Music News

Urban Music Legend or Bizarre Fact?

By Niki D’Andrea

Happy April Fool’s Day! In this spirit of this stupid unofficial holiday, we thought we’d take a look at some of the biggest dupes in music, both local and national, as well as some strange things that are actually true. Can you tell urban music legend from bizarre fact?

National Legends:

1.“Mama” Cass Elliott of the Mamas & the Papas died from choking on a ham sandwich.

Urban Legend. The legend sometimes has her choking on a piece of chicken instead of a ham sandwich, but the truth is, Cass Elliott died of a heart attack.

2.Chicago’s first lead singer, Terry Kath, shot and killed himself playing Russian Roulette.

Bizarre Fact. After repeating pulling the trigger of the gun and reportedly telling friends “Don’t worry, it’s not loaded,” Kath died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on January 23, 1978.

Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham: Did he really just watch?

3.The members of Led Zeppelin once used a red snapper fish to have intercourse with a groupie in Seattle.

Complicated Half-Fact. This story has been well-documented and parts of it have been both confirmed and refuted by members of the Led Zep camp. The band’s road manager, Richard Cole, claims he did the uh, fishing, and it was “the nose of the fish, and the girl must have come 20 times,” and the only member of the band present was John Bonham, who just watched.

4.Marilyn Manson had his ribs surgically removed so he could perform felatio on himself.

Urban Legend. The same rumor has circulated about Jane Fonda, Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, and a host of other female celebs, with the twist that they’ve done it to reduce waist size, rather than for self-gratification. The legend is false (and probably medically impossible) in every case.

Marilyn Manson: He still has all his ribs.

5.Rod Stewart once collapsed on stage and had to be rushed to the hospital, where doctors pumped a gallon of semen from his stomach.

Urban Legend. The same rumor has circulated about a number of rock stars over the years, from Elton John to David Bowie to Britney Spears.

Local Legends:

1.Tucson garage rock-space cowboy and Fat Possum recording artist Bob Log III lost his left hand in a childhood boating accident, and doctors surgically replaced it with a monkey paw.

Urban Legend. This rumor was started in an early Fat Possum press release that stated “"When Bob Log III was a child, he lost his left hand in a boating accident. It was soon replaced with a monkey paw, and a new guitar style was born.” Log insists that his hand is just a really hairy hand, not a monkey paw.

2.“Father” Jason Stone, drummer for Phoenix punk band NunZilla, was baptised by and went through altar boy training under Roman Catholic Priest and accused child molester Dale Fushek.

Bizarre Fact. Stone swears it’s the truth, and has baptism records to prove it.

Father Stone: Baptized indeed

3.Christopher Pomerenke of Valley indie rock bands Less Pain Forever and Runaway Diamonds was once a male prostitute.

Bizarre Fact. Pomerenke talked about it in a music feature we did on Less Pain Forever.

4.Local hip-hop MC Apollo once defeated the late Proof of D12 in a freestyle battle for $10,000.

Urban Legend. It is true that Apollo challenged Proof to a battle for $10,000 in September, 2005. According to some people in the local scene, Proof never responded, and according to others, Proof responded and Apollo “chickened out.” Whatever the reason, the battle never happened.

Cris Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets: Shot or not?

5. Meat Puppets bassist Cris Kirkwood was shot by a security guard after whacking the guard with his own baton.

Bizarre Fact. Kirkwood was arrested in December, 2003 and spent 18-months in prison over the incident. He talks more about it in this recent music feature we did.