We all love hearing a good story that captures our imagination, but if there’s one thing that piques our collective interest more than anything else, it’s a mystery that has no definitive answer. Sure, we love closure on these crazy tales that we hear, but mysteries leave us wondering about the details that pertain to what we don’t know.
While there are plenty of mysteries out there, such as ‘why did Milli Vanilli think lip syncing would be a good idea’, we’ve decided to take a look back at some of those enigmatic tales that have left us scratching our noggins ever since we first heard them.
What happened to Richey Edwards?
Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers were one of the most underrated groups of the ‘90s, but there was thing that overshadowed their music more than they would have liked, and that was the disappearance of guitarist and songwriter Richey Edwards. In February 1995, the day he was supposed to head over to America for a promo tour, Edwards disappeared without a trace, and has not been heard from since.
Despite efforts to find him, no leads have ever been found to give friends, family or fans any closure as to what happened to the celebrated muso. Given his history of mental illness, the prevailing theory is that Edwards may have ended his life, but those close to him have doubted this theory. Numerous sightings have been reported, but the sad fact is that 22 years after he went missing, we’re no closer to finding out what became of one of Wales’ most brilliant songwriters.
Who is Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ about?
One of her most famous songs, Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ is a rather self-explanatory ode to a self-absorbed lover. Thanks to its cathartic chorus, it has become the anthem of the scorned, but just who is it about? Simon has confirmed that the track is a composite of three different men in her life, but the enduring mystery of the song’s subject has lead to the song taking on a life of its own.
Numerous theories have come forward over the years, including that the song refers to Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, and even David Geffen. So far, Simon has only confirmed that actor and director Warren Beatty is one of the three men the song is based on, but the others remain a mystery to most.
Carly Simon has actually revealed the full list of names to a few people in secret over the years, including pop champion Taylor Swift. So if you’re keen to crack this nut, you might want to pull an Ed Sheeran and become besties with T-Swizzle and hope you can get her to spill the beans.
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What the heck is ‘Peanut Duck’?
In 1965, a group of musicians went into an American studio and recorded a dance track called ‘Peanut Duck’, and with that, we’ve exhausted everything we know about the song.
For reasons unknown, the track was shelved, but survived for at least 20 years, when it was rediscovered by a British DJ who decided to introduce the track to an unwitting public. This revival of the song saw it published on a number of compilations, often falsely credited to Marsha Gee.
So why is it such a big deal that we find out performed this song? Well, apart from the innate human curiosity that goes along with something like this, there’s the fact that this song is just… weird. In the style of many ‘60s-style dance fads such as ‘The Twist’ and ‘The Loco-Motion’, the unnamed singer (sort of) tells us how to do ‘the Peanut Duck’, before devolving into sounds which wouldn’t sound out of place on an episode of Harry’s Practice. Needless to say, there are plenty of folks all around the world who want to find an answer to this mystery and understand what was going on in the recording studio as this song was made.
What happened to Green Day’s Cigarettes And Valentines?
In 2000, Green Day released their sixth album, Warning. At the time, it was their worst-performing record, so when it came to recording a follow-up record, the band were quick to get started, recording demos for the album they named Cigarettes & Valentines. However, if you’re even a casual Green Day fan, you might know that this album never eventuated.
According to the band, the demos for this album were stolen, and despite backups being made, the band felt as though they weren’t up to their usual standard. Green Day have since viewed this theft as a blessing in disguise, because they decided to refocus their efforts, recording American Idiot instead, their most successful album.
However, the question still remains, who stole the tapes and why? A 2016 interview with frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt saw the pair confirm that they had since found the tapes, and that they were planning to use segments of the tracks as part of new songs they were working on, rather than release them as originally planned. However, they declined to explain just how they reacquired the tapes in question. Maybe they just misplaced them? Whatever the case is, it seems as though only Green Day know the answer.
Who shot Bob Marley?
