Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll, and . . . Ham Sandwiches?
If you are a music fan, you may be aware of some of music’s most enduring mysteries. Where did Pearl Jam get their name? Are the White Stripes related by blood or by marriage? Did Mama Cass really die from choking on a ham sandwich? Gavin Edwards has heard just about every strange question, racy rumor, and legend of the music world. As the writer of Rolling Stone’s “Rolling Stone Knows” column, Edwards proved himself as a one-man encyclopedia of music trivia. Now he shares all of his knowledge with you. Look inside to find the answers to these questions and more:
•What’s the connection between The Beach Boys and Charles Manson?
•How did Dr. Dre and Eminem meet?
•Did Mick Jagger and David Bowie really sleep together?
•What’s the deal with Led Zeppelin and the shark?
•What’s the feud between The Smashing Pumpkins and Pavement all about?
•Was Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” really written about his most private body part?
Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John? might not tell you who shot Tupac or why Celine Dion is still allowed to make records, but with thorough research and answers straight from the mouths of the performers themselves, Edwards will help you become a music geek extraordinaire.
"The landscape of modern music is a strange place," writes Edwards in his introduction. However, Edwards's myth-debunking volume gives the impression that it's not as strange as some think. Chapters are organized around subjects such as song lyrics ("I Write the Songs"), deaths ("The Long Black Veil") and the origins of album and song titles ("I Hold the Title"). Some of the rumors and mysteries Edwards untangles are old favorites, such as Paul McCartney's alleged death, Robert Johnson's purported sale of his soul to the devil and the subject of Carly Simon's "You're so Vain." Others are more recent and obscure, such as Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro's death, what's not tattooed on Tom Waits's chest and the inspiration for the White Stripes's "Hotel Yorba." Squeamish readers may be put off by a few stories, such as those about Elvis's sexual preferences and Led Zeppelin's "mud shark" episode. Edwards, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, peppers his prose with witticisms and references to song lyrics. Endnotes give sources for much of Edwards's information, some of which is from his interviews with the musicians. For random rock 'n roll scuttlebutt, it's a gem.