The Sunday Funnies and Factoids: The ‘Make the Rain Stop’ Edition
Keith Lennox, All-len-All, 08/17/14 –
Hey, folks. Hope you all had a wonderful week and are thoroughly enjoying the weekend thus far. It has been raining in this part of the world, pretty much steadily since Tuesday and more than one person I have bumped in to would rather the sweet release of death than have another day of this, what seems like, never-ending cold, wet, nasty weather.
Anyhoo, enough with my seasonal affective disorder and on with the show…. enjoy.
1) Grant Wood, famous for his painting American Gothic, won a Crayola crayon coloring contest as a child, which helped propel his interest in art.
2) In a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll conducted in February 2012, 2% of Americans thought Mitt Romney’s first name was Mittens. Only 6% knew that it’s Willard. Oy vey….. ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the American voting public. Again, oy vey.
3) The fortune cookie was invented in the early 20th century by Makato Hagiwara, who designed the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. He intended the cookie to be a snack for people walking through the garden.
4) Creedence Clearwater Revival has had seven songs hit #2 on the pop singles chart but has never scored a number one hit.
5) Brett Favre’s first completed pass as a Green Bay Packer was to himself.
6) The U.K.’s police headquarters, Scotland Yard, is not (and never was) located in Scotland. Scotland Yard was originally a palace where Scottish royalty stayed when visiting London.
7) If the tracks on a typical compact disc ran in a straight line, they would travel for about three miles.
8) The Procrastinators’ Club of America newsletter is called “Last Month’s Newsletter.”
9) Henry Ford was a proponent of hiring the handicapped. In 1919, more than 20% of his workforce had some form of disability.
10) The Riddler from Batman has a real name: Edward Nigma (that would be E. Nigma).
11) Here’s Buddy Guy’s complete Rock & Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech: “If you don’t think you have the blues, just keep living.”
12) The name “The Birdman of Alcatraz” is a bit of misnomer: Robert Stroud was allowed to keep birds when he was incarcerated at Leavenworth, but not when he was transferred to Alcatraz.
13) Ty Cobb was baseball’s first millionaire.
14) 15 Bands Named After Songs by Other Bands
Musicians often get inspiration from their own record collections. Beyond musical style, on-stage persona, and look, some bands directly take their names from songs or lyrics from another band.
1. DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
Lead singer and songwriter Ben Gibbard named his Washington-based indie rock bandafterBonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band’s song “Death Cab for Cutie” from their 1967 recordGorilla. The song was also featured in the Beatles movieMagical Mystery Tourand was written as a parody of the Elvis Presley song “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear.”
The British electronic quartet Ladytron took their name from a song from Roxy Music’s 1972 debut self-titled record. Brian Eno, an ex-Roxy Music member, isactually a fan of the bandLadytron and thinks they’re the very best in English pop music today.
3. PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES
Before officially coming together as a band, co-founders Andrea Zollo and Derek Fudesco werelisteningto The Smiths’ first album and thought the song title “Pretty Girls Make Graves” would make a good band name.
When they first formed in 1985, Radiohead was known as On a Friday, which was the day the British rock band would get together for practice. When On a Friday signed to EMI Music in 1991, theychanged their nameto Radiohead after the Talking Heads’ 1986 song “Radio Head,” as a tribute to the New York City-based rock band.
Co-founder Britt Daniel and Jim Eno named their bandSpoonas a tribute to ’70s German avant-garde band CAN, whose song “Spoon” was the theme for the 1985 German filmDas Messer(Jagged Edge).
6. AT THE DRIVE-IN
Guitarist and co-founder Jim Ward liked the lyrics “Cause baby we’ll be / At the drive-in” from Poison’s 1986 song “Talk Dirty to Me” so much hedecidedto use the second half as the name for his post-punk band. Lead singer Cedric Bixler tossed around the name “At the Movies” from the Bad Brains song of the same name, but Ward’s suggestion won out with the rest of the band.
7. BOYZ II MEN
Before New Edition’s Michael Bivins discovered them backstage at a concert in 1989, the group Boyz II Men was once known as Unique Attraction. The groupchanged their nameto Boyz II Men after the 1988 New Edition song “Boys to Men.” Bivins later produced Boyz II Men’s first album, a year after he started the New Edition spinoff group Bel Biv DeVoe.
8. PANIC! AT THE DISCO
Forming in 2004, the emo band Panic! at the Discobased their nameon The Smiths’ song “Panic,” which features the lyrics “burn down the disco.” For their 2008 releasePretty Odd, they ditched the exclamation point at the end of Panic. A year later, the band re-introduced the exclamation point to their name.
9. SCARY KIDS SCARING KIDS
The post-hardcore band Scary Kids Scaring Kidstook their namefrom the song “Scary Kids Scaring Kids” from the highly-influential emo band Cap’n Jazz. The song can be found on the anthology albumAnalphabetapolothology.
10. COMMUNIST DAUGHTER
The Saint Paul-based indie rock bandCommunist Daughtergot their name from the Neutral Milk Hotel song “Communist Daughter.”
11. THE KOOKS
Taking their inspiration from David Bowie, Britpop band The Kooks decided to name their bandafterthe iconic rock star’s song “Kooks” as a tribute. David Bowie wrote the song for his then-newborn son Duncan Jones, and it appeared on his 1971 albumHunky Dory.
12. BAD BRAINS
While they started off as a jazz fusion band called Mind Point, Bad Brains was one of the early punk bands in America. The Washington D.C.-based group got their namefrom the Ramones’ song “Bad Brain” fromRoad to Ruin.
13. LADY GAGA
Producer Rob Fusari used to sing the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga” when recording artist Stefani Germanotta wouldenter the room. He once sent her a text with the song title attached, but his phone’s autocorrect function changed the word “Radio” to “Lady.” Hence, Stefani Germanotta would be forever known as Lady Gaga.
14. THE KILLERS
Co-founders Brandon Flowers and Dave Keuningnamed their bandThe Killers after the fictional band featured in the music video for New Order’s “Crystal.” In fact, the music video for The Killers’ debut single“Somebody Told Me”borrowed a few visual elements from the “Crystal” music video—including performing in front of a Jumbotron screen.
15. THE ROLLING STONES
When Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first came together to form a band in the early ’60s, they were known as the Blue Boys. However, when asked about the band’s name during an interview with the newspaperJazz News, guitarist Brian Jonescalled the bandThe Rolling Stones after the song “Rollin’ Stone” from a Muddy Waters record that was laying on the floor.
Have a great Sunday and an even better week, everyone. Pay it forward at least once this week if you get the opportunity.
Posted By: Keith
Writer, political junkie, rabid rock music fan, amateur gardener, astronomer and ornithologist, cook extraordinaire, sipper of fine wine and, more than once, the funniest guy in the room.