In 1976, two years after Bob Marley And The Wailers had broken up, the group’s leader was set to perform at the Smile Jamaica Concert, a performance that was aimed at easing political conflict between two of Jamaica’s most troublesome political groups. However, the performance almost didn’t happen, because just two days before it was supposed to take place, masked gunmen stormed Marley’s home, almost killing him, his wife, and his manager.
Marley did end up performing at the Smile Jamaica Concert, where his planned appearance of just one song turned into a 90 minute gig. However, the shooting changed Marley, and after a period of recovery he left for England, where he would continue his musical career. However, the lingering question of just who shot Bob Marley remains.
Some have speculated that the shooting may have been the work of the political parties at the centre of the social upheaval in Jamaica at the time. Considering Marley’s efforts to unite Jamaica and promote peace, it made him a rather high-profile figure, and therefore an easy target. The sad fact is that unless one of the gunmen happen to come forward, this may be one of those mysteries that will hang around for decades to come.
Who is Lou Scarrs?
In April of 2016, the Aussie music world was abuzz with a local mystery. It just so happened that a relatively famous Australian muso had joined triple j Unearthed as a solo artist, but there was a catch – no one knew who he was. Going by the name Lou Scarrs, it was revealed that he had previously played in a well-known Melbourne band who had toured internationally, playing the likes of Glastonbury and SXSW, as well as Splendour In The Grass, Big Day Out, and Golden Plains
Now, a year later, Scarrs has finally released his debut EP, What We Do. However, amazingly, despite putting his face on the front cover of his EP, his identity is still a secret, as least officially. Some fans have used a little bit of detective work to discover just who Lou Scarrs is, but for the sake of a good mystery (and to drive those who really want to know crazy), they’re keeping quiet.
Did Tool really hide a song in some merch?
In 2011, Tool released an official newsletter that claimed the existence of another hidden track called ‘Problem 8: The Reimann Hypothesis’. The newsletter stated that the track was “ingeniously hidden” on a piece of limited Tool merchandise, limited to around 30 copies. “Most people don’t even know they have it,” the newsletter said. “It’s been staring them right in the eye on a near daily basis. The reason they aren’t aware of it, is because they’d never think to play it.”
The track was apparently recorded around 1995 or 1996, so fans are pretty keen to unearth this rarity, but how do they do it? Another clue was that the media that it was hidden on is reportedly becoming obsolete. Fans have suggested reel to reel tapes, cassettes, or even promotional gold records (especially since those records very rarely contain the album they are actually commemorating), but so far, all efforts have turned up nothing.
Some fans do note that the newsletter from which this info came from was dated April 1st, and given Tool’s track record, could be a hoax. But then again, announcing something real on April Fool’s Day could just be a great trick in itself.
Who is Alanis Morrisette’s ‘You Oughta Know’ about?
Much like Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’, the subject of Alanis Morrisette’s ‘You Oughta Know’ is an enduring mystery. Countless fans have looked at the intense anger and frustration present within the Canadian muso’s breakout hit and have pondered about just who it’s all directed at.
Like Carly Simon, Alanis Morrisette has refused to divulge just who the track is about, but numerous names have been floated over the years, such as Full House’s Dave Coulier, hockey player Mike Peluso, or even Joey from Friends; Matt LeBlanc. To this day, Morrissette has played this one close to her chest, but fans are pretty hopeful that she’ll one day tell us, after all, she does say we oughta know..
What is Pink Floyd’s Publius Enigma?
In 1994, Pink Floyd released their penultimate album, The Division Bell. Years before Nine Inch Nails utilised Internet mysteries as a marketing tactic, a user called Publius appeared on an early Pink Floyd forum claiming the existence of a mystery called ‘The Publius Enigma’, with a prize promised for those who crack the case.
The only problem is, well, they never actually said what the mystery was, only that it existed. Cryptic clues followed, inviting fans to analyse lyrics, music, and artwork, while claiming that a knowledge of foreign languages and international locations would be required.
