The Top 10 Pranks By Musicians

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Today is April Fool’s Day!

It’s the day to tiptoe around, trying to avoid pitfalls and boobie traps.

We’ll also be looking to the news to see what kind of pranks musicians are going to pull.

In celebration of the funniest holiday there is, here are 10 past pranks done by musicians:

Morrissey Rickrolls David Bowie


When David Bowie denied Morrissey the right to use a photo of the two for the re-issue of his 1989 single, “The Last of the Famous International Playboys,” Morrissey decided to go a different route.

In light of the Youtube ‘Rickrolling’ trend that kicked off in May 2008 (where a video you think is leading to something else actually points to “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley), Morrissey instead used an old photo of himself with Astley.

We chalk this up to a hilarious win for Morrissey.

Trent Reznor teases Timbaland collaboration album


A new Nine Inch Nails record called “Strobelight” with production from hip-hop legend Timbaland? It sounded too bizarre to be true, but stranger things have happened.

The announcement came right after Chris Cornell released a Timbaland-produced effort. But when you look at the date of the announcement (April 1, 2009), and the fact Reznor admitted to not being a fan of Cornell’s record on Twitter a few weeks prior, it becomes clear the joke’s on us.

Reznor even released a tracklist for the album, with track four being, um… “Pussygrinder [Feat. Sheryl Crow].” You can’t make this stuff up.

You can hear the title track in all of its glory below:

Paul McCartney is Dead


A prank and conspiracy theory all wrapped into one.

Back in September 1969, articles published by college students suggested McCartney’s supposed death could be found in lyrical clues embedded in the Beatles music. The phenomenon of finding more evidence took off and spread throughout the world. The false story eventually died down after an interview McCartney did with Time was published two months later, and luckily, the Beatle is still alive today.

McCartney would poke fun at the joke with his 1993 live album, titling it Paul Is Live.

John Lennon & Yoko Ono Announce Sex Changes


Under constant scrutiny by the press, John Lennon & Yoko Ono decided to turn the tables on April 1, 1970.

The pair sent out a press release stating that they had checked into the London Clinic to undergo sex-change operations.

It was, of course, an April Fool’s joke, where the couple got the last laugh.

Michael Jackson prank calls Russell Crowe


Michael Jackson still loved prank phone calls as an adult.

Even though he never met the singer, Russell Crowe admits the singer used to ring up his hotel room when he found out the name he stayed under.

“It didn’t matter where I was, he’d ring up [and] do this kind of thing, like you did when you were 10, you know, ‘Is Mr. Wall there? Is Mrs. Wall there? Are there any Walls there? Then what’s holding the roof up? Ha, ha.’ You’re supposed to grow out of doing that, right?”

Imagining Michael’s voice on the other end makes us giggle.

Bjork Zeppelin


Icelandic singer Bjork jokingly announced on April 1, 2009, that she would be joining Led Zeppelin, replacing Robert Plant.

If you were hoping to hear “It’s Oh So Quiet” set to the instruments of “Kashmir”, well, the re-invented ‘band’ would only play songs from Led Zeppelin’s first and fourth albums.

Can somebody make this mash-up happen?

The White Stripes: what are they?

The White Stripes.

The White Stripes members Jack White & Meg White convincingly told music journalists that they were brother and sister during the band’s meteoric rise.

But that wasn’t the case: the two were actually married and divorced before the heights of fame.

“When you see a band that is two pieces, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, you think, ‘Oh, I see…'” explained Jack to Rolling Stone. “When they’re brother and sister, you go, ‘Oh, that’s interesting.’ You care more about the music, not the relationship – whether they’re trying to save their relationship by being in a band.”

Nirvana pull a bait & switch

Kurt Cobain Performs At MTV Awards

Trying to tell Nirvana what to do was always considered a bad idea.

When the band was set to perform on the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, they wanted to play “Rape Me”, when producers wanted “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” They obliged… for a while.

When it came time to the actual broadcast, Nirvana played the opening riffs of “Rape Me” before burning through “Lithium.” We would’ve loved to see the backstage reactions.

Adele impersonates Adele

Adele went undercover during a casting call of impersonators, sitting among the other hopefuls, blending in thanks to a combination of prosthetics and cheeky remarks.

When it comes time to sing, though, there’s no denying what voice lies under the disguise.

Watch the clip below:

Keith Moon lights up his opening act

keith moon

During the Who’s U.K. tour in late 1967, Moon constantly tormented the opening band, the Herd (featuring Peter Frampton.) One concert, keyboardist Andy Bown found his rig filled with firecrackers that Moon detonated while the band was on-stage.

He also got the drummer Andrew Steele: every time he would go to hit the gong, they would retract it using a wire-and-pulley system, making it out of his reach.

For more Keith Moon pranks, check out this collection on Rolling Stone.

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