Looking At Some Of The Best Pranks Ever Pulled By Musicians

first_imgLettuce recently revealed plans for their first-ever festival event, Fool’s Paradise, to be held from April 1st and 2nd at the St. Augustine Amphitheater in St. Augustine, FL. There’s certainly a lot to love about the event, including a killer funky lineup with Lettuce, GRiZ, Vulfpeck, Chris Robinson’s Soul Revue and more. Between the main event and the late night parties, the artist-led excursions and more, this looks to be quite the celebration!Find all of the Fool’s Paradise info you need, right here.Of course, one of the main reasons for the festival’s name is April Fool’s Day. While pranks aren’t necessarily a part of the programming, the history of music and pranks is a rich one. Take a look through some of our favorite musical pranks throughout the years…PhishSince their inception, Phish has shown a propensity for humor, both between themselves and with their fans. In 2014, to celebrate the then upcoming album Fuego‘s release, Rolling Stone wanted to settle the question “What’s your favorite Phish song” once and for all, so they decided to take a poll.  What they weren’t bargaining for was the band’s “Phans” legendary love of taking any opportunity to mess with people. When the final results were tallied, the song “Lushington” stood alone as the people’s favorite.  There was just one thing about it that struck the editors strange…the song hadn’t been played for 27 years. While it was clearly a joke, Rolling Stone decided to honor the voting and declared “Lushington” the winner. While phans congratulated themselves for the prank, they didn’t know that Phish would end up having the last laugh…literally.Phish has made a fun habit out of writing set lists that spell out messages or themes for the opening night of their annual run at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colorado. The tradition started in 2011 with the all “S” songs show, and continued with the legendary “FUCKYOURFACE” and MOST SHOWS SPELL SOMETHING performances. As the 2014 Dick’s run got closer, fans began speculating on what message the band would be sending them this year.The boys from Vermont opened with “Llama,” then rocked through “Undermind,” “Stash” and “Halfway To The Moon.” By this point, fans were anticipating the “Lushington” bust-out they’d secretly hoped for when they stuffed the ballot box at Rolling Stone. After a few more songs to keep with the spelling, the band finished the LUSHINGTON with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter.” Instead of the rarity, the group launched into “Ha Ha Ha,” pranking all of the phans who had pranked Rolling Stone earlier in the year. Anastasio remarked, “You asked, we delivered. Simple as that.”Watch it all go down below:moe. The band moe. has had an affinity for the irreverent throughout the course of their career.  Though their songs have become more serious over the years, when they first debuted, they would base songs around puns and strange situations. A couple years back, moe.’s bassist Rob Derhak showed off another facet to his comedic skills, acting. He and Umphrey’s McGee bass player Ryan Stasik were in the artists lounge at the Summer Camp Music Festival in 2014, when their years long friendship appeared to have hit rocky waters.Though cameras were abound, the argument and ensuing tussle caught those who were eating their lunch completely off guard. When the first bottle is broken over a head, the resulting spray of fragments startled the unsuspecting onlookers and led to a tense instant, before the ridiculousness caught on. Check out the video below:ColdplayEngland’s Coldplay may be more known for being the punchline of Super Bowl jokes than their music lately, but they have kept their sense of humor through the years. On April 1st in 2009, Coldplay announced they were taking their recording process where no man had gone before. The band issued a press release detailing their plan to record their next album in a modified Boeing 727 that could provide brief periods of zero gravity.They followed it up a year later with a tongue in cheek nod to their own music’s tone with their Calvin Klein inspired Angst cologne.  Angst sported a Brian Eno designed bottle and promised fair trade sourced ingredients such as sangre, sudor and lágrimas. While the band went on to acknowledge that their were superior scents already on the market, they did this mostly for themselves. “If anyone else likes it,” frontman Chris Martin explained, “then that’s a bonus.”John MayerLong before he was selling out shows with Dead & Company, guitarist John Mayer was selling out shows of his own and earning a reputation as a jokester. With media appearances that usually goofed on his “Aw Shucks” good nature, such as his appearance on Chapelle Show, his deftness on camera attracted the attention of Viacom. The media group offered to shoot a off the wall tour video with Mayer, with the potential for spinning it out into a full series. The production was kept small and intimate to best utilize Mayer’s affability by keeping the crew unobtrusive. Shot as he went around the nation on tour, John Mayer Has A TV Show was twenty plus minutes of Mayer improvising interactions with rapper Trick Daddy, a member of his crew, and a bunch of his fans pre-gaming in the parking lot. Not one to miss the chance to poke fun at himself, Mayer donned his favorite bear costume…what, you don’t have a closet full of bear costumes?  Seriously? Mayer even wore his onstage with Sheryl Crow!Anyway, Mayer thought it would be fun to not only disguise himself, but to take the opportunity to take his image down a peg or two by taking a few shots at himself.  Check out the grizzly results below:ToolThe band Tool has made an annual tradition out of pranking their fans on “April Tool’s Day” which have ranged from silly to horrific. The practice of playing these jokes is a direct reflection of the band’s core message of not taking themselves too seriously. For example, last year Tool issued an angry statement threatening legal action against those responsible for unfinished tracks from their upcoming album being stolen, released on the internet and even re-recorded by other bands. They even offered a link so fans could hear their stolen material performed by others, which you can check out below:Anyone who clicked the link heard the Hechizeros Band‘s dollar keyboard Spanish language insanity called “El Sonidito.” Obviously Tool was having yet another little joke with their fans.  No harm, no foul…it’s not like any one got hurt…this time.  