The 10 most infamous rock’n’roll myths debunked

The world of rock’n’roll is riddled with strange, disturbing and often shocking stories. While it may be tempting to take them at face value, the truth is that rock owes much of its enduring legacy to a process of self-mythologizing. To put it more simply, don’t believe everything you hear. The history of music is a fragile thing, made up of a jumble of stories told by people who may not even have been present, and written by people who have a taste for great stories.

Musicians tend to repeat our belief that the world of music is full of people who do nothing but sleep with them on yachts and smoke joints on Monday mornings. The most enigmatic rock stars have frequently exploited our desire to believe such things to their own advantage; forge a myth that turns them into gods in the eyes of the public. Keith Richards, for example, has managed to put into our minds the idea that he is indestructible – having survived so many near-death experiences.

Our strange urge to believe that musicians are somehow different from us has also led music fans to come up with a plethora of conspiracy theories around rock music. Take ‘The 27 Club’ or the legend of Robert Johnson meeting the devil at a crossroads. These two tales suggest that musical excellence is something supernatural, and that those endowed with the gift of virtuosity are doomed to meet a supernatural end.

Here, we’ve debunked ten of rock ‘n roll’s most famous myths. You might call us revelers, but the truth behind some of these stories is far more shocking than you might think.

Join us, then, as we take ten tracks from rock’n’roll lore under the microscope.

10 rock’n’roll myths debunked:

Jimi Hendrix is ​​responsible for the London parakeet population

Anyone who lives in south-east London knows that this particular area of ​​the capital is teeming with bright green parakeets. Poorly adapted birds can be seen perching in trees, repelling pigeons in bird feeders, and flying overhead in fighter pilot formation.

The origins of the bird have been the subject of many urban myths. One of these legends proposes that the birds were released by none other than Jimi Hendrix. The story goes that the guitarist pulled out a pair of parakeets – Adam and Eve – as he strolled down Carnaby Street in hash-induced stupor. It was, according to believers, intended as a symbol of peace. However, a recent study found that the most likely cause of the bird’s arrival in Britain was the Great Storm of 1987, which damaged a number of aviaries and caused the birds to escape.

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Keith Richards blood transfusion

According to tradition, Keith Richards had his blood replaced with a fresh supply at a Swiss clinic in 1973. However, it is likely that the Rolling Stones guitarist received hemodialysis.

After shooting with a group of users – some of whom he knew, many of whom he didn’t know – Richards passed out with a needle still hanging from his arm. “Someone put strychnine in my drug,” he later said The Guardian. “I was totally in a coma but I was totally awake. I could listen to everyone and they would say, “He’s dead, he’s dead!” waving their fingers and jostling me, and I thought, ‘I’m not dead!’ “.

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Rod Stewart Navy Seal Orgy

This particular myth came to my attention via someone who will remain unnamed (Ehem, Far‘s Tom Taylor). The alleged story goes that after performing fellatio on as many as nine Navy Seals (sometimes just sailors), Rod Stewart had to have his stomach pumped. Why? because he had ingested too much semen – here I am looking for a nautical sex joke, but it escapes me.

The truth is, the rumor was started by Tony Boon, a publicist Rod Stewart fired while on tour. Boon had bought out a man in the hotel room where Stewart’s seven-year-old son was staying. Stewart then fired Boon, who then made up the story of the orgy of nine sailors and sold it to the media for revenge.

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Alice Cooper bit a chicken’s head live on stage

Apparently, Alice Cooper would have beheaded a live chicken during her performance at the Toronto Rock & Roll Revival concert in 1969. Having gained a reputation for their savage antics, Alice Cooper and the band indulged in their usual theater of gutting pillows and throw the feathers. However, when a live chicken wandered onto the stage, things got a lot darker. Cooper, sort of grabbed the helpless bird and ripped its head off.

While that never happened, the real story isn’t much better. In truth, the chicken was thrown on stage by Cooper’s manager, Shep Gordon. Cooper quickly picked it up and threw it into the crowd, where it was torn to pieces by a swarm of sweaty hands.

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Stevie Nicks got her butt exploded with cocaine

While Stevie Nicks’ love for Peruvian walking powder may have burned a dime-sized hole in her nose, she never got so depraved that she blew her buttocks off. with cocaine.

In 2001, Nicks finally responded to the rumor, “This is absurd,” she began. “Maybe it’s because people knew I had such a big hole in my nose. Let’s put a belt in my nose, because that’s the size of the hole. ‘ “

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BIC white lighters made the 27 club

In a vivid example of stoner logic, the pro-marijuana site HighDeas proposed that Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain all died because the white BIC lighters they all carried were to bring bad luck.

It is a beautiful story, but alas, clearly false. The myth was debunked when it was discovered that BIC did not start selling disposable lighters until after the deaths of Joplin, Morrison and Hendrix. Additionally, Morrison died in a bathtub and did not undergo an autopsy. It is true that lighters were spotted at the scene of Cobain’s suicide, but they were not white.

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Robert Johnson met the devil at a crossroads

One of the oldest pieces of rock ‘n’ roll, history goes that blues guitarist Robert Johnson’s talent for the guitar was the result of a Satanic deal with Lucifer himself.

Johnson is said to have met the devil at a crossroads and traded in his soul in exchange for his musical gift. In truth, he learned to play the guitar without the help of the devil; receiving lessons from blues player Ike Zimmerman. It’s not that cool, I admit, but I guess the truth hurts.

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The Beatles smoked marijuana at Buckingham Palace

Then one of my personal favorites. For many years it was believed that when The Beatles went to Buckingham Palace to pick up their MBEs they would find a quiet place (I like to imagine them squatting in one of those big fluffy hats) to smoke what I imagine members of the royal family still described as a ‘jazz cigarette’.

The rumor was started by John Lennon himself, who once claimed he wrote “Eleonor Rigby” – which is also a lie. Lennon was then forced to speak the truth, revealing that he and his fellow Beatles had been too scared to get high in Queenie’s presence, although they discussed the idea before they arrived.

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Michael Jackson owned the remains of The Elephant Man

Certainly one of the strangest tales on this list, it was once said that Michael Jackson was the owner of the grisly remains of Joseph Merrick, aka The Elephant Man. The rumor started in 1987 when reports began to surface that Jackson had purchased the remains of the Victorian sensation for $ 50,000.

It’s possible that Jackson made the offer, but he certainly never owned the remains – he couldn’t have it. Joseph Merrick’s bones and organs were actually destroyed in an airstrike on the Royal London Hospital during the Blitz. Apparently his head, arm, and foot were saved from the rubble, but they were never put up for sale.

(Credit: Alamy)

Led Zeppelin and the Mudshark incident

It is arguably the most infamous and controversial story in the dark annals of rock ‘n’ roll history. While staying at the famous Edgewater Inn in Seattle, Led Zeppelin apparently caught a mud shark in the nearby bay and used it in a series of sex acts with a female groupie.

The truth of this story is still up for debate, with other members of the group and team coming up with alternate versions of events. It is generally believed that although Led Zeppelin caught a fish while in Edgewater, it was a red snapper. The person who committed the sexual act, meanwhile, was most likely Richard Cole, the band’s road manager – and not Led Zeppelin themselves. However, it is unclear how much the group was complicit in the events of that night.

(Credit: Alamy)

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