Neil Peart

14 mega-sized pieces of music trivia

by Mark Teo

November 21, 2013






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Dyed-in-the-wool music fans pride themselves on knowing the intricacies of their favourite acts. Like, for example, who knew that the Smiths’ Johnny Marr once played with a nine-pickup guitar? Or that Drake earned a quarter million for playing the bar mitzvah for the son of TV tycoon Jeff Zucker? Or that R. Kelly allegedly married Aaliyah when she was 15? (Ew.)

We don’t collect these facts with the sole purpose of acing trivia night. No, we’re obsessed with music trivia for obsession’s sake—and here, inspired by Samsung’s larger-than-life phone, the Galaxy Mega, are 14 plus-sized pieces of music trivia.


There were more than a dozen so-called fifth Beatles.

We’ve all heard Eric Clapton referred to as the Fifth Beatle, particularly because he played guitar on on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” But how many fifth Beatles were there in total? We count 14, including Stuart Sutcliffe, Pete Best (above), and a host of others.


Two bands have actually declared themselves to be “bigger than the Beatles.”

There were only two bands that’ve stated that they’re bigger than the Beatles with any authority: Oasis and One Direction. And while fans of the Fab Four might dispute the fact, there’s no denying their accolades—when Oasis made the claim, it was on the heels of their 1995 album, What’s the Story Morning Glory, which sold a staggering 22 million copies. Meanwhile, 1D’s Harry Styles made his comment to a torrent of baclash, even if the comment was meant to be aspirational: We could be bigger than the Beatles, he said. We don’t think it’s likely, but hey, let a guy dream.


The world’s biggest drum kit weighs as much as a Great White shark.

And it’s not owned by the dude from Rush. It’s an 813-piece, 5,000 pound drumkit owned by Mark Temperato. Though we’d definitely love to see Neil Peart work his magic on it.


The world’s longest drum solo was conducted by—who else?—Andrew W.K.

Andrew W.K., who, while being cheered on by the likes of ?uestlove and Cuba Gooding Jr., played the drums for 24 straight hours. In Times Square, no less.


The world’s most elaborate guitar has 27 strings.

Yes, metalheads love the six-string bass. Sure, folkies love the richness of a 12-string bass. But Keith Medley has ’em all beat with his 27-string guitar. Check the above vid to hear it in action.


The longest guitar solo went on for over 24 hours.

Congratulations, David DiDonato. Our fingers hurt just thinking about it.


The world’s fastest shredder played the guitar at 600 bpm.

We’ll just leave this video right here. Yes, that’s some dude named John Taylor shredding at speeds of 600 bpm—for a frame of reference, a typical mid-tempo pop song clocks in around 120 bpm.


The world’s longest freestyle rap lasted for 16. Straight. Hours.

That distinction belongs to Austin Antoine, who rapped for more than 16 hours straight. Check his preparation above.


Ottawa, stand up: the world’s loudest concert happened in the nation’s capital.

Indeed, in 2009, Kiss played in Ottawa—and reportedly hit levels as loud as 136 db. Put that in context: That’s about as loud as witnessing a military jet takeoff with 50 feet of buffer. The average pain threshold? 110 db. Ouch.


Before Kiss, plenty of other bands were considered the world’s loudest—and most were metal.

My Bloody Valentine hand out earplugs at their show—they can reportedly get up to 132 db. But elsewhere, Motorhead, Manowar, Deep Purple, and Wade MacNeil-featuring Gallows have held the record for loudest performance.


Let’s talk cash. The top-selling digital single of all time was…

Classic rock nerds, prepare to be disappointed. It’s not the Beatles. It isn’t Led Zeppelin. Heck, it’s nothing Jack White affiliated. The answer? Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” 15 million.


Jack White owned the top-selling vinyl record of 2012.

Here’s one for to satiate traditional heads: Jack White’s Blunderbuss moved the most records last year, with Abbey Road and Mumford and Sons’ Babel rounding out the top 3. The Brits, meanwhile, took a less traditional approach, with The XX’s Coexist topping vinyl charts in the U.K.


Madonna’s “Express Yourself” is believed to be the most expensive music video ever made.

While some believed that Michael and Janet Jackson’s gravity-defying video for “Scream” was the most expensive ever made, Madonna’s 1989 vid for “Express Yourself”—once we’ve adjusted for inflation—holds the title. In 2012 dollars, it would’ve costed more than $9 million.


Jay-Z’s art collection is reportedly worth $1.5 million.

Yes, Jay-Z’s “Picasso Baby” has countless art references (many of which we’ve compiled right here). But, according to Complex, his actual collection is worth $1.5 million. It isn’t $493 million—which is the collective price of all the art referenced on Magna Carta Holy Grail—but it certainly ain’t chump change.

Tags: Music, News, beatles, Black Eyed Peas, Deep Purple, Gallows, Jack White, Jay-Z, KISS, Madonna, Manowar, Samsung Mega






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