April may begin with jokes and pranks, but behind the fool festival is a quite extensive soundtrack of “foolish” music, such as the song title in this sentence. Our collection of jovial jams covers all types of foolhardy formats: songs, bands, albums, lyrics, and maybe a movie or two.
Some musical April Fool’s day history:
1966 – Pye Records released the first solo single from David Bowie, “Do Anything You Say”. Despite featuring Bowie’s backing band at the time, The Buzz, the single was to be the first simply credited to David Bowie, (which failed to chart). Bowie had previously recorded as David Jones and The Lower Third.
1966 – The Troggs recorded “Wild Thing” at Regent Sound Studio in London. The song went on to be a No.1 US and No.2 UK hit in June the following year. The track was recorded in one complete take (take two).
1966 – John Lennon bought a copy of Timothy Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience which is inspired by The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, where he read near the beginning of the book’s introduction; “When in doubt, relax, turn off your mind, float downstream,” which captured Lennon’s imagination and became the first line of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows”, (which he recorded 5 days later).
1970 – 50 musicians recorded the orchestral scores for The Beatles tracks “The Long And Winding Road” and “Across The Universe” for the Phil Spector produced sessions. The bill for the 50 musicians was £1,126 and 5 shillings, ($1,914).
1970 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono issued a statement to the press that they were having dual sex change operations.
1976 – Making their live debut in the U.K., AC/DC played at The Red Cow in Hammersmith, London.
1976 – The Buzzcocks played their debut live gig when they appeared at Bolton Institute Of Technology. The power was turned off after three songs.
1984 – The life of Marvin Gaye ended at the hand of his father at his parent’s home in Los Angeles, California. The argument started after his parents squabbled over misplaced business documents, Gaye attempted to intervene, and was killed by his father using a gun he had given him four months before. Marvin Sr. was sentenced to six years of probation after pleading guilty to manslaughter. Charges of first-degree murder were dropped after doctors discovered Marvin Sr. had a brain tumor. In October of 1998 the senior Mr. Gaye passed away in a Culver City, California retirement facility.
1985 – David Lee Roth quit Van Halen shortly after releasing his version of “California Girls”, (which featured Carl Wilson on background vocals). He was replaced by Sammy Hagar later in the year.
*Events courtesy This Day in Music
April Fools Music is available from Bandcamp.com. On the other side of silliness, we have Kiss My Ass, the tribute album that features an odd assortment of musicians including Garth Brooks and Anthrax, with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Lemonheads. From here the leap to all kinds of ‘fools’ in songs, albums, and now even bands is not far. Some bands that fool around include The Fools, Fool’s Garden, Dam Fool, Master Fool, April Fools Music, and, Eureka!, Fool’s Gold.
There is the band, ship, wisdom, rush, house, legacy, and, of course, Queen and King of Fools. We found May fools, live fools, wise fools (?), nobody’s fools, seven separate fools, winners and fools, great faith in fools, where fools rush in, and it looks like we will never be “Runnin’ Out of Fools” [a song by Aretha Franklin].
Fools Gold is the title of a movie, a record label, an album, and the band above. It’s also a book title, a sandwich, a line of romance novels and men’s clothing (?), and so on. It’s gotta be the name of a motel or nightclub somewhere, and we’re quite sure that more than one watercraft has been christened with the term!
Finishing up on the Fool’s Parade – (a Peter Wolf album) – with a bit foolish hijinx in the history of Led Zeppelin: On July 27, 1969, the band performed at the Seattle Pop Festival and stayed at the Edgewater. The band was known to have wild parties and was often joined by groupies. Band road manager Richard Cole and John Bonham had caught a large collection of sharks, at least two dozen, stuck coat hangers through the gills and then they left them in the closet. The hotel room was also scattered with various types of smaller fish.
So, as in typical “rock star” party style, one thing led to another and people began to lose clothing. One particular woman in the crowd with red hair found herself with Cole. She made a unique request, so he decided to reach for a fish and the shark episode was born. Cole was later quoted: “Let’s see how your red snapper likes this red snapper. It was the nose of the fish and the girl liked it. There was nothing malicious or harmful and Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge filmed the whole thing. After the story was published by the media a large collection of rumors began to circulate, but many were exaggerated. The band received bad press so they stopped talking about the event.
In 1973, Led Zeppelin returned to the Edgewater and the band was officially banned from the hotel after it was discovered that they had caught some 30 mud sharks and left them under beds, in closets, elevators, hallways, bathtubs, and all over their rooms. They threw stuff out the windows into Elliott Bay, including beds, TVs, mattresses, lamps, drapes, and glassware. Since that time Robert Plant has been welcomed back to the Edgewater. The mud shark incident remains one of the most popular rock stories from the 1960s.