It’s sometimes easy to think that some of the biggest musicians in the world do things effortlessly; just wander into the studio, hammer out a few songs, and make millions of dollars. The truth is, the recording process is often a lot stranger than we think, as is proven by these 12 stories behind famous songs and albums.
“Abbey Road” was supposed to be called “Everest,” but The Beatles got lazy.
Specifically, they couldn’t go to Mount Everest to shoot a photo for the album cover, so they decided to just take a picture outside the studio.
Nine Inch Nails recorded “The Downward Spiral” in the Sharon Tate murder house where she and her guests were executed by members of the Manson Family.
Trent Reznor later said he regretted the decision after meeting members of Tate’s family and hearing about their grief.
The moans heard on Guns N’ Roses’ “Rocket Queen” were Axl Rose getting it on with drummer Steven Adler’s girlfriend in the recording studio.
Adler has gone on record as saying he felt mistreated by the band. You think?!
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” was named after graffiti that Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hannah wrote on Kurt Cobain’s wall.
Specifically, Hannah wasn’t a fan of Kurt’s girlfriend, or the deodorant she wore, called “Teen Spirit,” so she wrote “Kurt smells like Teen Spirit” on his wall.
“Cherry Pie” was written in one day because the studio said Warrant needed a single for their album.
The band’s late singer Jani Lane would go on to comment “I could f***ing shoot myself in the head for writing that song.”
The Beastie Boys wrote “Fight For Your Right (To Party)” as a parody of party anthems
They later laughed about its popularity and commented that people don’t understand sarcasm.
The stories get even crazier from here!
Kiss wrote “Detroit Rock City” as a tribute to a fan who died on his way to their concert
The fan in question was under the influence of both alcohol and drugs, just like the one in the song.
Plain White Ts singer Tom Higgenson wrote “Hey There Delilah” as a way to impress a girl who had a boyfriend
He later took her to an awards show, but she still had her boyfriend. Tough luck Tom!
“Summer of ’69” isn’t an ode to Bryan Adams’ favorite year; it’s an ode to his favorite bedroom position.
Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” is Brett Michaels lamenting the loss of his girlfriend, Pamela Anderson. Yes, that one.
Pam made a pretty infamous tape with Michaels and would later make an even more infamous tape with Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee.
Aerosmith wrote “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” about meeting Motley Crue.
Apparently Steven Tyler wasn’t a huge fan of Vince Neil’s getup.
Slipknot singer Corey Taylor recorded the song “Iowa” naked
He also broke a glass in the recording booth and made cuts on his body with the shards. Taylor attributes this to being in a “dark place in my life.” No kidding.