Music Trivia For Old Farts

One of the regulars at the Shawn Phillips group shared this and I thought there may be a few here who remember the times, even if you don’t care to be known as Old Farts…..HA!  I was just a kid and of course do not live anywhere near Woodstock. Also this tidbit about Jethro Tull caught my eye. An old friend told me that he was at a Tull concert in Tulsa in the mid 70’s when Ian Anderson actually stopped a concert to point the police to some pot smokers that he was apparently offended by! True? or hear-say? ~sekanblogger

Jethro Tull passed on the event after Ian Anderson was quoted as saying that he “didn’t want to spend [his] weekend in a field of unwashed hippies”.  However, JT bassist Glenn Cornick said that: “We were in New York when the Woodstock Festival was going on, and we were invited to play at Woodstock. Ten Years After were up there, so we called them up and said, ‘What’s it like up there?” and they said,” It’s pissing down with rain. It’s out of control. It’s one of the worst fucking gigs you’ve ever seen!’ So we decided not to go. Probably not one of the better moves we ever made.” ~from  page 43 of “Jethro Tull: A History of the Band 1968-2001,” by Scott Allen Nollen

For a list of bands that turned this down or couldn’t make it:

The Beatles promoters contacted John Lennon to discuss a Beatles performance at Woodstock. Lennon said that the Beatles would not play unless there was also a spot at the festival for Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band. He was turned down.

A more likely story came out when Artie Kornfeld met John Lennon. Lennon expressed that he wanted to play Woodstock, but was in Canada and having a hard time getting back in the country at the hands of Richard Nixon.

Led Zeppelin was asked to perform, but manager Peter Grant decided that they would be just another band at the festival and launched a hugely successful summer tour. On the weekend of Woodstock, Zeppelin played the Asbury Park Convention Hall in New Jersey just south of the festival.

The Doors sat the Woodstock festival out with speculation pointing to Jim Morrison’s dislike of performing outdoors. Drummer John Densmore did appear at the festival, however. He can be seen on the side stage during Joe Cocker’s set.

Bob Dylan was in the middle of negotiations for the upcoming festival but backed out when his son fell ill. He was also quite unimpressed with the increasing number of hippies accumulating outside of his house near the originally planned site of the festival. Dylan went on to perform at the Isle of Wright Festival two weeks later.

Procol Harum were invited but declined because the festival was happening at the end of a long tour and the impending birth of band member Robin Trower’s child.

The Moody Blues were included on the original Wallkill poster as performers, but decided to back out after being booked in Paris the same weekend.

Jethro Tull passed on the event after Ian Anderson was quoted as saying that he “didn’t want to spend [his] weekend in a field of unwashed hippies”. Another theory is the belief that the large festival may have killed their career before it began.

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, according to the Class of the 20th Century U.S. television special, is quoted as saying “A lot of mud at Woodstock…We were invited to play there, we turned it down.’

Tommy James and the Shondells declined the invitation, Tommy James would later say “We could have just kicked ourselves. We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, ‘Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.’ That’ s how it was put to me. So we passed.”. (Linear notes to “.Tommy James and the Shondells: Anthology”).

Almost There…

 The bands who really got the shaft are the ones who were scheduled to be part of history, and simply missed the bus so to speak when it came time for the Woodstock concert to begin.

The Jeff Beck Group were booked to perform at An Aquarian Exposition, but broke up a week before the festival.

Joni Mitchell was recommended by her agent to appear on the Dick Cavett show rather than at the Woodstock festival. It is also believed that Mitchell was discouraged from performing at another festival after a particularly nasty crowd at the Atlantic City Pop Festival who actually made her cry.

Iron Butterfly ended up stranded at the airport and were kindly told where to stick it when they demanded helicopters and other special arrangements to aid them in attending the concert.


Filed under History, Music

19 responses to “Music Trivia For Old Farts

  1. Bad Biker

    Ah, music trivia – if it wasn’t for music trivia, my brain would be able to function like a semi-normal human being, but as it is, it’s full to the top with useless trivia, mostly sports, music and HD.

