I’ve never understood the point of April Fool’s Day. How did it ever become socially acceptable to for it to be open season on the inattentive, the unaware and the gullible once a year?
Many rock bands get into the spirit of things, taking the opportunity to punk both fans and the media.
Among the best (worst?) is Tool. Back in 1997, an announcement flashed around the world that members of the band had been killed in a tour bus crash in Australia. Media outlets—including MTV—ran with the story until they realized what date it was. In 1999, rumours appeared about two new singles from the band: “Anagram” and “Floorpail.” Those who spent the day searching for these songs didn’t notice that “Floorpail” is an anagram for “April Fool.” MTV got burned again in 2005 when singer Maynard James Keenan announced he had found Jesus and was leaving the group to pursue a career in religion.
And Tool is far from alone. On April 1, 2010, Coldplay announced that, like Britney, they were getting into the fragrance game, releasing a perfume called Angst which was available in a bottle designed by producer Brian Eno. Strangely, it “sold out” through Coldplay’s online store before anyone could make a purchase.
Metallica and Megadeth fans freaked out on April 1, 2009, when an online story insisted both Dave Mustaine and Jason Newsted would soon be rejoining Metallica in a massive example of letting bygones be bygones. The non-metal equivalent would be Jennifer Aniston accepting an invitation to move in with Brad and Angelina. Yet a number of metalheads for it.
That same day, Trent Reznor appeared to announce he was making a brand new album available. Strobe Light, allegedly produced by Timbaland, was offered for sale on the official Nine Inch Nails website. The download (which required $18.98 and a $10 “digital delivery convenience fee”) would “arrive as Windows Media files playable on quite a few players with your name embedded all over them in case you lose them….Your email will be kept confidential and will not be used for spam, unless we can make some money selling it.” One song, “Even Closer,” promised vocals from Justin Timberlake and the aforementioned Maynard James Keenan. Some fans didn’t see the gag.
Let’s be careful out there today.