It’s pretty easy to hoax people. We all want to be deceived, but only up to a point. Some hoaxes are fun and pleasant, others malicious and unpleasant. We’d like a way to tell the difference (Robert Carroll).

Jun 5, 2011

Platinum Weird – the greatest band that never existed

Platinum Weird is a musical collaboration formed in 2004 between Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and Kara DioGuardi (American Idol judge). It is also the subject of an elaborate hoax placing the band in 1974, including a half hour mockumentary produced for television network VH1 and a series of bogus World Wide Web fan sites and related false documents for the “lost” group.

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How was it? Simply, Dave and Kara got together to write some songs for the Pussycat Dolls. Somehow, it resulted in songs that sounded like Fleetwood Mac. You can see how two wouldn’t exactly mesh. Instead of scrapping the whole thing, Interscope Records chairman Jimmy Iovine told them to forge ahead with what they were doing. This involved creating a band to go with the songs and a making a whole backstory about what the band did in the ‘70s and how they eventually collapsed. A bunch of artists were in on the joke as well, recording clips reminiscing about the greatness of Platinum Weird. Contributors included Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger, Stevie Nicks and Christina Aguilera. When Rock Legends, a Behind the Music-type show, appeared on VH1, the network came clean about the band’s origins (or lack thereof).

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The created backstory is that in 1973, Dave Stewart formed a band called Platinum Weird in North London with his female songwriting partner, muse and soul mate, Erin Grace. The pair originally met a few months earlier and formed a creative and spiritual bond. Their debut gig was at Mick Jagger’s birthday party where they quickly enjoyed a cult-like status performing at intimate gigs in London’s rock club circuit. Elton John’s Rocket label decided to sign them. Says Stewart: “Platinum Weird formed at the end of 1973 and only lasted until the end of 1974. I was still meant to be in the band Longdancer – signed to Rocket Records – but I met Erin and decided to form a band with her. I played Elton John ‘Platinum Weird’ songs secretly on a cassette, and he agreed that it would be a good idea for me to hook up with Erin instead of Longdancer, and eventually signed Platinum Weird.” Erin’s behavior during the making of the album was unpredictable and eccentric and then disappeared.

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