David Bruce: The Funniest People in Music, Volume 3 — Money, Mothers, Names


• Screenwriter/critic Frank Cottrell Boyce met Nico at Eric’s, a punk nightclub in 1970s Liverpool, but maybe that wasn’t a good thing. He told her that he loved her, and she replied, “Really? Do you have any money? I seem to be a little short.” He had two 50-pence pieces, and he gave her one of them, but he could tell that she wanted the other one, too, so he gave her that one as well. That night, he walked 11 miles home, due to lack of train fare.

• Music critic and scholar Chadwick Jenkins remembers being required to take his choice of music classes when he was in high school. He signed up for chorus, but quickly the teacher wanted him to drop the class — and offered him $50 to do just that. According to Mr. Jenkins, the teacher “said that the sum was a substantial portion of his yearly income but that it was worth it just so he could sleep at night.”

• The Raconteurs have a reputation for producing rock ’n’ roll alchemy. Although they were selling records in 2008, they also made money in other ways than playing music. During their tours, they both played live music and sold their own homemade elixirs. What kind of elixirs? One elixir is intended to put hair on your chest; another elixir is intended to remove the hair on your chest.


• Vince Clarke, a former member of the bands Depeche Mode and Erasure, occasionally gets together with Alison Moyet to tour as the duo Yas, aka Yazoo. He is very popular with gays although he is straight with a wife and a son. In fact, he is so popular with gays that the gay magazine The Advocate asked him whether he had to “frequently come out of the closet as straight.” Mr. Clarke replied, “My Mum was surprised, actually. When I phoned her to tell her I’d just gotten married, she didn’t believe me. It was a good half-hour conversation of ‘No, Mum, I really did just get married.’”

• The New Kids on the Block have their fans. Writer David Wild once stayed in a hotel on the same floor that the boy band was staying on. Each time he turned on his light, teenaged female fans outside the hotel screamed. But what really impressed him about the fame of the New Kids on the Block was that lots of hot mothers offered him sexual favors for his All-Access Backstage Pass. He blogged, “For the record — and for my wife who might be reading this — I adamantly refused these propositions for reasons that are not entirely clear to me today.”

• Sam Endicott, the frontman/bass player of the Bravery, an indie-rock band, learned about ethics from his mother when he was very young. He took a grape out of a grocery store without paying for it and ate it. His mother found out, and, Mr. Endicott remembers, “My mom made me go back and tell the cashier lady what I’d done. It was the most humiliating experience of my life. I’ve never stolen since.”


• When the Replacements performed at their first concert, they were supposed to be known as the Impediments. However, their first concert was in the basement of a Presbyterian church, and the promoter thought that the name the Impediments was not very Presbyterian and that it sounded anti-people with handicaps. Forced to pick a replacement name very quickly, they very quickly named themselves the Replacements. Of course, they had nicknames as well. At times, members of the band were so drunk that they could barely perform. At those times, they called themselves the Placemats, or more simply, the ’Mats. Once, in Portland, the ’Mats wore their own clothing on stage — and over their own clothing, they wore the clothing of the opening act.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


The Funniest People in Music, Volume 3 — Buy:

The Paperback




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Music Recommendation: The Black Flamingos — “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition was In)”


Music: “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition was In)”

Artist: The Black Flamingos

Artist Location: Asbury Park, New Jersey

Info: “Black Flamingos pay tribute to the late Kenny Rogers with a timely instrumental take on The First Edition’s 1968 counterculture hit ‘Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).’”

“Instrumental trio from Asbury Park, NJ, USA.”

Robbie Butkowski / Guitar 
Declan O’Connell / Bass, Guitar, Percussion 
Vincent Minervino / Drums 
Ryan Gregg / Organ 

Price: $1 (USD) for single

Genre: Instrumental. Pop.


The Black Flamingos on Bandcamp


“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition was In)”