Skip To Content

    19 Wild "Secrets" About Classic Rock Stars That Are Hard To Believe But Absolutely True

    Snorting ants...Trying to dose the president...Hanging with Charles Manson...

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the facts about classic rock stars that blew their minds. Here are the most jaw-dropping responses (with some of our own thrown in):

    1. Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury dressed Princess Diana in drag and took her to a gay bar in the '80s.

    2. The Who's drummer Keith Moon washed down some horse tranquilizers with brandy before a show, then drummed slower and slower until he passed out while playing "Won't Get Fooled Again."

    3. Before starting the band Kiss, Gene Simmons was a sixth-grade teacher.

    4. On a drug- and alcohol-fueled tour in 1984, Ozzy Osbourne used a straw to snort a line of ants off the ground in an effort to gross out his tour mates, Mötley Crüe.

    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd was named after Leonard Skinner, the strict high school gym teacher who sent at least one member of the band to the principal's office for having long hair.

    6. Jerry Lee Lewis (the high-energy pianist/singer behind "Great Balls of Fire") got married to his 13-year-old third cousin.

    7. The first time the Beatles smoked pot was with Bob Dylan. They met up at a hotel and Dylan offered them some. Dylan assumed the fab four had smoked it before because he'd misheard their "I can't hide!" lyric from "I Want to Hold Your Hand" as "I get high!"

    8. "Son of a Preacher Man" singer Dusty Springfield used to spend hundreds of dollars on cheap china, then blow off steam by breaking it all.

    9. In 1984, Def Leppard’s drummer Rick Allen had his left arm amputated after being in a serious car crash. It took him about two years of physical therapy, but he was able to continue as the band's drummer and even play live!

    10. Stevie Nicks was offered the opportunity to write the lyrics for "Purple Rain," but turned Prince down.

    11. As an 8-year-old boy, Guns N' Roses lead guitarist Slash walked in on his mother and David Bowie naked in bed.

    12. Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson befriended Charles Manson and even got the Beach Boys to record a song written by Manson.

    13. Elvis was actually a natural blonde! He dyed his hair jet black with shoe polish initially, and then later with Clairol hair dye.

    @elvispresley as a Blonde #graceland.

    The above photo, hanging in his former home known as Graceland, is one of the few that exist showing his natural hair color.

    smoothjazz1

    14. Jefferson Airplane's lead singer Grace Slick — after being invited to the White House — went with some acid and a plan to dose President Nixon.

    15. After the breakup of the British rock band the Zombies (who scored hits like "Time of the Season"), a promotion company in America hired some kids from Texas to go on tour as the band, claiming they were still together. Eventually, the actual Zombies served the fake Zombies with a cease and desist order, but the fake Zombies stayed together and became...ZZ Top.

    16. Richie Havens' most famous song — "Freedom" — was actually improvised on stage at Woodstock.

    17. The Beatles' Paul McCartney wrote "Yesterday" — the most-covered song in popular music historyliterally in his sleep.

    18. Similarly, the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards woke one morning to see his cassette recorder had been left on and the tape run to the other end. When he rewound the tape, he discovered — though he had no memory of doing it — that he’d gotten up in the middle of the night and recorded the riff to "Satisfaction."

    19. Canadian folk/rock legend Neil Young and American funk superstar Rick James were in a band together before they became famous for very different styles of music.

    Want to be featured in future BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!