    Q. Who played the guitar solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” from the White Album?

    A. Eric Clapton, because John Lennon had criticized Harrison’s playing, so George invited Eric to play.

    Q. What was the name of Bruce Springsteen’s first band?

    A. The Castillos – Bruce played guitar, but did not sing lead vocals.

    Q. Who wrote “My Girl” the hit for the Temptations, considered by some to be the best song of the era?

    A. Smokey Robinson.

    Q. Who is singing lead vocals on the smash hits, “Give Me Some Lovin'” and “I’m a Man?”

    A. Stevie Winwood, later of Traffic and Blind Faith fame.

    Q. What was the original name of the Grateful Dead?

    A. The Warlocks – they picked the name “Grateful Dead” out of the dictionary. The original name was being used by another band, hence the name change.

    Q. Who originally recorded “Don’t You Want Somebody To Love?”

    A. The Great Society – fronted by Grace Slick, who wrote the song and took it with her when she joined Jefferson Airplane.

  2. Bad Biker


    Famous far right wing rocker maniac Ted Nugent claims to have never used drugs or alcohol.

    Q. What was on the cover of Ted Nugents first album, recorded with the American Amboy Dukes?

    A. An array of bongs and hookahs – the album was entitled “Journey to the Center of the Mind” and it was clearly extolling the virtues of drug use.

    Nugent, like many other right wingers, is a lying hypocrite.

  3. Bad Biker

    Eric Clapton auctioned off the guitar he used on the album and song “Layla” for the benefit of his rehab facility “Crossroads.”

    Q. What did Clapton call his guitar and how much did it fetch at auction?

    A. His guitar was nic’ed “Blackie” and was a pawnshop hybrid that Clapton cobbled together. It sold for $987,000 at auction, possibly the highest price ever paid for a guitar.

  4. Bad Biker

    Fans of the Beatles know that Paul McCartney played bass left-handed. Few know that Paul was not the original bassist for the group. Paul only took up the bass when the original player, Stu Stucliffe died from a brain tumor.

    Q. What other famous rocker played left-handed?

    A. James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix played a right-handed Fender Stratocaster left-handed, upside down, but strung conventionally.

    Q. Duane Allman of Allman Brothers and Derek and the Dominos fame, died at 22 in a motorcycle accident. What was he riding and what happened?

    A. He was riding a 1969 Sportster when he hit the back of a flatbed truck, throwing him to the ground. The Sporty flew in the air and landed on top of him, causing massive internal injuries. There were no peaches involved. His ex-wife and then girlfriend witnessed the accident from a few car lengths back.

    Somebody stop me or I’ll be at this all day……..

  5. Bad Biker

    The Beatles were named by John Lennon and the Rolling Stones were collectively named from a line in a Muddy Waters song, but neither name is the full original name of the group.

    Q. Even though the Stones and Beatles were from opposite coasts of England, the original names share a bizzaro-world connection. What was it?

    A. The original names were the Silver Beatles and the Silver Rolling Stones.

  6. Bad Biker

    Oh, what the Hell.

    Phil Spector, of Wall of Sound fame was recently sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for second degree murder.

    Previous, I mentioned Derek and the Dominoes and Duane Allman and Eric Clapton.

    Q. A member of Derek and the Dominoes was sentenced to life in prison in 1984 for murder, despite clear evidence of his mental illness. Who?

    A. Jim Gordon, the famous sessions drummer beat his mother to death with a hammer. It was not until after his trial that he was accurately diagnosed with schizophrenia. He remains in prison to this day.

    At many sporting events, including the Chiefs at Arrowhead, they play a semi-instrumental song that goes a bit like “da-da-dum-da-dum Hey!”

    Q. Why should Chiefs fans be appalled and disgusted at the playing of this song?

    A. The song is Rock ‘n’ Roll Part II, by British glam rocker Gary Glitter. Glitter, real name Paul Gladd, was convicted in England of child pornography, deported from Cambodia for pedophilia and imprisoned in Viet Nam for child sexual abuse. He is now back in England. Every time the song is played, Gladd receives royalties as the songwriter.

