[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]
For the past few decades, I’ve made a career out of researching the weird and wonderful facts about the world of music. I now share some of this knowledge with you, dear reader, in the hope that you can use it to improve your life. Or at least win a bar bet or two.
- Leo Fender, the creator of iconic guitars such as the Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster and Precision Bass, didn’t know how to play the guitar.
- For his 34th birthday, Billy Idol took over the penthouse of the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. After three weeks of partying (and $250,000 in damage), he was asked to leave. When he didn’t, the military was called. They shot him with a tranquilizer dart and dragged him on a stretcher.
- Bob Marley was diagnosed with a form of melanoma under his big toe nail in 1977. Although he had his toe and nail bed removed, he refused to take doctors’ advice to amputate the toe, claiming it was against his Rastafarian beliefs. . When he died in 1980, a doctor said he had “more cancer in him than I have ever seen in a living human being”. Marley might be alive today if he had parted with that toe.
- Speaking of toes, Liam Gallagher has too many. He has eleven in total including six on the left foot. This is a condition called polydactyly.
- When circumnavigating the globe in the 1980s, Duran Duran used to print the local age of consent on his daily itineraries to avoid any “misunderstanding”.