Category: music

The Schubertiades

The life of early composers is not much different from today’s wild rockers. Franz Schubert’s  lifestyle and sexual adventures resulted in syphilis – contributing to his fame… and death at age 31. The music of Schubert, who lived from 1797 to 1828, is classified within the great Romantic Period of music, 1820 – 1900. There […]

Industrial music and rap have same roots

In the 1970s a friend of the band Throbbing Gristle described their sound as “Industrial Music for Industrial People” – the group established the Industrial Records label. The fast tempo, electronic sound and lyrics of anger and oppression became popular among young white males. The roots of industrial music are found in Germanic synthesized Teutonic […]

U2 originally known as Feedback

In 1975, at age 14, Larry Mullen Jr posted a notice at his school in Dublin, Ireland, which said that he wanted to form a band. At the time, 16-year-old Paul Hewson was working as a petrol station attendant. He had seen the note on the bulletin board, and decided to investigate. Adam Clayton was […]

World’s first successful freelance musician

Ludwig von Beethoven is known as the man who freed music and is the first composer who never had an official court position. Thus he is known as the world’s first successful freelance musician. Born in 1770, Beethoven grew up poor, but published his first work at age 12. By age 20 he was famous. […]

Songs that were once banned

Dean Martin’s “Wham bam, thank you Ma’am” was banned in 1951. Bob Dylan’s 1976 album Hard Rain was banned in many countries because of the track “Lay Lady Lay.” In the 80s, Frank Zappa’s “I don’t wanna get drafted” was held back. Some TV stations banned Cher’s video “If I could turn back time.” Garth […]

Guitarists electrocuted by their guitars

The band of the Titanic weren’t the only ones to die playing. Many guitarists have been electrocuted by faulty wires. In 1972, Leslie Harvey of Stone the Crows died after being electrocuted on stage in England. In 1976, Keith Relf, who used to play for The Yardbirds, was electrocuted by his guitar while playing in […]

REO Speedwagon is named after a flatbed truck

Ransom Eli Olds built a three-wheeled carriage in 1887 and a petrol (gasoline) car in 1896. In 1899, he founded the Olds Motor Works, producing the first Oldsmobile in 1901. Although he didn’t invent the motorcar, he still is known as the “Father of the Automobile.” His heavy-duty flatbed truck was considered a milestone in […]

The Grammy awards – a brief history

In 1958, a group of record executives, alarmed by the explosive success of rock ‘n’ roll – and the threat rock posed to “quality” pop – launched the Grammy Awards. Their aim: to cultivate a higher standard of popular taste. From the start, the Grammys have been at odds with and often scornful of not […]

Prince and symbols used by artists

Long before Prince became the artist known by a symbol, English poets signed their work with a symbol. In fact, only two Old English poets are known by name, Cynewulf and Caedmon. Old English differed greatly from the English of today, it basically resembled modern German. In the 7th Century, an unlearned cowherd, Caedmon wrote […]

The Beatles – Hey Jude and Lucy

The Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” does not stand for “LSD.” The title actually comes from John Lennon’s son Julian, who left his mark on more than one Beatles song. His drawing of a nursery school classmate, Lucy O’Donnell caught his father’s eye. When asked what it was called, Julian replied, “Lucy […]