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In the Mix - Useless Facts and Music Trivia

Mar 10, 2015 10:18AM ● By Jennifer Neys

Paul Cotruvo

I thought it would be fun this month to have a little music trivia. After all, haven’t you been at work or a party and wanted to dazzle all your friends with useless knowledge? Well, hopefully, some of these fun little facts will make you as popular as the spinach dip and the homemade beer!

Did you know that Cher was a background singer on the Righteous Brothers’ hit "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling”? David Bowie's real name is David Robert Jones. He changed it so as to not be confused with Davy Jones of The Monkees. Also, the band UB40 got their name from the British Unemployment Benefit Form, UB40, you fill out to go "on the dole." Dazzled yet? Well, let’s go a little deeper!

Did you know the real name of Cat Stevens, now Yusuf Islam, is Steve Georgiou? Elvis Costello is really Declan McManus; Freddie Mercury was born Farouk Bulsara; and, of course, Sir Elton John is really Reginald Dwight? 

And how about all these plagiarism lawsuits lately? I’m sure you have heard the comparison between Sam Smith’s huge hit, “Stay With Me” and Tom Petty’s, “I Won’t Back Down.” Believe it or not, there are many successful lawsuits over similar melodies or chord changes. George Harrison was successfully sued in a prolonged suit that began in 1971 for plagiarizing the Chiffons' "He's So Fine" (1963) for the melody of his own "My Sweet Lord.” Led Zeppelin is in court right now over the intro to “Stairway to Heaven,” which is extremely similar to the 1968 song, "Taurus," by the band Spirit. Chuck Berry sued John Lennon in 1973 under the premise that the Beatles' hit, "Come Together" borrowed both lines and melodies from Berry's song "You Can't Catch Me." Come on people, can’t we all just get along?

So let’s have a little fun. I am going to ask 10 trivia questions. Let’s see how much trivial information is stuck in that brain of yours! The answers will be on the Community Focus website,

1)    What was the first CD pressed in the United States for commercial release?

2)    What was the first video to appear on MTV?

3)    Who was hired as the opening act for The Monkees during their 1967 tour?

4)    What artist's real name is Stacy Ferguson?

5)    Who started their music career with the name Tom and Jerry?

6)    What epitaph is written on Sonny Bono's headstone?

7)    Who was nicknamed “The Big O”?

8)    Which Spice Girl was nicknamed Sporty Spice?

9)    Who was Jimmy Page’s first choice for lead singer of Led Zeppelin?

10)  Don McLean had a hit with “American Pie,” based on the death of which singer?

Extra credit: Which English rock band, formed in London in 1969, takes its name from a fictional character in David Copperfield?

Good luck! Some of these should at least get you a free beer at your favorite pub!

Quote of the month: An Irish Blessing

Always remember to forget

 The troubles that passed away.

 But never forget to remember

 The blessings that come each day.

Paul’s picks for March:

March 6 & 7: Petty Theft, Lafayette Town Hall Theatre, 3535 School Street, Lafayette, 8pm

March 7: Delta Blues Festival Benefit, featuring Mighty Mike Schermer, Brad Absher Band,

                    Frankie G. and the Conviction, El Campanil Theatre, 602 W 2nd St. Antioch, 7pm

March 14: The Acoustic Jangle-Roxx on Main, 627 Main St, Martinez, 7pm

March 14: Delta Wires, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm

March 27: Jinx Jones & The Kingtones, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm

March 29: The Sunday Paper, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 4pm


1)  "Born in the U.S.A." was released June 4, 1984 by Bruce Springsteen

2)  “Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles

3)  Jimi Hendrix. He was booed off the stage and quit after two weeks

4)  Fergie

5)  Paul and Art, better known by their family names, Simon and Garfunkel.

6)  "And The Beat Goes On"

7)  Roy Orbison

8)  Mel C (Melanie Chisholm)

9)  Terry Reid

10) Buddy Holly

Extra Credit: Uriah Heep