadillac on stage. Having underestimated its turning circle, they were forced to stop and back the vehicle up to prevent it careering off the edge into the photo pit.


More Classic Rock Facts

The greatest Classic Rock Albums Ever! - voted by Q mag
" It's a shame they missed out Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon"

Led Zeppelin - 4
Alice Cooper - Killer
AC/DC - Highway to Hell
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Cheap Trick - At The Budokan
Van Halen - Van Halen
Free - Fire and Water
Metallica - The Black Album
Judas Priest - British Steel
UFO - Strangers In The Night
Thin Lizzy - Live and Dangerous
Ted Nugent - Ted Nugent
Def Leppard - Pyromania
Kiss - Alive II
Montrose - Montrose
Deep Purple - Machine Head
Boston - Boston
Status Quo - Quo Live!
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd
Blue Oyster Cult - Agents Of Fortune
Rainbow - Rainbow Rising
Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard of Ozz
Rus - Moving Pictures
Motorhead - No Sleep Till Hammersmith
Meat Loaf - Bat out of Hell
ZZ Top - Tres Hombres
Aerosmith - Rocks
Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast
Guns And Roses - Appetite For Destruction
Queen - A Night At The Opera


Classic Rock Trivia

Norman 'Hurricane' Smith, who had a hit record with "Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?" in 1973, was a recording engineer on some of Pink Floyd and the Beatles' early sessions in the 60's and 70's

Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd, Released March 24th 1973 made number 1 for one week but stayed in the charts for 741 weeks, thats more than 14 years. Sold over 20 million copies worldwide ( what a landmark for Rock).

The lead guitar part on the Beatles' 1965 chart topper "Ticket To Ride" was played by Paul McCartney, not George Harrison.

About the same time that Ringo Starr received an offer from Brian Epstein to join the Beatles, he was also asked to join another Liverpool group called Kingsize Taylor and The Dominoes. Ringo chose the one offering the best wage...25 pounds a week.

Upon meeting the band Pink Floyd for the first time, a record company executive asked them "Which one's Pink?".

For the first five years after the break-up of The Beatles, drummer Ringo Starr had the most successful solo career, as seven of his first eight singles reached the US Top Ten. They were: "It Don't Come Easy", "Back Off Boogaloo", "Photograph", "You're Sixteen", "Oh My My", "Only You" and "The No No Song".

The Eagles recorded their first album, which would be branded "California rock", in London England.

"Does Your Mamma Know About Me" was a Top 30 hit in May of 1968 for a group called Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers. The song was written by one of the band's guitar players, Tommy Chong, who would later team with Cheech Marin as Cheech and Chong.

In February 1982, former Black Sabbath leader Ozzy Osbourne urinated on the Alamo. He was arrested, charged with defiling a national monument and banned from performing in San Antonio. The ban was eventually lifted.

Ted Nugent, the guitarist known as "The Motor City Madman", was named Father of the Year at his children’s school. Although he has been married to his wife Shemane Nugent since 1989, he admitted to fathering a child with another woman in the mid 90s.

In 1963, Frank Zappa started a porno movie production company. He was arrested and jailed for sexual perversion a short while later. He might have stayed in business longer if his studio hadn't been right across the street from the Cucamonga, California court house.

The Rolling Stones hold the record for the largest grossing rock and roll tour of all time. Their 1994-95 'Voodoo Lounge' tour took in $320 million The second largest money maker was the Stones' 2002-03 'Licks' tour, which saw the rockers play to over 3.4 million people and rake in $300 million.