Satan, Schmatan

You can stop worrying about backward messages hidden in popular songs — they’re totally passe now. Examples:

  • “Congratulations. You’ve just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfont.” (Pink Floyd, “Empty Spaces”)
  • “Anyone who is stupid enough to play this record backwards deserves what he is about to hear.” (Bloodrock, “Gotta Find a Way”)
  • “Obey your parents. Do your homework. Winners don’t do drugs.” (Information Society, “Are Friends Electric?”)
  • “Time is important. You are wasting it by backmasking this song. You want me to say something about the devil or something? Okay — lalalalalalalala Satan.” (K&H, “Dusty Road”)
  • “Wow, you must have an awful lot of free time on your hands.” (“Weird Al” Yankovic, “I Remember Larry”)
  • “Devil shall wake up and eat Chef Boyardee Beefaroni.” (The Bloodhound Gang, “Lift Your Head Up High”)
  • “I buried my parakeet in the backyard. Oh no, you’re playing the record backwards. Watch out, you might ruin your needle.” (The B-52s, “Detour Through Your Mind”)

Maybe that’s for the best; those congressional witch hunts were getting kind of scary. Saint Teresa of Avila said, “I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him.”

Platinum Plus

All-time best-selling music artists:

  • The Beatles (about 1 billion albums sold)
  • Elvis Presley (500 million)
  • ABBA (350 million)
  • Led Zeppelin (320 million)
  • Alla Pugacheva (250 million)
  • Cliff Richard (260 million)
  • Julio Iglesias (250 million)
  • Nana Mouskouri (250 million)
  • Madonna (250 million)
  • Michael Jackson (250 million)

Alla Pugacheva is a Russian popular singer active since 1965. Greece’s Nana Mouskouri has been singing even longer — since 1961. Her French record company recently released a box set of 34 CDs.

Red Alert

Next time you visit the circus, if the band starts playing “Stars and Stripes Forever” — run. The hymn is known as the “disaster march”; it’s played during a life-threatening emergency to organize aid and evacuate the audience without panic.

Circus bands never play it under any other circumstances.

Vegetarian Actors

Vegetarian actors:

  • Pamela Anderson
  • Christian Bale
  • John Cleese
  • Richard Gere
  • Darryl Hannah
  • Woody Harrelson
  • Josh Hartnett
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Tobey Maguire
  • Ian McKellen
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Natalie Portman
  • Hilary Swank

“I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals,” says A. Whitney Brown. “I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants.”

Awkward Moments

Songs deemed inappropriate by Clear Channel Broadcasting following the 9/11 attacks:

  • The Animals – “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”
  • Louis Armstrong – “What A Wonderful World”
  • The Bangles – “Walk Like An Egyptian”
  • Pat Benatar – “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
  • Filter – “Hey Man, Nice Shot”
  • Fuel – “Bad Day”
  • Gap Band – “You Dropped A Bomb On Me”
  • Godsmack – “Bad Religion”
  • Alanis Morissette – “Ironic”
  • The Surfaris – “Wipeout”
  • Tool – “Intolerance”

CCB also flagged Maureen McGovern’s “We May Never Love Like This Again” … because it was featured in the movie The Towering Inferno.