100 Interesting Facts about Musical Instruments

26George Clinton

George Clinton doesn't know who played guitar for one of Funkadelic's greatest guitar solos, "Get Off Your A*s and Jam" (1975). The mystery guitarist was a white heroin addict who asked to sit in and was paid $50.


27. Eric Clapton once showed up drunk to George Harrison's house, silently handed him a guitar and amp, and the two had a musical duel for 2 hours.


28. In 1969, Willie Nelson ran into a burning house to save his guitar, and a pound of Cannabis.


29. Jack White of the White Stripes was saving Seven Nation Army's guitar riff in case he got asked to do a James Bond theme.


30. Dimebag Darrell once asked Eddie Van Halen for a copy of his guitar "Bumblebee" from the cover of Van Halen II. Eddie said yes but forgot. After Dimebag was killed, he turned up at the viewing with the original and it is now buried with him.


31Derek Amato

Derek Amato is one of just 30 “acquired savants” worldwide. After being taken to the hospital with a serious concussion from a diving accident, he sat down at a piano and discovered he was a musical genius.


32. When German fighter ace Hans-Joachim Marseille was asked to play the piano in front of Hitler, he played a forbidden jazz song.


33. In 1970's, Chuck Berry toured with only a guitar, finding some local bands for each show. He was confident that he could hire a band that already knew his music. He did not even give them a set list and just expected the musicians to follow his lead.


34. Demetri Martin would play guitar and have music playing in the background of his comedy specials so Comedy Central couldn't edit his set.


35. One of the first typewriters was initially called a "Literary piano."


36Joe Pesci

Actor Joe Pesci started as a singer, guitar player and played in the same band as Jimi Hendrix.


37. Rock musician Chuck Berry created Berry Park in Missouri, his own rock n roll themed amusement park with a guitar shaped swimming pool, in response to the whites-only country clubs from where he was once excluded.


38. The guitar playing in the Metalocalypse show is 100% animated accurately. Animation of the characters on the show fretting guitar solos actually corresponds to the notes they're playing.


39. Bob Marley was buried with his red Gibson guitar, a bible opened to Psalm 23, and a bud of marijuana.


40. Brendon Small, co-creator and voice actor of Metalocalypse, performs the vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboards, and (most) bass guitar for all the studio recordings for the Dethklok music heard in the show and is the frontman for live Dethklok concerts.


41Keith Richards

Keith Richards once woke up in the middle of the night, laid down and recorded a guitar riff for what would be the song Satisfaction (I Can't Get No). The following 40 minutes on the tape recorder is him snoring.


42. Woody Guthrie, who wrote "This Land is Your Land", painted the words "THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS" on his guitar.


43. John Mayer became interested in the guitar after watching the prom scene in "Back to the Future".


44. The Replacements band (who were replacing The Pointer Sisters at the last minute as the SNL musical guest) smuggled booze and drugs backstage, got drunk with Harry Dean Stanton, broke a guitar on their way to perform, swore on-air, and were banned from returning to the show.


45. Jazz pianist Ryo Fukui taught himself piano when he was 22 and released his first album just 6 years later.


46James Franco

James Franco, a non-smoker, took up smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, learned to ride a motorcycle, play guitar, and cut himself off from his loved ones, all to prepare for his role as James Dean.


47. In the song "Misunderstood", John Petrucci wrote and played the guitar solo, and then reversed it. He then learned how to play this reversed version, and after recording it reversed it once more. This resulted in a solo like the original but with a unique twist to the way the notes sounded.


48. James Taylor gives free online guitar lessons.


49. Jerry Garcia played a custom built guitar named 'Lightning Bolt' which was made from the recycled rosewood of a bed from an Asian opium den.


50. Johnny Depp has played guitar for Marilyn Manson, Oasis, and Aerosmith.

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