The Funniest People in Music, Volume 2 — Problem-Solving


• The Rolling Stones occasionally go on worldwide tours, for which they warm up by playing at a small venue. In 1981, at a nightclub in Worcester, Massachusetts, the Stones played in front of 275 fans instead of their usual many thousands. Of course, many more fans showed up than could get inside the nightclub, meaning that police also showed up en mass. Fortunately, the police handled the situation well. They simply opened the doors of the nightclub so that the Stones’ music could be heard, and the fans danced rather than rioted.

• Bluegrass vocalist Rhonda Vincent keeps talented musicians around her, including learned drummer James Stroud. Often, she likes a lighter sound for the drums, one that sometimes involves drumming on cardboard boxes with brushes. Mr. Stroud continued in that vein in order to get a light percussive sound: He used Pizza Hut boxes. Ms. Vincent says, “James checked out all their pizza boxes for the right tone — small, medium and large [pizza boxes]. He chose the medium. And, no, it was not deep-dish.”

• At one time, songs were expected to be short and radio DJs would not play long songs. The Righteous Brothers’ great song “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” was 3 minutes and 45 seconds long, but Phil Spector insisted that the label on the single inaccurately say that the single was 3 minutes and 5 seconds long because he was afraid that DJs would not play the single if they knew how long it actually was.

• In the Broadway musical Red, Hot, and Blue!, Ethel Merman was supposed to sing the lyric, “Here I sit above the town in my pet pailletted gown” — paillettes are long, narrow spangles. She wanted to wear a pailletted gown while singing the song, but the producer protested that a pailletted gown would cost $1,000. Ms. Merman replied, “No gown, no song.” The producer paid for the dress.

• Very early in his career, Russian bass Feodor Chaliapine knew a chorus singer named Sessin, who used a remarkable means to keep from going hungry. Whenever he was low on food and had no money to buy any, he found himself a fiancée, and he would eat with her and her family, and sometimes even borrow money from her family. Oddly, Sessin never seemed to marry any of his fiancées.

• Working-class people are often good problem-solvers. While investigating the Berlin punk music scene for High Times magazine, journalist Victor Bockris slept late following a night of partying. The hotel maids wanted to clean his room, but they couldn’t while he was sleeping, so to wake him up, outside his room they turned on six vacuum cleaners. This solved their problem very quickly.

• Conductor Serge Koussevitzky wanted to be the first to conduct Ravel’s Bolero in America, and he managed to do so although two other conductors were supposed to give the piece at the same time, although in other cities. Mr. Koussevitzky made sure that he was first to conduct the piece by starting a few minutes early.

• French showgirl Mistinguett could not sing well, so she compensated by doing other things. Once when she was singing, a man in the audience yelled, “Higher,” so Mistinguett lifted her skirt up and asked, “How much higher do you want me to go?” The theater manager was pleased by her action and gave her a raise.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Did You Know This Info About TARA READE?

Natashe Korecki: “‘Manipulative, deceitful, user’: Tara Reade left a trail of aggrieved acquaintances” (Politico)

A number of those who crossed paths with Biden’s accuser say they remember two things: She spoke favorably about her time working for Biden, and she left them feeling duped.

Michael J. Stern (ex-prosecutor): Why I’m skeptical about Reade’s sexual assault claim against Biden (USA Today)

If we must blindly accept every allegation of sexual assault, the #MeToo movement is just a hit squad. And it’s too important to be no more than that.

Music Recommendation: The Men in Grey Suits — “The Victor”


Music: “The Victor” from the album PANIC AT THE PIER

Artist: The Men in Grey Suits

Artist Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada

Info: “THE MEN IN GRAY SUITS – Taking their name from surf lingo meaning ‘Sharks’ are a hard-hitting instrumental surf band from Montreal comprising of Jim “bones” Johnson on lead guitar, Mick the Prick on rhythm guitar, Martin Oligny on bass, Josh Fuhrman on Sax, and Pat the Cat on drums. THE MEN IN GRAY SUITS are ready to revive once again a genre that’s been watered down for years!

“The Victor” is a copy of a Dick Dale song.

Price: $1 (USA) for track; $9.99 (USD) for 13-track album

Genre: Surf Instrumental


Men in Grey Suits at Bandcamp