A while back, Mark Hoppus revealed how much of an unlikely inspiration it was that helped him create the opening riff on blink-182The classic single from What’s My Age Again ?. Speaking to Chris DeMakes on the Man Less Than Jake podcast, he explained that it was an unsuccessful attempt to play the lesser-known Green Day JAR song that inadvertently led to the golden streak. of notes that would help him form the basis of one of his own. the greatest successes of the group.
It’s a happy accident that many bands and artists can relate to, rock history being littered with huge tracks coming to life due to some vagaries of fate. Here we come back to some of the best-known examples where luck stepped in, lending a hand …
Guns N ‘Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine
Some people spend their whole lives trying to write the perfect song. For others, sometimes the magic happens To them. This was the case for that iconic hit from rock-wicked Guns N ‘Roses, when that unforgettable opening riff arrived at Slash during a string-jumping exercise in the summer of 1986 to the notoriety of the group ‘Hellhouse ‘digs on the Sunset Strip. “I was fucking with that stupid little riff, ”recalls the guitarist, “Axl said, ‘Hold that fucking phone! It’s amazing! ”And from there the song sprouted wings, despite the rest of the band initially rejecting its potential. History would of course prove Axl right.
Metallica – Nothing Else Matters
In 1990, while Metallica was busy preparing the album that would cement their place as global metal superstars, love frontman James Hetfield was missing his then-girlfriend. So he called her and lazily pulled a few notes on his guitar. These notes became the starting point of ‘The monster ballad from the Black Nothing Else Matters album, but only later when drummer Lars Ulrich heard them and insisted the frontman was on to something. The relationship that inspired her may have been fleeting, but the song remains a staple of Metallica setlists, now dedicated to fans of the band.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under the Bridge
One of the greatest songs of the Red Hot Chili Peppers has almost never been. The world has producer Rick Rubin, shall we say ‘curious nature, to thank. For starters, Under The Bridge was a poem, written by singer Anthony Keidis at its lowest level, stemming from debilitating drug addiction and years of hedonism. While leafing through Keidis’ personal notebooks in the process of creating the group 1991 on Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Rick found the written words and felt there was gold in songwriting. Despite the band’s reluctance to walk away from their party funk sound with something inherently tearful, it ultimately turned out to be a masterstroke and became one of their biggest hits. Being curious sometimes pays off …
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
This song has fate sewn into its DNA apparently. Late 1990 while shopping, Bikini Kill‘s Kathleen Hanna and Toby Vail spotted a deodorant named Teen Spirit, an idea they found so hilarious it became a joke between the two. Later that night the couple hung out with Nirvana‘s Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl and while they were all drunk Kathleen wrote ‘Kurt smells the Teen Spirit in Sharpie on the wall. The next day, oblivious to the brand of body spray, Kurt saw the tagline and assumed it meant something deeper. The song quickly came to life and rock history was changed forever.
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Most bands’ throwaway songs deserve this term. This is a major exception to the rule. And it was all possible thanks to a few pints in the local booze and some tough tactics from the record company, who wanted a short radio single from the Brummie Legends. In the time it would have taken to swallow another round of drinks, Black Sabbath duly struck one of the metal’s most distinctive anthems and it was all done in 20 minutes, with Tony Iommi instinctively invoking that iconic intro riff from the Aether and the rest of the band following his lead. Sometimes leave the pub early is a good idea.
Sammy Hagar – I can’t drive 55
The opening track from Sammy Hagar’s eighth album VOA came to see the singer while being stopped by a cop on a night walk. The story goes that Sammy had just gotten off a flight after a three-month safari in Africa and hired a rental car at the airport to drive to his home in Albany, New York, but at 2was he arrested for doing 62 miles an hour, breaking the 55 miles per hour speed limit. As the cop was writing the ticket, the exhausted and jet-lagged leader grabbed a pen as the inspiration struck. “I swear the guy wrote the post and I wrote the lyrics. I came to Lake Placid, had a guitar installed there and wrote this song on the spot. Burnt. “
Led Zeppelin – Rock And Roll
This one came from another loose rehearsal jam, as the legendary British quartet struggled to finish writing Four Sticks. Locked in the rented Headley Grange mansion in Hampshire, drummer John Bonham released Little Richard’s Keep-A-Knockin ‘intro to turn the mood up, which brought guitarist Jimmy Page to life, adding a riff which he said sounded like something Chuck Berry could play. Luckily the jam was recorded and amazingly Rock and Roll was nailed inside 15 minutes.
Deftones – Back to School (Mini Maggit)
Frontman Chino Moreno actually said this song was a mistake. Famous for not being mistakenly confused with the nu-metal crowd at the time, Deftones’ third album, White Pony, was a much more artistic and ambitious effort that sought to separate the band from this association once and for all. . When the label wanted a marketable single, the band decided to “show those assholes how easy it is “and created this mind-blowing track in under half an hour.
Pearl Jam – Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
Picture the scene: Eddie Vedder sits in a San Fran outhouse the size of a small bathroom where he slept during the making of Pearl Jam‘s 1993 second album Vs., humming and strumming a few chords and words he tinkered with in minutes, trying to shake the cobwebs of writing. It was never intended to be anything else. Thankfully, guitarist Stone Gossard was sitting outside reading the newspaper when he heard it all and – understandably impressed – insisted the song was perfect for the band. To this day, it’s still aired at nearly every Seattle band’s show.
Blur – Song 2
We generally wouldn’t mind Blur on Kerrang! but in this case they deserve a mention, not least because there is a school of thought that says the Britpop group wrote 1997 megahit song 2 like a parody of grunge and it was meant to be just a private joke. According to guitarist Graham Coxon, however, that meant more than two fingers raised on their record company, hence the deliberately simplistic, almost sarcastic delivery and minimalist detail. But the last laugh seems to be on Blur, because despite three decades of work and many other hit singles, they will forever be known to many people around the world simply as ‘this group of woo-hoo ‘.
Beastie Boys – (You gotta) fight for your right (party!)
Another song misunderstood by many, the Beasties actually wrote this 1987 superhit in reaction to hair-rock bands writing songs that celebrated the shady and morally dubious side of rock’n’roll. “There were tons of guys singing… ignoring the fact that it was a total blunder for them, ”Mike D later lamented. The song was never meant to be more than a little throwaway fun. , but she would ultimately help launch the hip-hop trio to superstar rank. Fortunately, they had more aces up their sleeves, unlike this next lot …
Mandate – Cherry pie
You must feel the mandate. All most people know about them is this one song and although it has become an internationally beloved song, it has completely eclipsed the band’s entire career and has become something of an albatross. And again, that would be classic record company interference that prompts the initial idea. With Aerosmith‘At the time, Love In An Elevator was on the rise, Columbia Records wanted their new loads to try something similar. Enraged, Warrant frontman Jani Lane scribbled disdainfully words on a takeaway pizza box and inside 15 Cherry Pie minutes was written. The label got what they wanted, however, and suddenly the band 1990 the album was named after the song, the next tour was renamed and arguably, the way history sees Hollywood rockers changed forever.
Posted on November 6, 2020 at 12:47 p.m.