Many rock stars spend a lot of time in the recording studio. It’s like a second home where they have complete control to turn their artistic vision into reality. But all work and no play makes for dull musicians, so it makes sense that sometimes the party spills over into the live room floor! Rock ’n’ roll is filled with debaucherous myths and urban legends, many of which take place while the red recording light is on and the tapes are rolling. The craziest part? A lot of them are true! Read on to read our very favorite tales of rock stars gettin’ it on while laying it down! Some of these exploits are totally true. Listen to the records for proof! Other stories, well…details are a little more sketchy. But myth or fact, they’re still entertaining! Head down below for lots more…
10. Axl Rose Records Sex With His Drummer’s Girlfriend For “Rocket Queen”
The Guns N’ Roses’ front-man decided that their 1987 debut Appetite For Destruction needed to end with a bang…Literally. So he invited 19-year-old stripper Adriana Smith down to a New York recording studio, entered the vocal booth and asked technicians to record the pair hooking up. “We wound up recording about 30 minutes of sex noises,” engineer Steve Thompson told Spin in 1999. “If you listen to the break on “Rocket Queen” it’s in there.” Apparently they got pretty into it, crashing into all sorts of recording equipment set up to capture the moment. At one point, a poor assistant had to run into the booth to fix a mic!
In case this story isn’t depraved enough for you, it turns out that Smith was drummer Steven Adler’s girlfriend! She was angry at him for cheating on her, and decided to get even in an extremely public way. When Adler heard the song and identified the intimate sounds coming out of the speakers, he began predictably “f–king freaked out,” but in the end Smith felt pretty bad about the whole thing. “I ended up drinking and using drugs over this for a really long time, because I had this extreme shame and guilt and stuff.”
9. Court Documents Claim Lady Gaga Got It On In The Studio
In October 2011, a woman named Wendy Starlight filed a lawsuit against Mother Monster and her former producer/boyfriend Rob Fusari. The legal aspects are fairly boring, but court documents show that Starlight has quite a lot to say regarding Gaga’s personal life. According to reports, the singer openly admitted to sleeping with Fusari on the studio floor!
“Stefani just said, you know, we’re having sex at the studio so I don’t know if you want to be there for that,” she says in the deposition, referring to Gaga’s real name, Stefani Germanotta. “She never told me not to come. She just told me what was happening, and I came to my own conclusions that I would prefer not to watch.” Probably a wise move.
8. Jim Morrison’s Unique Vocal Exercises For “You’re Lost Little Girl”
The Lizard King is known for being a shouter (on records), but he wanted to take a gentle approach while recording this delicate track for their sophomore album Strange Days in 1967. He idolized the crooning vocal stylings of Frank Sinatra, and tried mightily to replicate the soft approach. But try as he might, it just wasn’t happening. That’s when his girlfriend Pamela Courson decided to try an unorthodox technique. According to keyboard player Ray Manzarek’s autobiography Light My Fire, she quietly padded into the studio and gave Jim oral sex in the middle of a take. We’re not sure what vocal teachers would say, but Jim nailed the part!
7. Biggie Smalls Gets “Respect,” Oral Sex, On Ready To Die
The slurpy-sounding skit at the end of “Respect” has been confusing (and grossing out) rap fans for a decade. Was it real? Was it just fake? The debate raged on long after Biggie’s untimely death in 1997. It wasn’t until 2009 that Huffington Post journalist Barry Michael Cooper had the chance to ask Diddy (who produced the record) to settle the argument once and for all. “Yeah,” he admitted with a laugh. “These are questions that nobody’s ever asked, and I think Big would be alright with it.”
6. Serge Gainsbourg Records Takes Screen Legend Brigitte Bardot On A Studio Date Night
The Paris Pop composer is known for courting controversy (check the duet with his 14-year-old daughter called “Lemon Incest”), but wrote the erotic “Je T’Aime….Moi Non Plus” as “the ultimate love song” for his then-girlfriend, early ’60s blonde bombshell Brigitte Bardot. The original recording took place in 1967 over a two hour session in a Parisian studio, where the pair were jammed into a cramped glass booth. The glass soon got a lil’ steamy and recording engineer William Flageollet described what he referred to as “heavy petting.” Eww.
Reports of the song immediately hit the press, who dubbed it an “audio verite” recording (which we read as “real sex sounds”) featuring “groans, sighs, and Bardot’s little cries of pleasure….[giving] the impression you’re listening to two people making love.” The news made it’s way all the way to Bardot’s estranged husband (of course she was married!), the German businessman Gunter Sachs. He furiously demanded that the single be withdrawn, and Gainsbourg relented after an emotional letter from Bardot herself. Gainsbourg, for his part, was heartbroken. “The music is very pure,” he lamented. “For the first time in my life, I write a love song and it’s taken badly.”
He rerecorded the song in 1969 with another girlfriend, the English actress Jane Birkin, and it was released to much shock, outrage and success. Despite the fact that it was banned from the radio in Spain, Sweden, Brazil, the UK, Italy,Poland, and Portugal (and unofficially in the US), it went on to become a modern classic. Bardot later regretted that her version was shelved, and finally allowed Gainsbourg to release it in 1986.
5. Prince And Kim Basinger Get Sticky
Back in the ’80s, Prince harbored not-so-secret ambitions to be a star-maker, supplying gooey pop songs to gorgeous ladies. And they didn’t always have to be singers! Case in point: this unlikely collaboration with film starlet Kim Basinger (his rumored girlfriend) in 1989. The Purple One recorded an EP entitled The Scandalous Suite, which was a 20 minute expansion of his song “Scandalous” from the Batman film soundtrack. Kim’s vocal contributions primarily consisted of orgasmic moans, leading many to speculate that the pair really partying like it was 1999 in the recording booth.