  7. Bad Biker

    And even more…………………..

    Everyone knows that this verse from “Layla” was about Patti Boyd Harrison, written when Clapton was pining for the former Beatles wife…………

    “Tried to give you consolation
    when your old man let you down
    Like a fool I fell in love with you
    You turned my whole world upside down.”

    Q. What was Clapton referring to when he wrote “when your old man let you down?”

    A. George had a brief affair with Maureen Starkley, better known as Mrs. Ringo Starr in 1969.

    Q. Patti Boyd Harrison had an affair prior to her involvement with Eric Clapton, whom she later married. He was a second tier rocker, later to become a first tier star. Who was he?

    A. Ronnie Wood, at the time with the Small Faces, a Rod Stewart group, but later to join the Rolling Stones, replacing Mick Taylor. To bring the circle to a close…………………..

    Q. Mick Taylor replaced Brian Jones as the lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones. His previous group was John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. Who did Mick replace in the Bluesbreakers?

    A. Eric Clapton.

    Q. Mayall’s Bluesbreakers are famous for producing Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, but who else did they produce?

    A. John McVeigh, bassist for Fleetwood Mac and husband of Christine McVeigh, lead vocalist.

    Q. Mick Fleetwood, drummer and namesake of Fleetwood Mac has a semi-famous sister-in-law. Who is she?

    A. Mick Fleetwood is married to Patti Boyd Harrison nee Clapton’s sister.

  8. Bad Biker

    Jimmy Johnson is a famous football coach, having led the Okie Staters, Miami Hurricanes and Dallas Cowboys. These days, he and his hair are commentators on ESPN.

    Q. What famous individual, with whom he shares initials with, did Jimmy attend High School.

    A. Janis Joplin, in Port Arthur, Texas. It is not clear if Jimmy was a participant in the infamous fifty yard line football team deflowering of Janis.

  9. Bad Biker

    Q. Aretha Franklin came to fame with her hit “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” Who wrote the song?

    A. Otis Redding, the great R & B singer/songwriter that later claimed, with humor, that Aretha “beat him to it. Ironically, Otis’ greatest hit, “Dock of the Bay” was released after his death in a small plane crash, but he only had a co-write credit on that song.

  10. Bad Biker

    The Doobie Brothers biggest hit was “Take Me In your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)” was not the first recording of that song.

    Q. Who first sang “Take Me In your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)” and who wrote it?

    A. Kim Weston, of Motown fame, first singing partner of Marvin Gaye (It Takes Two) and currently a disc jock in Detroit. The song was written by Holland – Dozier – Holland, writers for most of Motown’s greatest hits.

  11. Bad Biker

    The “British Invasion” stars were famous for making hits for themselves with covers of Motown tunes (Twist and Shout, My Girl, Hold on Me) but there was one major hit by a Motown artist with a cover of a British hit song.

    Q. What was the song, who wrote it and who sang the Motown version?

    A. The song was “Satisfaction” written by Jagger/Richards (mostly Keith) and recorded by Otis Redding in 1966.

    BTW: Keith woke up during the night one night, sang and strummed his guitar into his bedside tape recorder’s mike, and woke up the next morning to find that he had written “Satisfaction” one of the greatest songs of the rock era.

    Damn! I wake up during the night to pee.

  12. Pedant

    I liked the Doobie Brothers — and Motown — but frankly they left me when Michael McDonald took over for the original guy back in the day.

    My younger brother was, and is, a certifiable Doobie Brothers nutcase, though. The Doobie Brothers, Jethro Tull, the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and pretty much all blues music: that’s what’s playing at my brother’s house 24/7. He has ahem grown, though, and now allows that Warren Haynes may be a guitarist who could possibly on a most excellent day be compared to Duane Allman on a really, really, really crappy day (me, I like Haynes a lot, especially live w/Govt Mule and especially his Christmas show held annually in Asheville, NC…which is just old-fashioned good times when it comes to rock’n roll).

