Top Ten Rock'n'Roll Hoaxes

From 'Coldplay in space' to 'Paul is dead'
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It’s tough staying relevant as a rock'n'roll star, after you’ve exhausted every form of elaborate excess, diamond engraved iPods, stupid baby names, private jets and Pamela Anderson, there’s nothing much else to do than fuck with gullible fans minds. Here are some quality examples of boredom turned to creativity.

10. Coldplay records in space



"We've been searching for the right environment to record the perfect snare drum sound for many years now, and I've just got a gut feeling that zero gravity is the place to do that, you know?" -- We figured we’d just post this one verbatim so you could assess for yourself the amount of stupidity it requires a person to have to actually believe it. Stadium pop bore merchant, plagiarist and advocate of global peace, Chris Martin released that statement to Coldplay.com last April 1st. And even though this was just a rare display of Chris’ sense of humour, Clash is all in favour sending the band into deep space, where no one can hear 'Viva La Vida'.

9. Bjork joins Led Zeppelin



Bjork also managed to surprise gullible fans by announcing that she would replace Robert Plant on vocal duties with Led Zeppelin for a tour in June. The pint-sized princess claimed that she would only be covering songs from album’s 'I' and 'IV', it’s details like that that make a bizarre claim that much more realistic. The ridiculous joke was made slightly more convincing due to the fact that the hard rock legends actually did announce that they had been looking for a new singer a few months previous to the joke.

8. Miley Cyrus dies



Probably the least funny ‘practical joke’ on this list, this sinister hoax spread across the internet like a forest fire. A hacker managed to convince thousands of tweenagers that pop’s annoying little sister Miley Cyrus (that’s Hannah Montana when donned in a wig and sparkly clothing) had died in a road collision with a truck. The joker pretended to be a traumatized friend of the Disney star on Youtube’s “Miley and Mandy Show”. Her hoards of underage fans didn’t suffer too many sleepless nights twisting and turning on their Hannah Montana bed sheets, she appeared on a chat show two days later to confirm that she was as alive and annoying as ever.

7. NIN release Timbaland produced album



Perhaps the most believable of this years’ April fools jokes, Nine Inch Nails announced a new album available for free download. The Timbaland produced ‘Strobe Light’ album featured Trent Reznor on the album artwork wearing Kanye West style glasses; the ubiquitous and fucking annoying ‘shuttershades’. This happened a few days after Reznor voiced his distaste about Chris Cornell’s Timbaland-produced monstrosity 'Scream'. Boasting tracks like 'Everybody’s Doing It' (featuring Chris Martin, Jay-Z and Bono) and 'Pussygrinder' (featuring Sheryl Crow). It could have been the crossover hit of the century, had Trent stooped so low as to record it.

6. Jim Morrison is alive, and a cowboy




In the mid nineties, a ludicrous video surfaced on the internet claiming that Jim Morison did not die in Paris but was alive and well working as a cowboy in Oregon. It was Gerald Pitts says that said he discovered Jim Morrison living on a ranch in the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 1998. The Lizard King apparently faked his own death to avoid a French assassination plot. Despite the fact that the cowboy looked as much like Jim Morison as a jar of jam didn’t stop hoards of Doors fans going apeshit.

5. The White Stripes are brother and sister



Ever since their sudden rise to fame with 'White Blood Cells' in 2001 the band claimed to be brother & sister. This was made believable thanks to their similar appearance and intimate live performances. In truth the band are actually a former husband and wife duo with a savvy brother and sister story. Jack claimed the idea of the ploy was to divert media attention away from their relationship in favour of their music. Ironically, their ambiguous relationship became just as - if not more discussed in the media than their music did. Word to the wise, White Stripes: people don’t care about it as much as you think. Not to mention that it’s quite disturbing pretending to be brother and sister when you know you used to bump uglies.

4. Thomas Pynchon is a Lotion groupie




New Yorker journalist Andrew Essex fell for a hilarious publicity stunt when mid-90’s Manhattan Indie group, Lotion, told the journalist that the reclusive author was an obsessive groupie. Pynchon, writer of surreal works such as 'Gravity’s Rainbow' apparently was “goofy” and wore a “Godzilla t-shirt and ill fitting pants” the first time he met the band. He allegedly followed them across the country, sharing conversations about ecstasy and always paid restaurant bills in cash. It’s amazing to think that the poor journalist fell for such a Pynchon-esque yarn. They later revealed that they had met him once, in less surreal circumstances, and later asked him to write a liner note for their album.

3. The Hives’ Sixth member



Well known for their daft antics, it’s hard to know what to believe about The Hives mysterious 'sixth member'. The Svengali-like Randy Fitzsimmons is allegedly the brains behind the band who doesn’t like to be seen in public. According to The Hives he takes care of song writing, wardrobe choices and management. However when NME revealed that Randy Fitzsimmons is a registered pseudonym of guitarist Nicholas Arson it has generally been assumed that there is no such person and that it is Arson who writes the songs. The band still maintains that Fitzsimmons exists, so the myth lives on, but people are gradually losing interest…

2. Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Dylan super group album



In 1969 Rolling Stone editor Greil Marcus wrote a spoof review of a non-existent bootleg of a super group 'The Masked Marauders' comprised of members of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Intended as a playful swipe at the recent super group trend, it featured several obvious jokes. This didn’t stop the review being taken seriously by fans, record stores, and get this: the artist’s managers. How embarrassing…

As if the hoax wasn’t successful enough, Marcus recruited several musicians and impersonators to record a Masked Marauders album. Featuring instant classics such as Jagger singing 'I Can’t Get No Nookie' was released on Warner Bros and sold over 100,000 copies with many gullible fans still believing that it was the real deal. And that is how you pull off a rock ‘n’ roll hoax. Kudos Mr. Marcus, kudos.

1. Paul McCartney is dead



The definitive rock hoax has to be the long running 'Paul Is Dead' hoax. Despite how ludicrous it is, this myth still captivates many Beatles fans and conspiracy theorists to this day. Rumours that Paul McCartney died in a car crash 1966 and was replaced by a look-a-like/sound-a-like began to circulate way before DJ Russell Gibb announced his theory on Detroit radio, basing his theory on evidence hidden in Beatles songs, films and album artwork.

However it wasn’t until he did so that the story spread like wildfire, causing a fanzine to be published which strung together all the alleged back masked messages, ambiguous lyrics and artwork that the remaining Beatles engineered to secretly allow their fans to find out the “truth”. It is often assumed that either the Beatles or their record label kick started the rumour to boast record sales.

However mad it seems to think that people actually think the ‘current’ McCartney is an imposter, judging by Paul’s solo work you’d have to agree that the Beatles third best songsmith died a long time ago…

Words by Hemza Lasri

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