According to studio lore, Prince and Kim showed up to record one day with a jar of honey, and told the everyone else to get lost. The pair were done for the day by the time the tape engineers returned, but the entire mixing board was smeared with honey…Early editions of the EP did indeed come with a collectible jar of honey, allegedly to commemorate the sticky occasion. But who knows, maybe the honey was just there to soothe her throat. Or maybe it was something a little more frisky. Whatever the case, this one went down into rock legend.
4. The Beach Boys Hide An “X-Rated Surprise” On “All I Want To Do”
Drummer Dennis Wilson was the true heart, soul, and (according to most) the balls of America’s band. The only member of the group who actually surfed, his daredevil spirit was matched only by his intense sexual appetite. So when you put those two together, it makes total sense that he’d try to sneak a little smut onto the formerly squeaky-clean group’s 1969 album, 20/20. If you crank the volume on the fade-out of this raucous track, you can hear what sounds suspiciously like sex noises and screams.
At first we thought it was just our dirty imagination, but the band’s day-to-day activity book seems to confirm it! The entry for November 12th 1968 reads: “The group work on ’All I Want To Do,’ in particular the song’s tag. For this, Dennis enlists the help of a female friend who is recorded having sexual intercourse with the drummer in the studio. This sound effect is layered onto the fate-out of the song’s final mix, and is just about audible on the released version.” Even the album’s liner notes boast of an “X rated surprise.” Mystery solved!
3. Did Rihanna And Chris Brown Rekindle Their Flame On The Studio Floor?
Rihanna raised a lot of eyebrows when she teamed up with her notorious ex-boyfriend Chris Brown on the suggestive “Birthday Cake (Remix)” in February 2012. But folks got really hot and bothered that fall when rumors began to swirl that the two went all the way in the studio. According to a report, the pair were recording a dance track, but they couldn’t get the romantic moans quiiiiiite right. So to make for a better working atmosphere, the two artists allegedly asked everyone to clear out except for the engineer, and begin to have actual sex for bonus authenticity.
More reports surfaced a few weeks later, with one of Brown’s friends spilling to Hollywood Life. “Her bodyguards leave the room and it will be just Chris and Rihanna together, listening to her s–t and whatnot. They are both musicians, so I guess the studio for them is like their house. They like f–king around and f–king on each other in the studio more than they do at his place or her pad. That’s my n—a and I know how he gets down and I know how she is, so you can just imagine what they got into. It’s like you can’t keep these two nymphomaniacs off each other. It’s crazy but it’s real.”
Considering that we’ve yet to hear the fruits of their labors, as well as the questionable anonymous sources, we’re going to rate this one “R” for rumor.
2. Jessica Vale Turns Sex Into A Techno Beat On “Disco Libido”
A slightly more obscure example, but impressive nonetheless! In 2005 the self-described “dark rocker” released her debut record The Sex Album, which had her singing along with backing tracks entirely made up of manipulated sex sounds! Listen to the song again; apparently everything you’re hearing (aside from her vocals) are actually the sounds of people gettin’ it on. Weird? Disturbing? Creative? All of the above.
Vale combed New York City clubs to find seven willing couples to participate, and even got in on the act herself…”I think by now we all know where the microphones went,” she laughed later. The single “Disco Libido” debuted at Number 37 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. “People have gotten over the fact that it’s made out of sex,” she told the New York Post at the time. “Now they can just listen to music and move on.” We’re going to have a hard time moving on from that.
1. Donna Summer: Queen of Disco, Queen of Orgasms
We couldn’t do a list like this without mentioning Dorchester’s favorite daughter. Ms. Summer was notorious for making some seriously epic orgasmic groans during her ’70s heyday, including “I Feel Love” and a cover of the aforementioned “Je T’Aime…Moi Non Plus.” But her real claim to fame is 1975’s lengthy “Love To Love You Baby.” Clocking in at an incredible 16 minutes and 50 seconds, the lyrics consist nearly entirely of her seductively chanting the song’s title, before groaning in a state of ecstasy (or possibly indigestion). The BBC counted an amazing 23 orgasms on the track, which they promptly banned from the radio. Obviously people assumed that something HAD to be going on during the recording.
But spoiler alert: there wasn’t! Or so she claimed. In interviews throughout her career, Donna maintained that she was merely channeling her inner Marilyn Monroe when the lights were dimmed and she was wrything around on the studio floor.”Everyone’s asking, ’Were you alone in the studio?’ Yes, I was alone in the studio,” she said during an interview in 1976. “’Did you touch yourself?’ Yes, well, actually I had my hand on my knee. ’Did you fantasize on anything?’ Yes, on my handsome boyfriend Peter.”
So it’s official: The ONE song you expected to be authentic is actually really innocent! Kind of…
Honorable Mention: John Lennon Wheels A Bed Into The Studio For Yoko Ono
While the Beatles were recording 1969’s Abbey Road, John Lennon had a double bed delivered from Harrods’ department store and set up on the EMI Studio 2 floor. The Lennon and Yoko Ono had recently been involved in a nasty car accident while vacationing in Scotland, and John wanted his beloved wife by his side to recuperate while he worked. “She and John would occasionally snuggle in there,” reveals tape operator Alan Parsons. “I don’t think there was any serious hanky-panky going on, but they would be side by side, like they would be in a hotel room… [But] it wasn’t our place to comment.”
[Photo: Getty Images/Bad Boy Records]