They weren’t always so cautious, however.In 1997 the internet was rapidly becoming a part of our daily lives, and music fans were enjoying the ability to visit the official band sites and keep closer watch on their favorite artists. Tool fans found a shocking message on the band’s site on the morning of April 1st:[4/1/97] – Urgent: Information is still sketchy at best regarding the auto accident in Australia; the label won’t release any information about any of the band members’ conditions, except to say that at least three of them are currently listed in critical condition, and that tour dates for the next few months have been indefinitely postponed. Needless to say, this might end up being overwhelmingly disastrous. OK, Just in from BMG – they realized that a lot of you (hell, and me too) were going to be concerned about this, and would likely check this page for news, so they’ve set up an email address / listserv thing (I don’t know what it is yet) which they plan to use to keep us updated. Do Not Mail ME about it, I do NOT know anything that you don’t. I will post more about this as soon as possible. To get in touch with the BMG list thing, simply send mail to [email protected] “Obviously, anyone who read to the end saw the joke clearly lamp shaded by the fake email address. That didn’t stop thousands of people worldwide from bombarding news and media outlets for any updates or information about the “injured” band members. The hoax spread so quickly widely that radio stations and MTV felt the need to address the issue, and the band and their website administrator released a statement the following day apologizing.“To all those who took this too seriously, I apologize. Some have suggested that this post was in poor taste, and given that it was written past midnight, I won’t necessarily argue it wasn’t. To those who spent any time or money on web-searching or phone-calling to verify this information, again, sorry you didn’t see it for what it was. The subject is not one which calls for levity, and I stress that no offense was meant to anyone.I apologize for having potentially taken advantage of the trust many of you have come to place in this site by posting this. Fear not, this site will not indulge itself in such outlandish pranks in the future. You can continue to expect rumor-free news and facts from The Tool Page as you have been able to since early 1995.”Luckily, as proved by last year’s prank, they didn’t follow through on their promise to behave.The Merry Pranksters The originals. Ken Kesey and his cadre of social engineers/psychedelic enthusiasts took it upon themselves to help America “Wake Up.” After the horrors of the second world war ended, American soldiers had come home and spawned what would be known as the baby boom.  This entire generation would be the first to experience true modern mass media, and more and more they were coming to question the accepted ways of the world. Kesey graduated with a degree in Speech and Communication, and his writing skills attracted prizes and scholarships.  The attention was well founded, as Kesey turned out what would be considered a classic of modern literature, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. In early 1964 Kesey, Neal Cassady and a group of friends were living communally on properties owned by Kesey, purchased with the profits from his book sales, and experimenting heavily with LSD. In a moment of inspiration that has reverberated to this day, the group decided to take their weird show on the road.Inspired by beat poet Jack Kerouac‘s beat novel classic On The Road, Kesey organized a cross country road trip to see the open the lines of communication between people, make art out of the mundane and, ostensibly, to go th the fair. The journey entered into legend and gave us the book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and the phrase “On The Bus.” After that historic journey the Pranksters began throwing Acid Test parties regularly on the west coast, attended by literary notables  Allen Ginsberg and Hells Angels members alike. The Merry Pranksters even picked up a official/unofficial house band, The Warlocks, who you might recognize better from the name they soon adopted, The Grateful Dead.The Dead did their best to spread the Prankster spirit with their music and their actions. Sometimes they even got to combine the two, such as their appearance on the Hugh Hefner hosted Playboy After Dark television series. The story goes that the band’s sound engineer and chief chemist Owsley Stanley, decided to spike the coffee for the crew during the taping.  No one’s sure if Hef took a sip, but it’s a safe bet that more than a few of his staff’s minds were expanded up that night. Here’s Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann telling the tale on Conan last year:Rolling Stone and The Masked MaraudersSome April’s Fools pranks are more cruel than others. In their October 18, 1969 issue Rolling Stone Magazine editor Griel Marcus, under the pseudonym T.M.Christian, along with record reviewer Bruce Miroff wrote a breathless review of a secret new super group comprised of the greatest talents in the modern rock scene including Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger.  The writers intent was to parody the then growing trend of so called “Super groups” like Blind Faith and Crosby, Stills and Nash. The review of the imaginary double album touted an epic 18 minute Dylan-led cover of Donovan‘s Season Of The Witch, McCartney doing a likely very racist Eddie Fisher styled version of Mammy and production from “Al Kooper.“The response from fans and shop owners was quick and impressive and funny to Marcus and Miroff, but most comical to them were the inquiries from the agents and representatives from the artists they’d parodied.  The decision was made to take this whole thing one step farther, and actually produce an album. Griel and fellow editor Langdon Winner convinced Berkeley area group Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band to take on the role.  The group recorded original versions of joke titled tunes “Cow Pie, I Can’t Get No Nookie” as Jagger and “Duke Of Earl” while aping Dylan.  The tracks were then given to radio station and, amazingly, a bidding war broke out, resulting in Warner Brothers signing the act for 15,000 dollars. The record spent weeks on the Billboard charts, reaching #114 until word of the joke and closer inspection of the lyrics, liner notes and packaging tipped off the gullible record buyers and sent the album to the pages of history.  In today’s world of smart phones and search engines, the Masked Marauders wouldn’t have lasted a minute before being exposed, but in the mad cap sixties anything was possible.  The saddest part of this whole story is that we’d love to hear what music that version of the Fab Four might have created. Check out what a crazy idea, a band up for some fun, and a record label with mischief on its mind can do below:That’s just a small sampling of the silliness that’s gone on in years past.  It’s hard to say what will happen on April 1st, but the odds are good that whatever it is, it’ll be hard to believe.  Speaking of hard to believe, there are still a few tickets left for Fool’s Paradise, held from April 1st and 2nd in St. Augustine, FL.  With a stellar mix of funk, electronica, rock and soul as well as sunny skies, after parties and late night shows, Fool’s Paradise looks to be the perfect way to escape your “Funny” friends attempts at prankery.  Tickets and Information available HERE.last_img

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