25 mind-bending pieces of music trivia you can use to amaze your friends with your brilliance

[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]

For the last number of decades, I’ve made a career out of sourcing strange and wonderful facts about the world of music. I now share some of this knowledge with you, dear reader, hoping that you will be able to use it to better your life. Or at least win a bar bet or two.

Let us begin:

  1. Leo Fender, the creator of such iconic guitars as the Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster, and Precision Bass, did not know how to play guitar.
  2. For his 34th birthday, Billy Idol took over the penthouse of the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. After three weeks of partying (and $250,000 damage), he was asked to leave. When he didn’t, the military was called in. They shot him with a tranquillizer dart and hauled him out on a stretcher.
  3. Bob Marley was diagnosed with a form of melanoma underneath the nail of his big toe in 1977. While he did have the toe and the nail bed removed, he refused to take doctors’ advice to amputate the toe, saying it was against his Rastafarian beliefs. When he died in 1980, a doctor said he had “more cancer in him than I’ve ever seen with a live human being.” Marley might be alive today had he parted with that toe.
  4. Speaking of toes, Liam Gallagher has too many. He has a total of eleven with six on his left foot. It’s a condition called polydactylism.
  5. When they were touring the world back in the 1980s, Duran Duran used to have the local age of consent printed on their daily itineraries so as to avoid any “misunderstandings.”

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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