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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Music
For ZZ Top, life imitates hoax — In 2012, a ZZ Top fan made a hoax video that purported to show the trio performing the 1955 folk-country classic "Sixteen Tons" with guitarist Jeff Beck. In a case of life imitating hoax, Jeff Beck and ZZ Top recently performed together in L.A., and they decided to play "Sixteen Tons" — because of the fan's hoax video. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top said, "It’s a mega meta kinda thang. [LA Times]
Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014.   Comments (1)

The ‘Japanese Beethoven’ admits he had help — When Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi went completely deaf at the age of 35, he continued to compose music, explaining that he was able to do so because of his "absolute pitch." Some of his most popular works were composed when he was deaf, such as his Hiroshima Symphony No 1. On account of this, people began calling him the "Japanese Beethoven." But now he's admitted that when he started losing his hearing he relied on a "ghost composer" to help him create his works. Samuragochi…
Posted: Thu Feb 06, 2014.   Comments (0)

This is not U2 — Mysterious ways of Dave Fanning hoax; 2fm DJ passes off song by obscure English band as the latest single from U2. The Sunday Times (London) January 26, 2014 DUE TO a long friendship with U2, his radio show is always the first to play any new songs from the Dublin group. Earlier this month, however, U2 fans didn't find what they were looking for when Dave Fanning, the 2fm DJ, promised to play their new single - but instead spun a track from an unknown British band... What listeners…
Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014.   Comments (2)

Milky Edwards & The Chamberlings — In the 1970s did a gospel soul band called Milky Edwards & The Chamberlings record an album of cover versions of all the songs on David Bowie's Starman? Apparently not. However, on YouTube you can find three videos of someone playing songs from this non-existent album on a record player. The videos were uploaded over a year and a half ago (and there's an accompanying, minimalist website — milkyedwards.com), but they've only started to attract attention recently. And now people are…
Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2013.   Comments (8)


Beyonce admits she lip-synched at inauguration — Honestly, I don't know why people made an issue out of this. Do we really expect that singers should be able to belt out perfect vocals in freezing weather? Beyonce says sang along to pre-recorded track at inauguration reuters.com Singer Beyonce said she sang along to a pre-recorded track at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, but delivered a stirring a cappella version of the U.S. national anthem at a Super Bowl news conference on Thursday... "It was a live television show and…
Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013.   Comments (0)

What do these piano pieces by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Haydn all have in common? — (Besides the fact that they're all performed by the same guy) Mozart, Sonata in D Major, Anh. 294d, mov. 3 Mendelssohn's Song Without Words, Op. posth., No. 3d. Haydn, Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. LVII:1-12 Answer: They're all hoaxes. The pieces weren't composed by Mozart, Mendelssohn, or Haydn. Last year someone going under the name 'The Mad Rhino' began uploading videos of himself playing pieces by famous composers. The videos caught the attention of classical-music fans…
Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2012.   Comments (1)

Psycho-Acoustic Beatles Simulations — BlueBeat music is being sued for illegally selling Beatles songs. Their defense: the songs are not Beatles songs, but rather "psycho-acoustic simulations." BlueBeat's lawyers claim that the Website is "entirely lawful and does not constitute piracy" and that the plaintiffs are not likely to succeed. Also, the plaintiffs are well aware that the defendants "developed a series of entirely new and original sounds that it allows the general public to purchase" and that "copyright protection…
Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009.   Comments (0)

Bogus Projects-to-PhD Tale — A story that was too good to be true: Roxanne Shante was an up-and-coming rap star in the 80s, but her career subsequently fizzed out, and her record company abandoned her. But, according to the New York Daily News, she managed to get her own back by noticing an obscure clause in her recording contract that obligated Warner Music to fund her education for life. Thanks to this, she was able to earn a Ph.D in psychology from Cornell. As Ben Sheffner of slate.com notes, "The story was…
Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2009.   Comments (3)

40th Anniversary of Paul Is Dead Rumor (almost) — Magazines have begun to note the 40th anniversary of the Paul is Dead rumor (although they're two months early... the rumor began to circulate widely in September 1969). Contact Music managed to get a quotation from McCartney about the rumor. He claims to still be laughing it off. But interestingly, he also get the details wrong about how the rumor started: MCCartney's barefoot appearance in the photo [on the cover of Abbey Road] sparked wild rumours the rocker had died in a car…
Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2009.   Comments (10)

Sex Pistols Forgery — Punk rock is supposed to celebrate anti-commercialism and anarchy. Which makes a case of forgery in the market for punk-rock memorabilia somewhat ironic. A flyer for a 1978 Sex Pistols show at Randy's Rodeo in Texas, which was being auctioned by Christie's, has been found to be fake. Sex Pistols fans noticed that the letters forming "land" in "England" were written with Microsoft Comic Sans font, which only became available in 1995 with the release of Windows 95. The fans notified…
Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2009.   Comments (0)

