Musical Masterpieces: 65 Unheard Stories About Instruments

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1Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin

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

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

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

4. 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.

5. 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.

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6Bob Marley

Bob Marley

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

7. 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.

8. 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.

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

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

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11Replacements band

Replacements band

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.

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

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. James Taylor gives free online guitar lessons.

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16Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia

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.

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

18. An increasingly common method for brain surgeons to ensure that a semi-conscious patient is OK during surgery is to have them play a musical instrument or sing during the procedure. Various patients have played saxophone, guitar, banjo, violin, and even sung opera while under the knife.

19. When guitar player Steve Vai joined Frank Zappa's band as a teenager, he was so good even then that Zappa would credit his guitar parts as "stunt guitar" or "impossible guitar parts" on the liner notes of his albums.

20. In the song 'The Sounds of Silence' by Simon and Garfunkle, the lyric 'Hello darkness my old friend, I've come to talk with you again' was created by Paul Simon often playing guitar in the bathroom with the lights off and faucet running.

21John Lennon

John Lennon

When John Lennon received his first guitar, his aunt Mimi (his guardian at the time) told him, "The guitar's all very well, John, but you'll never make a living out of it." Three years later, The Beatles formed.

22. The popular steel slide guitar sound of Hawaii was taught to them by visiting Cowboys from a small town in California.

23. Volkswagen once had a promotion where every car came with a limited edition electric guitar that could plug into the car as an amplifier.

24. Garth Brooks once stopped singing "The Dance" in the middle of his concert to give his guitar to a woman with cancer in the front row. She had a sign that said "Chemo this morning, Garth tonight. Enjoy the Dance."

25. After Beethoven heard Mauro Giuliani playing the guitar, he commented that the instrument was "a miniature orchestra in itself".

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