The world of entertainment is riddled with questions that you're supposed to know the answer to. You can't ask, in case you appear to be behind the times. As a result, seemingly unusual things can be allowed to pass without further enquiry just because it sometimes might feel rude or naive to bring it up.
Luckily for you, here are 10 of music's burning questions - some more serious than others - answered in full:
1. Why does Gregory Porter wear a balaclava?
Gregory Porter is an exceptional singer (as evidenced here at Radio 2's Live in Hyde Park), with a unique sense of style. His trademark is that flat cap which has been altered with the addition of a balaclava in sheer material. This may be a style choice now, but it came out of medical necessity originally, as he told Jazzweekly in 2012: "I've had some surgery on my skin, so this has been my look for a little while and will continue to be for awhile longer. People recognize me by it now. It is what it is."
2. How do you pronounce Bowie?
That this is still a topic of debate - it's the "scone or scone" of music fandom - says more about the way we learn how to pronounce words from reading them than it does about David Bowie the rock icon. His stage name is pronounced "Boh-wee", to rhyme with doughy or Joey. Anyone who pronounces it "Bow-ee", to rhyme with Howie or Towie, is wrong.
This is true even if you get confused by the name of his son Zowie Bowie (now Duncan Jones), because in that case Zowie is pronounced like the girl's name Zoe, and not the more expressive Zow-ee. Having said that, Jim Bowie, inventor of the Bowie knife - a tool David Bowie claimed to have been inspired by as it "cuts both ways" - pronounced his surname Boo-ee. Because sometimes life isn't confusing enough.
3. Why won't Sia show her face in public?
This interview with Jo Whiley is remarkable for several reasons, most notably because of the frank and honest way with which Sia discusses the various issues that led her to give up her dreams of pop stardom and write songs for other people. She details a lethal-sounding mix of ill health (physically and mentally) and substance addiction. But having put out an album of her leftover songs simply to bring her contract to an end, she suddenly found herself an extremely famous pop star, after covering her face with a wig in order to protect herself from becoming ill again.
"It turned out the only corner of the market that nobody had commandeered was mystery," she says, with great insight. "This mystery turned me into an overnight pop sensation!"
4. What is John Deacon from Queen doing these days?
John Deacon (the one on the right in the above picture) was more than just the bass player in Queen; he was an integral part of their songwriting team, coming up with some of the band's biggest hits, including Another One Bites the Dust and I Want To Break Free. His decision to leave the music business after the 1991 tribute concert to Freddie Mercury is a rare example of a rock star wishing to disappear from the public eye. Rarer still, he succeeded. He still does Queen's finances, apparently, but has otherwise turned his back on public life.
In the above interview with Radcliffe and Maconie, Brian May says that the door is always open: "[John] has a choice, he's exercised his right to opt out. He's in approval of what we do, and we have that from him the whole time. He just doesn’t want to be out there. He doesn't feel able to cope with the pressure. I think it’s right, and proper, that he can make that choice. It’s a shame. I mean, we do miss him a lot. But that’s the way he wants it."
So ultimately the answer to this question is... none of your business.
5. What happened to Fetty Wap's eye?
On a similarly tactful note to Gregory Porter, asking Fetty Wap directly about his left eye, which is, shall we say, visibly far less effective than his right, is one of those matters of etiquette they don't teach in finishing school. So, rather than indulge internet rumours about gunshot wounds, here's his version of events, as told to DJ Self from New York's Power FM: "What happened is, when I was little I had gotten into a little accident and it gave me congenital glaucoma in both of my eyes. The doctor saved one, I was blessed to still have my vision. That's it. That's the story... I tell everybody it's nothing, because it's really nothing to me."
6. What did Andrew Ridgley do in Wham!?
This is more complex than you may think. When George Michael met Andrew Ridgeley at school, only one of them was a genuine pop star in the making, and it wasn't George. Andrew - cool, driven and a natural tastemaker - encouraged his new friend to express himself, to realise his true talents, to make himself cool. He smartened George up and prepared him for stardom. And all through Wham!'s career, it was Andrew who spurred George on to achieve bigger and better things, without actually taking a particularly strong hand in the music itself. He may have played guitar on some songs, but that's not the point. By holding George to a high standard he was effectively George Michael before George Michael was George Michael. Then the real (and emboldened) George Michael took over and Andrew had to find something else to do.
And if none of that seems a convincing reason to have him in the band, he also co-wrote Careless Whisper, George's first solo hit.
7. How many ex-boyfriends has Taylor Swift written songs about?
As this news report from the Radio 1 Breakfast Show makes clear, everyone expects Taylor Swift to pour her romantic life into her work. To not just kiss and tell, but to kiss, tell, and then musically scold her ex-boyfriends too, whether it's the high school boyfriend whose infidelity inspired both Should've Said No and Picture To Burn, or Jake Gyllenhaal, about whom she is rumoured to have written both All Too Well and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. And State of Grace. And Girl at Home. And The Moment I Knew.
According to Taylor Swift wikia (who should know), she has written songs about nine actual boyfriends, one unrequited crush she had, one unrequited crush someone had on her, and one song - Better than Revenge - about her ex-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend.
8. Who has the least googleable band name in music?
Search engines are devilishly clever these days, perfectly able to deal with supposedly ungooglable band names like The The or James. However, there are still a few that slip through the (inter)net. Love these bands or hate them, you'd be hard pressed to find out a damn thing about them from their name alone (unless, of course, you put "band" in the search engine too, that usually does the trick).
But the winners must surely be !!!, the band who had to rename themselves !!! (Chk Chk Chk) in order to get any kind of web response (and, not incidentally, to help DJs explain to their listeners exactly who they were listening to).
9. Has something happened to Keith Richards' fingers?
From a musical and medical perspective, Keith Richards' fingers are fascinating to look at these days. Although just one of the fingertips on his right hand was disfigured when it was smashed by a paving slab as a child - as detailed in his autobiography Life - the top joint of every finger is now swollen and bulbous, because he has osteoarthritis. Those lumps are spurs of bone called Hebden's nodes.
The good news for fans is they're unlikely to slow him down too much, being more of a mechanical than painfully restrictive affliction. In a 2006 TV interview he confirmed he has "a little bit of it, yeah, but it don't hurt. It still works," putting the development of bone nodules down to his guitar technique: "I hit that thing hard, y'know?"
10. What was it Meat Loaf wouldn't do for love?
When Meat Loaf released I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) in 1993, pub wags and stand-up comedians alike immediately started joking about what the "that" in the title might be. Go on a diet, perhaps? Or engage in an unspeakably sordid sexual act? Why all the mystery?
What they deliberately chose to ignore for comic effect are the list of things, one in each chorus, that he very clearly states he won't do. So, just to put this matter to rest once and for all, here they all are:
I would do anything for love, but I will never:
- Forget the way you feel right now
- Forgive myself if we don't go all the way, tonight
- Do it better than I do it with you
- Stop dreaming of you every night of my life
And then there's the section where his girlfriend is telling him he'll most probably "move on", "forget everything" and start "screwing around", which he also hotly denies. It's that sort of a song.