    Blue eyed soul is ok, I guess. I prefer louder and rougher, but if I’m a paraplegic and strapped down, I can tolerate blue eyed soul. Unless there’s a cat screeching somewhere nearby, anyway. 😉

    Didn’t Blood Sweat and Tears cover “Take Me…”, too?

  13. Pedant

    By the way, earlier this month I heard a most excellent cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe,” courtesy of one Billy Gibbons next to the river here in Portsmouth. Dusty and Frank were there, too.

    Billy Gibbons shredded, and I mean shredded. A most excellent if geriatric rock performance.

  14. Bad Biker

    “Didn’t Blood Sweat and Tears cover “Take Me…”, too?”

    Yep, but David Clayton Thomas (BST), while a great singer, didn’t do justice like Tom Johnson of the Doobies. Still, Kim Weston’s version is the best of all.

  15. Pedant

    And speaking of great covers, if you like rock of this period (ie, this topic) then you owe it yourself to see one of the best cover bands touring today, Govt Mule.

    About a year ago they were in town, at the NorVa. A very young power trio from Colorado, Rose Hill Drive, opened and suprisingly held their own (I’m not sure they had been shaving for long, they are that young). They were so good, in fact, that Haynes brought ’em onstage at the end of his first act and together they absolutely blew the roof off covering Led Zeppelin’s The Ocean.

    There was a guy around my age with his ~16-yr-old son behind me. The kid was in heaven, the dad I think kinda teared up a little. I don’t blame him, though. It was a thoroughly kick ass cover. You’d have thought Plant and Page were in the house, the cover was that good. A month later I met people in town who were still talking about that cover.

    They also covered Jesus Left Chicago, and well.

  16. Bad Biker

    I am sincerely sorry that I have been such an ass and have dominated this thread with my useless and inane postings.

    I am truly apologetic.

    I won’t be back soon, serving my penance for my transgressions.

    Again, I am sorry.

    • Pedant

      Pfft, never, and I mean NEVER apologize for this music. You did great (and you know it).

      This is the greatest music today. Ever. Period. The thing most people miss is that it is alive, ALIVE. It lives, and it lives strong. It is so great that it lives a life totally outside the gods that created it.

      It’s riveting, the riveting crosses any generations to date (really, I have seen tons of rock shows and anytime music from 1960-1979 is covered — especially 1967-1972 or thereabouts — crowds of any age just drop their jaws, listen, dance, smile, laugh, clap, and become total human beans. No matter the age of the audience, this music brings everybody together like nothing I have ever seen.


      You have absolutely nothing to apologize for here, other than falling in love with the best music ever, bar none.

      Thanks for the quizzes, I only wish I hadn’t had to google ’em to answer ’em. 😀

      (I have nothing financial w/Govt Mule, btw — something I should have admitted upfront. I just wanted you to see the song list.)

  17. Pedant

    I will never forget Bob Dylan’s Wichita show on October 31, 1991 (I think 😀 ). My wife and I drove down from Lindsborg to see Dylan play at Century II while like a foot of snow fell. Our 1996 Honda Accord foundered on I-135 on the overpass at (what?) 51st St N? There was a foot of snow on the overpass, more falling, Dylan was opening in less than an hour, christ we were workin’. 😀

    I’ll also never forget his arrangement of Visions of Johanna that night (we eventually made it): it was nearly unrecognizable yet so beautiful, christ I died. Mine was a marriage that was on the rocks, nobody could admit it. The best thing that happened to this old soul was that I saw 16-18 year old kids of Wichitans dancing next to the stage. To Bob Dylan, a forgotten rock god. Like he was a god incarnate, which he was (and is).

    I was reborn, and I am so thankful.

    Never ever underestimate the raw power of these artists. It’s truly awesome…and for me, it’s truly a fountain of youth. (it may also be a fountain of foolishness, but I’ll take that bet — in fact, I’ll double down as often as necessary).

  18. Pedant

    woops, 1986 Honda.