Trivia

20 TRIVIAL THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SWAGGER & THE BLUE AEROPLANES

• There have been 48 Blue Aeroplanes.

•Swagger was Gil Norton’s first production after the Pixies “Doolittle”.

•The idea for Swagger’s cover originated from the St Martin’s College Of Art graduate year-book entry by Freddie Robins, now couturier to the stars.

The name Blue Aeroplanes comes from the Polish “Niebieske Samoloty” which was originally going to be the name of Wojtek’s brother’s band.

•At their Mean Fiddler gig in 1996, the Aeroplanes encored with the Sex Pistols’ New York, with lead vocals by Paul Kaye in his persona as Dennis Pennis.

•For several months, visitors to Michael Stipe’s house in Athens, Georgia, were given a choice of Swagger or Bulgarian folk music. According to Peter Buck, Swagger got played “a lot”.

•The Aeroplanes are applying to the Guinness Book Of World Records for the greatest number of siblings in one rock band (12).

•Swagger reached 54 in the UK National Chart and was also Top 10 in the US Rolling Stone Alternative Chart.

•The video for Jacket Hangs was directed by Hugh Thomson, producer/director of the TV series Dancing In The Street. He is now an explorer, mainly to the Amazon.

•Ex-Aeroplanes have found gainful employment with Massive Attack, Primal Scream, Suede, The Mekons, Robyn Hitchcock, Josh Rouse, Witness, The Oyster Band, Boo Hewerdine, Lupine Howl, Strangelove, Placebo and Busted.

•At the time Swagger was recorded, Rodney Allen was 20 and Alex Lee was 18.

•Steve Lamacq introduced Jacket Hangs on Radio 1 in 2002 as having “the best opening line in rock history”.

•Jacket Hangs is the only song never to have been dropped from an Aeroplanes set.

•”Swagger” was Rock Album of the year in the Times, the Sunday Times and the Independent On Sunday. It also racked up 6 singles of the week between “Jacket Hangs” and “…And Stones”.

•Swagger promo cassettes didn’t include composer credits. No one noticed that the words to The Applicant were written by Sylvia Plath rather than by Gerard.

•”Altitude” was the band’s 9th studio album, not including compilations, and the first to contain a track recorded entirely on Walkman cassette recorders.

•The Aeroplanes demo which secured them their major label deal consisted of 5 new songs recorded as a desk tape at a charity gig at Bristol’s Colston Hall. Ensign were the only label not to ask the band to re-record the demo.

•The album Cavaliers (ArtStar, 2000) was an early out-take from Altitude. It was meant to be an 11-minute Who-style mini-opera but turned out to be 26 minutes long and was therefore released separately.

•The Aeroplanes were rejected by BBC 2’s The Late Show, home to Germaine Greer, Tom Paulin et al, for being “too arty”. They were never given a John Peel session, apparently for being “too rock & roll”.

•In spite of being (by record sales and concert tickets) Bristol’s 4th biggest band behind Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky, they were not included in the only book so far written on the history of Bristol music.