Saudis Censor Katy Perry — Blogger Susie Of Arabia reports that after buying a copy of Katy Perry's album One of the Boys in Saudi Arabia, she realized that all the pictures of Katy Perry had been heavily doctored by Saudi censors. Below (left) is the original album cover, and on the right is the Saudi version. This is standard practice in Saudi Arabia. A few years ago I posted about Mariah Carey album covers that were similarly doctored by the Saudis. Susie suggests that the Katy Perry albums were…
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009.   Comments (15)

Never Gonna Pay You Anything — Pete Waterman wrote the song Never Gonna Give You Up, which is the focal point of the massively popular Rickrolling prank. But he's now complaining that, despite the millions of times that video has been viewed online, he's earned only £11 from Google for all those views. He earns more from his local radio station playing the song than he does from YouTube. Welcome to the internet economy, Mr. Waterman! [Telegraph]
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009.   Comments (6)

Lil’ Kim for Mayor — Someone circulated a bogus press release claiming that rap star Lil' Kim was running for mayor of Hoboken. Local media in New York duly reported it as fact. But in a world where Ronald Reagan became president and Arnold Schwarzenegger is Governor of California, I can understand why they took it seriously. [NY Daily News]
Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009.   Comments (0)

Heart’s Letter to John McCain — The following cease-and-desist letter, supposedly written by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart to John McCain, has started doing the rounds. Warning: NSFW language! Is it real? Well, the Wilsons did email out a statement asking the Republican campaign not to use their music, and in a phone interview, after the Republicans used their music anyway, Nancy Wilson said, "I feel completely f--ed over." However, the article above seems to be satire. It comes from Seattle's The Stranger…
Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008.   Comments (5)

Air guitar owned by JFK — You have missed your chance to bid on an "Air guitar owned by JFK": Extremely rare oppurtunity up for auction is the only air guitar known to have been owned by US president JFK President kennedy was under constant stress from political rivals and upsets, so its only natural he would have taken up playing air guitar Many silent and melancholy impromptu jam sessions haunted the air in Kennedy's office as US president it was discovered recently in a cold storage unit in its case
Posted: Mon May 12, 2008.   Comments (8)

Reviewer makes an “educated guess” — Maxim recently published a review of the Black Crowes' new album, Warpaint. It didn't like it much, giving it only 2.5 stars out of 5. There was just one problem. The album hadn't been released yet, and advance copies hadn't been made available. So how had the Maxim reviewer heard the album? Turns out he hadn't. Maxim explained to the Black Crowes that the reviewer made an "educated guess." Maxim later released this statement: "It is Maxim's editorial policy to assign star ratings…
Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008.   Comments (8)

Is it legal to sell something you find in the trash? — The Patry Copyright blog has posted details of an interesting copyright case: United States v. Chalupnik. It doesn't, strictly speaking, have anything to do with hoaxes, except that it raises the question of whether there actually was a crime committed, or whether it's an example of a big corporation trying to invent a crime. Here are the facts, as summarized by William Patry: defendant was an employee for the U.S. Postal Service. BMG Columbia House is a mail order operation selling…
Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008.   Comments (24)

Backwards Singing — In this video some guy, who calls himself One Man Sho, sings gibberish while performing various actions such as knocking over wooden blocks and drinking a glass of orange soda. Then the video plays in reverse to reveal that he was actually singing the national anthem backwards. It would be possible to fake this. For instance, you could dub over the voice, though I imagine it would be a technical challenge to match the dubbed voice to the movement of his lips. Or you could sing…
Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2008.   Comments (13)

Quick Links: Jan. 25, 2008 — Caught Lipsyncing Amusing video on youtube of a guy caught lipsyncing. I like how he tries to pretend that nothing happened. Live Frog in Lettuce Yet another case of a family finding a live frog in their lettuce. The amazing thing is that instead of trying to sue someone, the family has adopted the frog as a pet. They call him "curious." Fake Leg as Weapon "Police said Donna Sturkie-Anthony took her elder sister's prosthetic leg and beat her with it."
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008.   Comments (4)

Quick Links: Dec. 4, 2007 — Tickle Me Counterfeit Authorities are warning consumers to be on the lookout for fake Tickle Me Elmos showing up on store shelves this Christmas. How can you tell the difference between the real and the fake? For a start, the fake Elmo is called "The Laughing Doll." Also, oddly enough, the fakes are more expensive than the real thing. Phony Doo-Wops Doo-wop groups from the 1950s and '60s, such as the Drifters, Coasters and Platters, are complaining that they're going broke. They can't…
Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2007.   Comments (0)

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