As Ben Folds prepares for his Paper Airplane Request Tour, there are a lot of interesting facts to discuss when it comes to the award-winning performer and producer. His career has spanned decades and countless stories both on and off stage. Before music fans head out to see Folds in concert AXS has compiled this short list of five facts you may not know about Ben Folds:
2018 will mark Ben Folds' third decade in the music business. He played his first gig in a Duke University Battle of the Bands in 1988, as the co-founder and bassist of a band called Majosha. It's probably not surprising that they won that Battle of the Bands, perhaps foreshadowing Folds' future success in the music industry. Their first EP came out that same year with the conspicuous title Party Night: Five Songs About Jesus. None of the songs on the EP were actually about Jesus, perhaps foreshadowing Folds' quirky sense of humor.
Ben Folds earned a scholarship from the University of Miami to attend their Frost School of Music, but it wasn't for the piano work that he's now become known for. It was a percussion scholarship. Folds didn't graduate; instead he quit school just one credit shy of getting his degree. However, he was named an honorary fraternity brother at the University of Miami in 2015.
Folds appeared in an episode of the outrageously over the top animated talk show parody "Space Ghost Coast to Coast" in 1996. In the episode, which is available online, he claimed to be the show's bandleader Zorak, who happens to be a diabolical preying mantis. Like most things in most episodes of "Space Ghost" this didn't work out well but it was hilarious.
Music fans wouldn't expect people to be fighting at a Ben Folds concert, much less one with a symphony orchestra. But that's what happened in 2011 when Folds joined forces with the Boston Pops. Per MSNBC, a scuffle broke out at the show. Folds hadn't actually taken the stage when the fight started, so he was just fine, but that's not something you see at an orchestra concert very often. Folds has also played with the likes of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony and Sydney Symphony without incident.
Throwing stuff isn't just for rock musicians. One of Ben Folds' traditions while on tour is to throw his stool at his piano. A couple of such moments have been captured by fans on YouTube. If you go to see him on tour this fall, just remember to brace yourself for the inevitable flying piece of furniture. At least he's not lighting the piano on fire.
Below are Ben Folds' upcoming tour dates:
Sept. 19 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre (Click here for tickets)
Sept. 24 - Los Angeles, CA - The Theatre at Ace Hotel (Click here for tickets)
Oct. 19 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre (Click here for tickets)
Nov. 10 - Jacksonville, FL - Florida Theatre (Click here for tickets)
Nov. 11 - Tampa, FL - Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz Jr. Center (Click here for tickets)
Nov. 12 - Miami, FL - Olympia Theater at Gusman Center (Click here for tickets)
For more on Ben Folds, visit his artist page at AXS.