back to top

Just Fooling Around: 5 Pranks Pulled By Famous Musicians

It's April Fool's Day, which means that it's best to be on guard for possible pranks that might be pulled at your expense, but it's not as if the pulling of practical jokes is something that's limited to a single day of the year. Here are five instances where notable musicians entertained themselves and had some fun, some of which were on April 1, some of which weren't, but they're all pretty least to the people who weren't the victims, anyway.

Posted on

1. Mike Nesmith complains about a group of Monkees fans who are demanding that a very specific vocalist be allowed to pay tribute to the late Davy Jones.


During the run of The Monkees' TV series, each of the members of the group was established with a particular identifying trait: Micky was the goofy one, Peter was the dim-witted one, Davy was the cute one (or the British one, take your pick), and Mike was the laconic one with the dry sense of humor. These weren't all based in reality, but it's fair to say that Mike's was, as he proved in 2012 when he took to Facebook, feigning annoyance and claiming that a large contingent of Monkees fans were threatening to boycott the upcoming Monkees tour - the group's first without the late Davy Jones - "unless and until we invite Kevin Spacey to sing ‘Daydream Believer’ as a tribute to Davy."

“Okay, now this is getting out of hand -- or maybe out of control -- or something," Nesmith wrote on Facebook. "Now, I like Kevin. He is a close friend that calls all the time, at least he says he is Kevin Spacey, and we talk a lot, but there are too many things that are just plain wrong with this, if I may be so bold as to scold."

Nesmith went on to assure fans that plans were afoot to pay tribute to Jones during the Monkees' upcoming shows, but "none of them include having Kevin sing, and as good a friend as he is -- he calls all the time, really, like at 3 a.m. and so forth -- I just can't agree to this. Yes, I think David would like the Bobby Darin connection, and, yes, Kevin is a good singer, a really fantastic impressionist, but he is waaay too old, and he cannot, as far as I know do the Davy dance. Not that he would ever need to, but I don't think he can do it. I mean, he limped a little in Usual Suspects -- but that is a very long way from the Davy dance -- a really, very, very long way."

It's hard to imagine anyone getting past the throwaway bit where Nesmith admits that he's not even 100% sure that the person calling his house is Kevin Spacey and not picking up on the fact that the whole thing was just a joke, but the comments beneath Nesmith's Facebook post reveal that a remarkable number of Monkees fans did.

2. Fleetwood Mac get a little clucking crazy.


In a 2003 Mojo article entitled “Take It to the Limit,” journalist Phil Sutcliffe detailed how Fleetwood Mac were prone to what some might describe as excessive behavior whilst touring behind the Tusk album, but occasionally that behavior could be pretty darned funny. “The men…enjoyed a practical joke,” wrote Sutcliffe, and while he doesn’t call out Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, or John McVie by name, he does indicate that, in regards to their pranks, “a favorite was the celebration of tour manager John Courage’s birthday by filling his room with 50 chickens accompanied, for farmyard verisimilitude, by bales of straw.”

3. John Bonham proves to be a real hoser.


In the book Whole Lotta Led: Our Flight with Led Zeppelin, photographer Robert Knight recalled a truly legendary assignment in Honolulu in 1969: "I photographed Led Zeppelin running up and down the beach and learning to surf and totally destroying their multi-million-dollar rental home with garden hoses and water fights."

Knight doesn't indicate how this destruction originally started, but when Richard Cole, the band's manager, wrote his memoir, Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin Uncensored, he offered a recollection that might provide a clue.

Although John Bonham enjoyed a good practical joke, with Robert Plant generally his preferred target, "Bonham played an occasional prank on John Paul, like the time he flooded Jonesy's room in Hawaii by sneaking a garden hose through the sliding glass door," wrote Cole. "But John Paul was so easy going that even when he awoke to find his room turned into a wading pool, he just took it in stride."

4. Björk has a whole lotta love for Led Zeppelin.


On April 1, 2009, Björk - yes, the former frontwoman for the Sugarcubes and one of the darlings of the Icelandic music scene - posted on her website that due to her concerns that plans for a possible Zeppelin reunion tour were "in turmoil after original singer Robert Plant decided to concentrate on live work with Allison Krauss," she would be stepping in as the band's lead singer. As if that wasn't enough to make some Zeppelin fans' heads explode, Björk also offered her services with a caveat: she'd only sing material from Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin IV.

5. Coldplay records in zero gravity, then threatens their fans with Angst.


2009 was a pretty great year for April Fool's Day pranks: in addition to Björk's Zeppelin claims, Coldplay took to their website to inform fans that the time had come for the band to venture into uncharted territory and record in zero gravity. Offering such details as the fact that Brian Eno would be accompanying them to record the session on a 1969 analog cassette player, Martin further explained, "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, y'know?"

The following year, Coldplay upped the ante by claiming that they were to be gracing the world with a band-inspired fragrance called Angst. In the faux announcement, Chris Martin was quoted as saying, "This is something we've wanted to do for a long time. People like to smell nice and we thought we could help them out."

This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!