There’s no doubt music fans have always been fascinated by the most unusual stories and rumors surrounding their idols, even if deep inside they know there’s no truth to these tales. This is perhaps the main reason why rock ’n’ roll has always been a minefield of myths and urban legends that have no connection with reality. So for today’s list we will try to uncover the truth behind some of music’s biggest myths and rumors and why many of them have persisted to this day. Are you ready? Because these are 25 Really Weird And Curious Tales From Music Industry History.
Debbie Harry was almost Abducted by Ted Bundy
Despite this story causing a lot of buzz back in the 1970s and many people falling for it, it appears it was just another trick to boost Blondie’s album sales. Debbie claimed she had accepted a lift in New York from a mysterious man who attempted to abduct her and whom she later realized was the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. However, at the time, Bundy was living thousands of miles away in Utah, and according to his biography he had never visited New York.
Charles Manson Auditioned to be a Member of the Monkees
A myth has been going around for decades that Charles Manson was among the young folks who auditioned to be a member of the Monkees. Even though this is not exactly an impossible scenario since more than 437 people tried out, and Manson was writing music at the time, including a song that was later released by the Beach Boys, there’s only a technical problem: in 1965, at the time of the auditions, Manson was in prison.
Elvis, Tupac, Bob Marley, and Jim Morrison are Still Alive
And they all live happily together on a beautiful island that no one can find on a map simply because this island exists only in the wild imagination of some die-hard, romantic fans.
Lady Gaga is a Hermaphrodite
Ever since Lady Gaga emerged as one of the hottest acts in pop music, rumors have been circulating about her gender. Gaga herself added fuel to the fire when she reportedly wrote the following in a blog in December 2008: “It’s not something that I’m ashamed of, just isn’t something that I go around telling everyone. Yes. I have both male and female genitalia, but I consider myself a female.” However, her manager has dismissed the claims out of hand, calling them “ridiculous.”
“My Way” Karaoke Killings
The “My Way” killings are a social phenomenon in the Philippines, referring to a number of fatal disputes that arose due to the singing of “My Way,” popularized by Frank Sinatra, in karaoke bars. According to the local authorities at least twelve people died between 2002 and 2012 while singing the song. Even though opinions differ over whether the connection is sheer coincidence since the song is frequently sung in the nation’s karaoke bars where violence is common or to the aggressive lyrics, the fact is the song has become the most “deadly” in music history over the past decade.
The Best New Artist Grammy Curse
Is winning the Best New Artist Grammy really a curse? Is it true that whoever has won this award saw their careers go down in flames afterward? Well, while it might be true for artists such as Milli Vanilli, Men at Work, Amy Winehouse, and Jody Watley, it makes you wonder how accurate the belief is when you find out that other winners include Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, Christina Aguilera, Adele, and last but not least, the biggest-selling music act of all time, the Beatles.
Ozzy Osborne Bit Bats and Drank their Blood
Although there are doses of truth in this popular rock myth, when you hear the whole story about the specific incident you realize you’ve been misguided. See, on a 1982 tour, Ozzy was in the habit of hurling calves’ livers and pigs’ intestines into the audience. The crowds began to fight back. At a show in Iowa, a fan threw a live bat onto the stage. Thinking it was a rubber toy, Ozzy bit the head off it and as a result was rushed to the hospital for rabies injections. The truth is Ozzy never bit any bat or drank its blood intentionally as many fans still believe.
Courtney Love Murdered Kurt
To this day many hard-core Nirvana fans believe Kurt never killed himself. Instead, they believe Courtney Love hired a hit man to kill him. After these claims many conspiracy theories popped up stating Courtney had indeed had Kurt murdered in order to inherit his millions. Despite there being no forensic or even circumstantial evidence to support this assertion, many people still support this theory with a passion.
Frank Zappa Used to Eat Poop Live Onstage
There were rumors that the legendary musician was once challenged onstage to a “gross-out contest,” and Zappa triumphed by taking a poop onstage and then eating it. Zappa, however, explained what really happened that night by stating, “For the record, folks: I never took a s**t onstage, and the closest I ever came to eating s**t anywhere was at a Holiday Inn buffet.”
Jay Z is a Time-Traveling Vampire
In a photograph released in 2013 by the Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, there was someone who looked a lot like the rapper and husband of Beyoncé. The picture, taken in 1939 by Sid Grossman, caused many conspiracy theorists to believe Jay Z is a vampire, an immortal, or maybe just a time traveler. Additionally, the fact that the photo was taken in Harlem, which is only seventeen miles from where Jay Z was born in Brooklyn, made the conspiracy theorists even more confident about their claims.
Pitbull Predicted the Disappearance of MH370
In 2012, Pitbull released a track titled “Get It Started” that also features Shakira. The lyrics include the lines, “. . . but for now it’s off to Malaysia / Two passports, three cities, two countries, one day.” YouTube commentators alleged that the two passports pertain to the stolen Austrian and Italian passports used by two Iranians. Also, the three cities refer to the capitals of Malaysia, China, and Vietnam, and the two countries are Malaysia and Vietnam. Conspiracy theorists got really excited by these little verses and connections and that’s how the rumor that Pitbull knew about the disappearance of Flight 370 two years before it even happened was born.
