Quirks, ironies, eccentricities of famous people.

Things like this:

Robert L Ripley (of Believe It Or Not Fame) had one of the largest private collections of automobiles in the world. Strangely, he never learned to drive.

Leo Fender of Fender™ guitar fame, designed perhaps 2 of the 3 most famous rock and roll guitars of all time (Fender Strat™ and Fender Telecaster™)- AND founded the company that manufactured them. He never learned to play the guitar.

And in a related story, Les Paul designed one of the top 3 rock and roll guitars - the Gibson Les Paul.
Unlike his contemporary Leo Fender, Les Paul is an accomplished jazz guitarist and remains active to this day.
Ironically, it is said that Les Paul hates rock and roll, yet the instrument that bears his name is a rock and roll legend, highly cherished by a great number of players.

Okay Message Board “Dopers” - that’s the kind of weird stuff I was hoping others might share.

There’s some rock group, (Rolling Stones?) that insists on bowls of M&M’s when they do concerts.

There must be no brown M&Ms in the bowls, so someone has to sit there and pick them all out.

I believe that was Van Halen with M&Ms.

Those were actually Van Halen. Their Contract rider specified taht brown M&M’s must be removed. The rider has since been changed. They supposedly did it to find out if people were paying attention to their contracts. You can find this rider and many more at the smoking gun website. A lot of other famous people ask for weird things.

The Rolling Stones, for example, demand that videogames suitable for children be placed in their changing rooms.

132 more riders are available, and they’re all funny to read.


This isn’t a myth, but it’s been misunderstood. The band in question is Van Halen, and the Snopes article on the subject explains that “The M&Ms provision was included in Van Halen’s contracts not as an act of caprice, but because it served a practical purpose: to provide an easy way of determining whether the technical specifications of the contract had been thoroughly read (and complied with).”

The excerpts from David Lee Roth’s autobiography in the Snopes article make it sound like VH’s M&Ms idea was a very good one.

Studs Terkel, now 91, has also never driven a car. I think Alfred Hitchcock never drove either.

Ringo: You beat me to it… damn simulpost.

Ah, so it was a test.

Rather clever, now that I think about it.

Following Frank Sinatra’s death in 1999, his daughter (Nancy Sinatra) spent six days preparing his coffin for the funeral. Among the items packed in his casket? Tootsie Rolls, Wild Cherry Life Savers, chewing gum, and cotton balls soaked in cologne.

According to many people who knew Hitchcock, he couldn’t stand to even look at his wife, Alma, while she was pregnent.

In his childhood days, Alfred Hitchcock was sent by his father with a letter to the local police station. The officer read the letter and, without further ado, locked young Alfred up for ten minutes. Then he let him go, explaining that this is what happens to people who do bad things. Hitchcock was frightened of the police from that day on.

When finishing a cup of tea while on the set, he would often non-discriminatingly toss the cup and saucer over his shoulder, letting it fall (or break) wherever it may.

He delivered the shortest acceptance speech in Oscar history: while accepting the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award at the 1967 Oscars, he simply said “Thank you.”

I read this in an Isaac Asimov book “1001 Amazing Facts” I think was the name of it. Peter the Great had a fear of walking on bridges.

when I was in undergrad, we had the woman who sings “chelsea morning” (the song chelsea clinton is named after, sorry I can’t remeber her name, but not a fan of her music) come to the school to do a concert. I worked for the theater department, which ment we did all the backstage stuff for concerts like this. we had heard from another auditorium that she had held up the concert there bacause she did not like the flowers on the piano, so we were dreading her arrival. she got there, did not have a problem with the flowers, but fell in love with one of the mikes we had for her, so at each change of her local, one of the crew had to rush out, pull that mike off the cord, and move it to the piano, or the mike stand, or wherever she was going to be singing from. one of the weirdest acts we had there, and we had some doosies.

Although this has been tied by a few other people. I’m waiting for someone to break the record by just saying “thanks.”

The guys who wrote “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” never saw a single baseball game in their lives. I’m not sure they even liked baseball.


The women who wrote “Happy Birthday” weren’t happy, and hated birthdays. In fact, they didn’t even HAVE birthdays.

I was going to write about Michael Jackson, but realized that it would be an awfully long post, so I think just mentioning his name here would suffice.

King Edward II of England had a strange fetish for sleeping with his nephews-in-law. His lovers Piers Gaveston, Hugh le Despencer, and (possibly) Roger Damory were all married to his nieces Margaret, Eleanor, and Elizabeth, respectively.

I don’t know, I just always thought that was odd.

Edward II and his future nemesis, Roger Mortimer, were both born on April 25. Edward was born April 25 1284 and Roger was born April 25 1287. Years later, Roger would schtup Edward’s queen, invade Edward’s country, and end Edward’s life.

Well, he’s not THAT famous, but David Boreanaz (of Buffy and Angel fame) has a fear of chickens, and birds in general. “If you get a rooster upset, it’s all over.” The Buffy cast once tied him up and put him on top of 30 frozen chickens. He was so scared that he cried.

He’s scared of FROZEN chickens??? What’s he think they’re gonna do, give him frostbite?

My ex is afraid of chickens. In fact she dressed up as a chicken for Hallowe’en once. (Kinda bizarre seeing the Buffy thing with Anya and bunnies so many years after witnessing my ex’s chicken fears. Oh, and she said it was because their bumpy red faces were scary.)

Wagner the German composer and conductor, was an extreme anti-semite. If he had to conduct an orchestra that played a work by Mendelsohn (Jewish), Wagner would wear gloves to insulate him from the baton and sheet music. At the end of the concert he would break the baton, immediately take off his gloves, drop them and leave them on the spot.