Rock ‘n’ Roll Urban Legends

The Guardian offers their selection of the 10 greatest rock 'n' roll myths ever. Top of the list is the one about Mama Cass choking to death on a ham sandwich. It was also news to me to find out that Michael Jackson doesn't own the Elephant Man skeleton. I always thought he did.

Entertainment Urban Legends

Posted on Tue Feb 22, 2005


The Elephant Man skeleton does still exist, owned by a teaching hospital in London. It was shown in a documentary of Channel 4 a few years ago.
So neither the myth about it being owned my Mikey Jackson or the Observer article are correct.
Posted by Phil  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  02:35 AM
hmmmmm funny how i remember it being stated that he DID own the statue on several documentaries about him
Posted by tim  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  02:58 AM
I've never heard of most of those myths anyway. Maybe I'm not old enough.
Posted by Maegan  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  07:19 AM
Since they refused to include the "Paul is dead" story that proves they know that it's true. Ringo really is the last Beatle.

Seriously 'tho, I can see how most people don't believe it anymore, unlike the other myths, but I still think it should have been included. Even from my late start in life (post-Beatles, barely) I remember this being very popular.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  08:48 AM
I've only heard of 40% of these as well as the Marianne Faithfull one that didn't make it. But then, I was never really into any music that came after the mid 70's and even then I was never the Led Zeppelin type.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  08:51 AM
You're right, Charybdis. How in the world could they not include the 'Paul is Dead' legend? That should be #1. I can think of a few legends about Elvis also, but those are probably all true.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  08:57 AM
I remember the Paul is dead thing from when I was a wee little chap. I never heard the Zeppelin one. Richards had his blood transfused every time he came into the US. For a while, the FBI was adamant about blood testing him each time before they would let him, after it was common knowledge he was junkie.

There was one story that he had to rush and have the transfusion just hours before they flew into New York. After about 36 hours he was getting withdrawls so bad that he was very sick, so sick that the handlers were afraid he was gonna die. They couldn't go out and buy him some heroin because the FBI was all over them. They were discussing admitting him to a hospital when there was a knock on the Hotel door. Two FBI agents came in and told them they 'knew' Richards was having bad withdrawls and Hoover didn't want any disturbances while the Stones where in the country. So they provided a large amount of heroin for his use during the Stones tour.
Posted by ted2  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  08:52 PM
The story I remember reading was that Michael Jackson *tried* to buy the Elephant Man's skeleton, but the London hospital that has it declined to sell it. You've got to admit, it would be a pretty cool thing to have in your living room. And Mr. Merrick isn't using it any more ...
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Wed Feb 23, 2005  at  09:27 PM
I have a turtle skeleton. It's not in my living room though, it's on my back porch.
Posted by Maegan  on  Thu Feb 24, 2005  at  07:27 AM
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