Monday, August 29, 2011

Fun Music Facts Series Vol. 1

I love music.  It is not unusual for me to listen to songs by Debussy, David Bowie, Boney James, The Cars, Holly Cole, music from the Royal Wedding, J.S. Bach, Roxette etc all on the same playlist on my Ipod. (I happily admit I have loved Roxette ever since my sister bought the Pearls of Passion tape in 1986 or 1987.  I used to borrow her purple tape player and listen to her tapes constantly; all those coveted cassettes we used to buy are like vintage Collectors items now!)  I am a musician; I play piano, sing, occasionally play organ, have dabbled in acoustic guitar, electric guitar and bass.  I'm also big on music information.  For instance, if I hear a particular song I like on Sirius Channel 33 1st Wave Classic Alternative (most probably when Richard Blake is hosting), I have to know the song, artist, year, where to find it, any stories behind the artist or song. 

So I'm always interested to uncover facts, stories and blurbs I otherwise would not have known.  Such as...

#1.  The Clash's The Magnificent Seven was the first important white rap record; the song was recorded in 1980 six months before Rapture was recorded by Blondie, and was released as a single first.  

#2. Johnny Marr (formerly of The Smiths) recently played with Brian Ferry at a Charity Ball at Versailles (Natalia Vodianova's Fairy Tale Love Ball).  That pairing must have made quite the show .... (Brian Ferry is on my list for a concert must-see.)

#3.  Bruce Springsteen declined to play at Live Aid in 1985, thinking the event wouldn't be that big.....and later obviously regretted that decision.

#4.  The band Rush appeared on an episode of TheTrailer Park Boys a few years ago.  Bubbles (played by Mike Smith) adores Rush and finally wins a chance to be Alex Lifeson's guitar tech for their Halifax concert (the concert scene was actually taped live during a tour stop in Toronto). Mike Smith is a real life musician and easily jammed along with Alex Lifeson to Closer to the Heart.

#5.  Michelle Phillips (of the Mamas and Papas) recorded back up vocals for one of my favorite '80s gems, Belinda Carlisle's Heaven is a Place on Earth; Thomas Dolby recorded keyboards for the song.  Thomas Dolby also provided keyboards during David Bowie's set at Live Aid (Dolby's keyboards/synths were amazing on Heroes).

Vol. 2 to follow next week!


  1. Interesting and fun facts! Oh, was Bruce Springsteen wrong! xo

  2. Yes! I read somewhere that Bruce let the performers use his stage for the London concert. Apparently he was on a break between the UK leg and US leg of his tour and declined to participate.