Most would assume that the man who began making some of the finest and most famous guitars in the world was either a prodigy himself or extremely skilled, yet the complete opposite is true! Leo Fender began the company that produces the most popular guitar in the world, yet he was certainly no musician; he was an engineer.
In fact, he did not even know how to tune a guitar. Perhaps for this reason Fender set the standard for what an electric guitar should be and made some of the finest on the market. He looked less at the musical aspect and more at the mechanics of what made someone able to play a guitar and how to make it sound better. For his work, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 without playing an instrument!
George Lazenby is perhaps the least recognizable of the men who have inhabited the role of James Bond, yet his performance in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is still one of the most beloved by fans. Lazenby only starred in the one film, yet his back story of how he got the part is entirely James Bond! Lazenby says that he first dreamed of playing Bond after taking a girl to see Dr. No and not getting lucky after. It was then that he decided he would be the next person to play the role.
He got his hair cut at Sean Connery’s barber, bought one of Connery’s old suits, got a Rolex, and then snuck past the secretary at the auditions. Once he was in the room with the producers he told them that he had acted all over the world, from Hong Kong to Germany.
He was so convincing they bought it and cast a random man as one of the most recognizable names of the time! It was only when meeting the director that Lazenby admitted he had no idea what he was doing, but by that time they were so impressed that he had fooled them they gave him the part anyway!
A female spy pulled off one of the greatest tricks in history during the Civil War! Wanna know what it was?
Sarah Edmonds is nearly forgotten by history, yet the deed she accomplished is no less impressive. Working for the Union Army in 1862, Edmonds was sent on a spying mission in the South. She disguised herself as a black man and pretended to need work building fortifications. After three days working, she escaped back to the North with information.
Her colonel was so impressed that he sent her back a couple of months later as an Irishman. While there, she killed several Confederate spies and once again escaped North. It was only when she met with Ulysses S. Grant that she developed malaria and was forced to flee in fear of being discovered as a woman. So why was this so epic?
First of all, Edmonds tricked the Union Army into believing she was a man. She was then sent behind enemy lines, where having any skin color other than white put a massive target on your back should you even speak out of line, disguised as a black man. After stealing valuable information, she escaped back to the North, only to be sent south again disguised as a different person! Edmonds was honored for her service and lived to the age of 57.
The iconic scene where James Bond walks out into the middle of screen is observed from the barrel of a gun. The “gun barrel sequence” is featured in nearly every James Bond film and is one of the most recognizable aspects of James Bond, along with the theme song. While the scene has become extremely famous, most people do not know that it is filmed with an actual gun!
In 1962, Maurice Binder first thought of the idea and made efforts to have it filmed, yet ran into a small problem. He planned to use a camera aimed down the barrel of a .38 caliber gun, yet this caused some problems and he could not focus the lens. Instead he created a pinhole camera, making the barrel crystal clear! Another interesting aspect of the scene is the white dots, which were actually just white price tags that Binder had lying around and thought would look good for Bond to walk through!
Drapetomania was described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 as the mental illness which causes black slaves to flee captivity. He claimed that the disorder was the result of white owners treating their slaves as equals, which in turn caused the slave to not fulfill his or her duty. The treatment for symptoms were to simply never treat slaves like equals, and to speak to them more like children than adults.
If a slave truly suffered from drapetomania, the “cure” was the removal of the big toes. Cartwright’s article was widely dispersed in the South, yet even at the time was known to be flawed and widely mocked throughout the North.