I love a fun fact, and I’ve got loads about the festive season – and now it is, inescapably, just over the top of this coming weekend. I have been astonishing Mr RLC Words with this same Christmas trivia every year we’ve been together; but now that we’re celebrating Christmas No 17, his fascination appears to be wearing off. So I thought I’d share my facts here, so you in turn can fascinate your friends and loved ones throughout the Christmas season, and for many years to come!
Merry Xmas Everybody – in August
The anticipation of family arriving, sledging in the snow and alcohol-soaked relatives dancing the night away – all the classic Christmas scenes are described in Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody, which for many is the ultimate Christmas song. It was recorded in August, in the middle of a New York heatwave, in the hallway of the skyscraper recording studio – better acoustics, apparently!
This giant of the Christmas hit parade was released in 1973, and beat another Christmas classic to the top spot: Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day. Read on for more Wizzardry Christmas trivia…
No money for that famous kids’ chorus!
This is surely one of the greatest travesties of child financial exploitation in the entertainment business. Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day may embody the wish of every child, but sadly the young chorus who appear so prominently throughout the song didn’t exactly reap the rewards of the song’s perennial success (and royalties). They were instead each paid in a burger, a banana split, a Wizzard album and a badge that said, ‘I’m busting for a Wizz’. Hm.
Slade vs Wizzard Custard Pie Fight
This terrific fact came not from my memory, but from my research to check the accuracy of my brain, and I found it in a brilliant online article about the story of the Wizzard song.
“Bill Hunt (of Wizzard): Of course, Slade got the Christmas No 1 and we were No 2, but when we did it on Top Of The Pops there was a staged custard pie fight. While Slade were on, one of our drummers sneaked into the audience and hit Noddy full in the face with one. If you see the video, you’ll notice that Noddy doesn’t appear again after that, so we got our own back for not being No 1.”
Here’s the full article, if you’d like a read: https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2011/dec/20/wizzard-christmas-every-day-rocks-backpages
Home Alone 2 – the Culkin Coup
Another tale of a chid being woefully underpaid, but this time, good triumphs over evil. For the first film in the Home Alone franchise, little Macaulay Culkin was only paid $100,000 – peanuts, really, in that industry and for a leading role in a Chris Columbus film. When it became the highest-grossing film of the year, he (and presumably his family, agent, and anyone else who sought to make a buck from the little chap) negotiated a rather better rate of $4.5m. I’d love to know what he got for that Google advert last year…
And John Candy improvised all of his lines for that film. Just love that one.
I’ve got so much more, but didn’t like to go on about it – please, tell me your Christmas trivia too! I’d love to give Mr RLC Words something new – he deserves a break…