The joys of a music quiz

Published June 17, 2011

If you’ve got your head chock-full of information about pop music history there might be worse ways of making use of them than to enter into a pop music quiz. About four years ago I had the opportunity to do exactly that, when I joined a pre-existing team attending the monthly quiz at Pet Sounds Bar here in Stockholm. I already knew that I had a lot of knowledge about music, at least certain periods and genres, but it took a music quiz for me to realise the full extent of the trivia harboured within this little brain of mine.

About a month ago our team, Mårten & The Slappers (don’t ask me about the name; it was coined before I joined the team, but I understand there was something, ahem, dirty about it), scored our sixth victory. We did this in part because of the following:

I recognised Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Save Me A Place’ and knew that it was released in 1979. Likewise Cruel To Be Kind by Nick Lowe.

I was familiar with the doo-wop group The Flamingos and their hit version of ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’. Likewise ‘Fire’ by the Ohio Players, ‘Blackberry Way’ by The Move, ‘Telstar’ by The Tornados, ‘The Seventh Seal’ by Scott Walker and ‘Fire’ by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown.

I was aware that Jimmy Ruffin of ‘What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted’ fame was the brother of The Temptation’s David Ruffin.

I knew that Marvin Lee Aday, Brian Warner, Reginald Kenneth Dwight and LaDonna Andrea Gaines are the real names of Meat Loaf, Marilyn Manson, Elton John and Donna Summer, respectively.

To name but a few questions (these quizzes, and consequently the nights spent attending them, go on for many hours). The other team members contributed their knowledge, of course, all of which added up to a victory. Because of our triumph, it’s our turn to host the next quiz. Fortunately, there is a summer break, so we have until September to get it all together.

Earlier this week the team held a little quiz conference at Casa Palm, where flush-cheeked team members tried out their themed threads on the others, while rosé wine was imbibed and the discussions on exactly how many questions would be feasible for a manageable quiz got increasingly heated. At the end of the night, however, I think we had achieved some results and everybody went home to do their homework and tweak their questions a little.

It’s all good fun – most of the time – so if you’re sitting at home with a lot of knowledge about music history that you don’t know exactly what to do with, why don’t you try to find out if there’s a suitable quiz situation at some pub or other in your home town? You might even make some new friends, like I have done.


My visage on a night when our team failed to win the music quiz? No, the sleeve of King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King album, the identification of which helped our team score our latest victory.