David Bruce: 250 Music Anecdotes — Money, Mothers, Music Videos


• Musician Vicki Randle was the only woman in a band, and one of the males in the band asked her to sew a button on his shirt. She explained to him that she had never learned how to sew buttons because she was a musician. This action by the male sounds bad, but when the males in the band learned that she was making less money than they were, all together the males demanded that the manager pay her more money — as much as the male musicians were individually making.


• Bobby Henderson started playing jazz piano professionally by accident. He was at a New York City club called Pod and Jerry’s, and the club owner said to him, “Hello, son, can you play the piano?” The club owner then pointed to a man, and said, “That’s Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith you see there. He’s one of the greatest piano players playing. Well, Willie’s made plenty of money, and Willie’s going to move downtown to another spot. … So, play a tune, kid.” Bobby was nervous, but he played “I Got Rhythm,” relaxed, and played much more. He got the job, and he showed up that night to play for real and for money. He earned $150 in tips — a lot of money at the time. After work, he went home to his mother’s house, and he emptied his pockets of all the paper money — 20s, 10s, 5s, and 1s — that he had earned and put the money on the kitchen dresser. In the morning, his mother woke up, went into the kitchen, saw the money, and screamed. Bobby woke up, went into the kitchen, and said, “What’s the matter, Mom? House on fire?” He then explained that the money was his tip money from the previous night — he had not stolen it — and he told her to buy some new dresses.

• The Dire Straits had a hit in 1985 with their song “Money for Nothing,” which includes a reference to rock stars getting “chicks for free.” A woman named Sally wrote in to Ana Samways’ always entertaining New Zealand Heraldcolumn Sideswipe, “When I was little and my sister and I were in the car with my mum on a long trip, we also belted out off-key to the Dire Straits hit ‘Money for Nothing’ and I asked mum why he’d get ‘chicks for free’. Clearly wanting to avoid having to explain the wild ways of rock stars, she told us the lyric was ‘chips for free’ and that when a rock star goes into a fish and chip shop, they have to pay only for the fish!”

Music Videos

• Some of the comments on YouTube about music videos are funny. For example, a video of the Divinyls’ hit “I Touch Myself” had 477 likes and 8 dislikes in May 2011. A person who calls him- or herself “Tomdotp” commented, “The 8 people that dislike this song touch themselves a bit too much!” And a person who calls him- or herself “TwilfsMind” commented about the video, “It’s not about masturbation. It’s about looking into your soul andfinding out who you really are […] Just kidding it’s about Masturbating.”

• When the Ramones made the music video for their song “Pet Sematary,” they filmed it in Tarrytown, New York, at the Sleepy Hollow cemetery, which is famous as the setting of some Washington Irving short stories, including “Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Among the celebrities appearing in the video were Deborah Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie, Ramones producer and co-writer Daniel Rey, the Cycle Sluts from Hell, and their dogs: the Cycle Mutts from Hell.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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