The Beatles got High in Buckingham Palace
There was a myth spread in the Rock community back in the 1960s that the Beatles smoked a joint together in Buckingham Palace before accepting their MBEs. However, the truth appears to be a little bit different. It was Lennon who came up with this story, but the band later confessed it wasn’t true, as they’d have been far too scared and shy to do such a thing.
Jack White and Meg White are Siblings
Jack and Meg White, better known as the White Stripes, decided to lie about their relationship because they didn’t think critics or fans would take them seriously if they knew the truth. The truth being that instead of the brother-sister band they claimed they were, Jack and Meg White were actually a husband and wife duo. The marriage was many albums ago though and didn’t last long.
Keith Richards’s Blood Replacement
There have been rumors that the legendary Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones managed to overcome his drug addiction by having his toxic veins pumped clean and replaced with completely fresh blood. Although there appears to be some truth to this in that Richards underwent a medical procedure to filter his blood of impurities, he admitted that the idea of a complete blood replacement was a joke at the expense of gullible journalists.
Michael Jackson owned the Elephant Man’s remains
MJ was famous for his bizarre and expensive taste as well as for buying crazy things. In 1987, according to rumors, he paid $50,000 for the remains of Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man. However, this was proven false because, although Michael may well have made the offer, the remains were not available because they had been destroyed in a Nazi air raid on the Royal London Hospital during World War II.
Elvis was Undercover for the US Drug Enforcement Agency
There was a rumor in the 1970s that “the King” worked undercover for the US Drug Enforcement Agency. For that matter, Elvis did have a strange desire to work for the DEA and wrote a long letter to President Nixon asking to do so. However, Elvis was fobbed off with an honorary DEA badge.
The Real Eminem is Dead
Even if you were never a fan of Eminem you might have heard about Eminem dying in 2005 in a car crash, and how the “new” Eminem is a clone of the real one. Actually some of his fans believe the original Eminem was a decent, talented guy while the new dude is just a member of the Illuminati.
And so is Sir Paul McCartney
Way before Eminem, however, there was “Paul is dead,” an urban legend and conspiracy theory suggesting that Paul McCartney of the Beatles died in 1966 and was secretly replaced by a look-alike. In September 1969, American college students published articles claiming that clues to McCartney’s supposed death could be found in the lyrics and artwork of the Beatles’ recordings. Despite this being one of the most popular conspiracy theories in popular music history, it has receded to the dark corners of the Internet, disregarded as nothing more than a silly conspiracy.
Robert Johnson’s Deal with the Devil
The story of Johnson meeting the devil at a crossroads on the outskirts of some unknown town is one of the most famous stories in Blues history. It was believed he exchanged his soul in order to become a great Blues performer and Johnson did indeed become legendary, but not until long after his death at twenty-seven, which occurred, of course, at a crossroads. Some think Johnson’s song “Crossroads” is cursed, as many artists who have covered it, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, have had tragedy befall them.
Roy Orbison was Blind
The singer known as “The Big O” usually wore perfectly normal glasses but left them behind when he went to support the Beatles on a tour in the mid-sixties and so had to wear sunglasses onstage. The dark, oversize shades quickly became Roy Orbison’s gimmick, leading to the widespread—and completely false—rumor that he was blind.
Led Zeppelin’s Contract with the Devil
According to rumors similar to that surrounding Delta bluesman Robert Johnson, the band made a deal with the devil to ensure its success, especially that of the most overplayed song in rock history, “Stairway to Heaven.” The only member not to have taken part in the pact was bassist John Paul Jones, who thus far has avoided major hardships.
Gene Simmons’s Unusually Long Tongue
There was a myth going around in the 1970s that Gene Simmons had a cow’s tongue surgically grafted onto his own. Rumors said Simmons had had this procedure to help him develop the character of the “Demon” that he portrayed onstage. The rumors continued for years but in reality Gene just has a long tongue for a human. There’s nothing more to it.
A Rihanna Video Predicted Whitney Houston’s Death
In the “We Found Love” video, there are shots of prescription pills falling down the screen, bouncing around, driving home the reasons for the character’s descent into a drug-induced safe-haven relationship. The bathtub scene is quite chilling, and it is easy to imagine Whitney Houston replacing Rihanna in the scene. Sure, Rihanna has long been targeted as a possible Illuminati-controlled figure but her predicting the future is a new one.
Fleetwood Mac’s Guitarist Curse
Much has been made of the “curse” on Fleetwood Mac’s guitarists. Following Peter Green’s departure, Jeremy Spencer went AWOL in LA in 1971—he was eventually found among the Children of God cult. Another guitarist, Danny Kirwan, was fired in 1972 after a drink-fueled episode that saw him bashing his head against a bathroom wall and smashing up his guitar. And then the curse struck again: Mick Fleetwood’s wife, Jenny Boyd, had an affair with guitarist Bob Weston. He was also fired, in 1973. Mick and Jenny would divorce, remarry, and divorce again.
The Cursed “27 Club”
Created by superstitious fans, the “27 Club” is a “club” that includes great musicians who died at age twenty-seven but managed to achieve so much in their short lives. To get an idea of the magnitude of the artists in this group, members include Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, and Kurt Cobain, whose death became the reason the “27 Club” began to gain wide notoriety.