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Ten things we learned from the new issue of Classic Rock

Includes: Samantha Fox, biological warfare, and Robert Plant's talent for floating

This month's issue features an epic 17-page celebration of the life and times of the greatest rock’n’roller of them all, by the people who knew him best. It taught us plenty. And the rest of the magazine taught us even more...

1. Former 'Page Three Stunna' Samantha Fox struck up an unlikely friendship with Lemmy Kilmister during a spaghetti-eating competition.

But who was the eventual winner of the contest? Sam? Lemmy? Nope, that honour went to 'Pasta' Eddie Clarke…

2. Rick Wakeman nearly joined David Bowie's Spiders From Mars.

But he chose Yes instead. “What a decision… It was like being asked to sign for Chelsea or Manchester City,” says Rick. But never mind that, spare a thought for drummer Woody Woodmansey who, post Spiders, suffered the indignity of being relegated to the Isthmian League with Woody Woodmansey's U-Boat. And what about Spiders bassist Trevor Bolder and Uriah Heep?! (No… we'd better not go there.)

3. Talking about Yes…

In our article about the best albums released during 1966, we acclaim this pulsating pair by Arthur Lee's Love: the band's self-titled debut (which came out in March '66) and Da Capo (November '66). We also remark: “They could have been called Hate, given the insidious menace of their prettiest melodies.” Following that equation, could Yes have been called No, given their predilection for long, tedious passages of progressive-rock nonsense? Just a thought…

4. Planet Earth is “infested with humanity”.

And that doesn't sit too kindly with Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian who complains: “We live in a dark place… We're all stuck on this planet with a bunch of fucking assholes.” Might we make a suggestion? Scott could always move to Gruinard Island off the coast of Scotland – a place where no one lives cos it was rendered uninhabitable due to a biological warfare experiment during World War II that involved the place being bombarded with deadly doses of… anthrax.

5. Talking about a land that time forgot…

The legend that was, and remains, Doug McClure gets a mention in our album reviews pages! Tané Cain's self-titled album from 1982 has just been re-released, and we report: “Tané is the daughter of late actor Doug McClure, famous for TV's The Virginian and also for starring in the 70s movie The Land That Time Forgot. At the time of her record's release, Tané was hitched the Journey keysman Jonathan Cain.” But that's not important right now, not when there are deadly MDF pterodactyls on the horizon…

6. The band Whiskey Myers are named after a mythical Mexican fighting rooster.

Which is better? MDF pterodactyl or mythical Mexican rooster? There's only one way to find out… FIGHT

7. Robert Plant had an unusual nickname.

John Crutchley was the guitarist of Listen, the band Plant was in circa 1966 before he joined Band Of Joy and, subsequently, Led Zeppelin. Crutchley recalls: “Robert was a great performer even then. He had a great way of dancing, like he was floating. My dad used to call him the Rubber Man.” Which possibly explains why so many British homes had these on their windowsills in the 60s: 

8. Rick Springfield was nearly offered the role of James Bond, he's never seen Dave Grohl's penis and he can pick out a fake Egyptian artefact at 20 paces.

Despite not having an “eyebrow thing” going on, the Jessie's Girl singer reveals: “In the early 80s they [the Bond producers] actually looked at me as a possibility – after Roger Moore, I think. Could I still do it? Yeah, absolutely.” As for Grohl's penis etc… just check out the new issue's Heavy Load feature on p130, okay?

9. Bluesman Doug Hream Blunt has just released an album called My Name Is Doug Hream Blunt.

Hmm, looks like he must've changed his name by deed poll. A wise move, because his previous release – My Name Is Willie Wang-Holder – didn't get displayed in the shops.

**10. Hmm, we detect a bit of a theme developing here, because the drummer in obscurist 70s punk band Bastard was called…
**

Nobby Goff.


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