Jul 062009

Townsman Chickenfrank‘s excellent coulda-woulda-shoulda enhancement of the BTO/pizza guy myth has me thinking there are more interesting Rock tales yet to be told — and I’m betting YOU have the creative writing talent to tell them! The general idea is simple: find a noteworthy sound or sight from Rock history and explain it in a sensational fashion that virtually guarantees the Internet will pick it up and run with it. Actual, true stories are discouraged. References to BTO and pizza gain you extra points.

Here are a few sights and sounds that could use more interesting explanations. You may also, of course, furnish your own:

1. Paul McCartney‘s bare feet on the Abbey Road cover
2. The distorted guitar in “You Really Got Me”
3. The false start in The Clash‘s “Wrong ‘Em Boyo”
4. What Led Zeppelin were *really* doing with that fish and that groupie in Seattle
5. Why “Cocksucker Blues” was never released — i.e., the stuff nobody has ever seen

I look forward to your responses.



  6 Responses to “Get Out Your Blue Books: Creative Rock Mythology 101”

  1. Back in ’97 I had a friend who only ever emailed me stupid office humor jokes or dumb articles. He blasted these to his whole address book, and never wrote a personal note. I decided to see if I could use him to start an internet rumor.

    Since Oasis had just released the album, “Be Here Now”, I wrote a fake news story about the Gallagher brothers complaining that the death of Princess Di was stealing all the spotlight from their new album.

    My friend just sent the article right back to me, and me only. I was very disappointed.

  2. I’ve heard the story of the distorted guitar on “You Really Got Me”…

    When Van Halen was headed toward Memphis to record their first record in Memphis at the famed Sun Studio, Eddie Van Halen (the studio was bought and paid for by the late Michael Jackson as Eddie solo’d on his hit song “The Girl Is Mine”, a duet with Jeff Lynne) had loaded his Peavey amp onto the back of the of the equipment truck. As the band trekked north from Clarksdale, MS, the amp fell off the back of the truck. Being a Peavey, the amp was designed to be dropped from a ten-story building without so much a scratch. Plus, the band was so broke in the dead of winter that they used to take turns lying on top of one another on the van in order to stay warm. Whoever’s turn it was to lie on top, would be given a bottle of whiskey and slice of pizza. When the guy on top finally got cold enough, he would go to the bottom and the bottom guy would go to the top. By the time they got to Memphis, producer Shel Talmy was known for being a bit of “brilliant mistake” sort of record-maker. When the fallen amp was plugged in, it had a glorious distortion, much to the delight of Talmy. Talmy went on to play in The Who and little Eddie Van Halen married Sally Strothers. The singer for Van Halen, Gary Cherone, went on to deliver pizza for Papa John’s in Lima, Ohio.


  3. hrrundivbakshi

    Excellent, latelydavidband! You forgot to add, however:

    The singer for Van Halen, Gary Cherone, went on to deliver pizza for Papa John’s in Lima, Ohio.

    To BTO.

  4. Mr. Moderator

    Busy day today, but it’s vital that I check in and add to the rock mythology. I know Hrrundi cautioned us against posting true stories, but the following are TOTALLY TRUE! A cousin of a friend of mine is a nurse, and she gets the scoop on all kinds of juicy stories. In the ’60s her mom worked was a nurse in London, so some of the following were handed down by dear old Mum.

    1. The Shoeless Paul McCartney image is simple: Paul was wearing white canvas sneaks when the Abbey Road shot was being put together, but he stepped in a wad of molten cheese that fell off a slice of pizza that a pizza delivery boy was munching on between stops on his route.

    2. That sewing needle story about Dave Davies’ amp and the solo on “You Really Got Me” is a crock! Truth of the matter is, Dave was dissatisfied with his sound, “This is rock ‘n roll, not fuckin’ Bach, man!” he yelled out from the studio floor after his 12th take at the solo. “Couldn’t they have given me a switch to turn on some bloody overdrive?” With that a pizza delivery boy stumbled into the studio, a fresh, piping hot pepperoni pizza flying over Dave, who ducked out of the way, knocking his amp onto its face so that the pizza landed top first onto his speaker cone.

    3. A lot of folks will tell you that the false start in “Wrong ’em Boyo” is simply The Clash copying the original version of this song, by whichever obscure artist first did it. That’s true, but the original artist (sorry, blanking on the name) needed to stop the song when Randy Bachman entered the studio, eating a slice of pizza, to suggest that the track would sound much better if the pizza delivery boy in the studio down the hall tinkled some ivories.

    4. Led Zeppelin learned that no fish but anchioves really works on a pizza, and even anchioves kind of suck. They decided to use the fish on the pizza delivery girl instead – she was no groupie!

    5. I feel uncomfortable sharing the details that couldn’t be shown in Cocksucker Blues, but let’s just say it involved a visit from BTO, a pizza delivery boy, a bottle of Jack, and an Irish sheepdog, giving birth to the future movie title Turner and Hootch.

  5. mockcarr

    A little known fact is Paul McCartney’s feet produce such a putrid odor that it was unnecessary to clear the street for that photo. The long hair and beards sported by the other lads were serving as filtration devices so their genius would not be affected by the stench of the “cute” one’s tootsies.

    Dave had nothing to do with destroying his amp to create that signature sound in You Really Got Me, it was really skewered by Randy Bachman who was delivering kababs to the Davies house. Naturally, Randy blamed his clumsiness and lack of vision on the seven pizza boxes that were UNDERNEATH the kababs, but I feel that’s revisionist history.

    What we consider a false start in Wrong Em Boyo is actually the entire part of the song played by a local pizza delivery boy who mistakenly thought they were BTO and could get him a record deal, so he slipped a cassette into Strummer’s stromboli. The hot ricotta must have ruined much of it, as the actual version was rumored to be at least 30 minutes long, so they fleshed it out and plaguerized his arrangement.

    Led Zeppelin didn’t use fish, people were fooled by those fishy-looking baloons on their record covers – they employed eels. How could they pretend to have anacondas where only nightcrawlers resided? The strategic use of lampreys. The flaccidly was naturally blamed on the black acid being passed around by that nasty campfollow who accused those blokes of tying her up when she couldn’t be satisfied. The true legend is that only a “back” man turned her over-sexed drive in the end.

    Cocksucker Blues introduced a new “cheesy” topping to the pizza lexicon. Hopefully one that is no longer used outside of fraternal hazing rituals. It didn’t make the commonly viewed version, although signifcant use of “pepperoni” seems to have escaped unhindered.

  6. McCartney wasn’t getting the pain and desperation he wanted on his Oh Darling vocal, so he planned on walking across hot coals right before cutting the track. The BBC union wouldn’t allow hot coals on the studio floor, so they created a path of burning hot pepperoni and bangers pizzas across the floor.

    Mac walks barefoot across the flaming pies, and hits the righteous notes. Afterwards, looking for his shoes, he learns that Yoko stole them for her London art installation, Smell Here Now, forcing Mac to walk across the sticky black tarmac sans footwear.

    It’s true.

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