Fast forward 23 years later and no one has solved it, which, to be fair is sort of expected. After all, how can you be expected to solve a mystery when you were never exactly told what the mystery really was in the first place? Drummer Nick Mason claimed in 2005 that the mystery did exist, but it was created by the band’s record label, and not Pink Floyd. However, speculation is still rife as to if The Publius Enigma actually existed at all, or if it was just a huge marketing ploy.
What happened to Q Lazzarus?
If you’ve ever watched Silence Of The Lambs, you would be familiar with the infamous dance scene from Buffalo Bill. Therefore, you’d also be aware of the song that soundtracked that scene, the rather creepy ‘Goodbye Horses’, by Q Lazzarus. Now that you know who sang the song, you know almost as much about the musician as anyone else.
See, Q Lazzarus is so mysterious that she is only known by her given names Quiana Diana – even her surname is unknown. Born around 1965, she worked as a taxi driver in New York whilst playing music with her band The Resurrection. After ‘Goodbye Horses’ became somewhat of a cult hit, Q Lazzarus returned to The Resurrection, but following their breakup in 1996, she completely disappeared from the public eye.
There are numerous searches going on for the current whereabouts of Q Lazzarus, with some Internet sleuths discovering that she has a stack of unclaimed royalties, lending credence to the theory floated by William Garvey of The Resurrections that Q Lazzarus had passed away. With unclaimed royalties stacking up, and the fact that she hasn’t been heard from in over 20 years, we admit that this mystery could be heading in a rather unpleasant direction, but we’re doing to just hope for the best.
UPDATE 12/08/18: It turns out that Q Lazzarus is very much alive and well, and choosing to live a life out of the spotlight as a bus driver in New York.
Who originally sang Elvis’ ‘Without You’?
In June of 1954, a 19-year-old Elvis Presley took to the studio to record a track called ‘Without You’, a song with origins that can be described as murky at best. See, Sun Records producer Sam Phillips came into possession of a track titled ‘Without You’ in May of 1954, and thought it would be a good track for his new protégé Elvis Presley to sing. However, the original singer of the track has remained a mystery ever since.
Phillips maintained that he had acquired the track, sung by an unknown vocalist, from Nashville’s Peer-Southern Music company, while authors Colin Escott and Martin Hawkins state that Phillips acquired the track from the Nashville State Penitentiary, where he had been recording music with a group of inmates known as The Prisonaries, leading some to believe it was a jailed inmate with a golden voice who sang the track.
While numerous and conflicting stories exist as to how Phillips acquired the demo that Elvis would soon make famous, the question still remains just who was it exactly who sang the original track? In recent years and months, dedicated Elvis fans have announced they feel they are getting closer to solving what they have dubbed “the last mystery” of Elvis, but they’re yet to discover any concrete information. Here’s hoping that this is one nut they’re about to crack.
What was the message in Radiohead’s ‘Just’ video?
Alright, some of these have been a bit more serious than you probably expected when you chose to check out an article like this, so let’s end this one on a light-hearted note. Do you remember Radiohead’s 1995 album The Bends? Of course you do, it was the one that had ‘My Iron Lung’, ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, and ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’ on it. It also had ‘Just’, the single with the infamously-frustrating music video.
The video for ‘Just’ features a crowd of people milling around a man who is lying on the ground for an unknown reason. Despite being asked repeatedly by onlookers why he is doing so, the man refuses to answer, maintaining that passers-by won’t be able to handle the answer.
Eventually, the man relents and tells the crowd his reason, though the secret is kept hidden from the viewer. Moments later, everyone who heard the reason is then laid out on the ground like the first man. While it would be easy to assume there is no answer, and it was just done to mess with us, there’s usually a method to Radiohead’s madness, so we’re going to assume there’s some huge conspiracy behind the track, and that Radiohead are hiding something huge from us.