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Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by SM247 on Jul 29th, 2008, 02:24am


Marvin Gaye;

Was so devastated by the death of singer Tammi Terrell in 1970 that he didn't record any new material or appear on stage for three years

Was going to do a duet with Barry White but died a week before they began their rehearsal

Was slated to record a duet album with Dionne Warwick, but changed his mind

One of Marvin’s first loves was an exotic dancer by the name of Titty Tassel Tony.

Marvin’s brother, Frankie Gaye, held Marvin for 20 min in his arms before he was rushed to the hospital the day his father shot him.

Marvin and Berry Gordy got into a physical fight the same day JFK died

Tried out for the Detroit Lions Football team, but didn’t make the cut.

Wife Janice and brother Frankie both sang backing vocals for Marvin’s Hit “Got to it Up”

Did not get along with Diana Ross, that they both had to record the majority of their duet album in separate rooms.

Marvin Gaye had two acting roles within his career. "The Ballad of Andy Crocker" 1969 and "Chrome and Hot Leather" 1971

The Temptations sang backing vocals on Marvin Gaye’s ‘Try it Baby’.

In 1990, Marvin was given posthumously his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Marvin was seventeen years younger than his first wife, Anna Gordy Gaye, seventeen years older than his second, Janice Gaye.

Marvin was 6'1" (1.85m) tall

In 1982 Gaye became involved with Lady Edith Foxwell, former wife of the British movie director Ivan Foxwell.

Berry Gordy ended Motown’s Battle of the Stars competition when Marvin Gaye was Booed off stage while competing against a young Stevie Wonder.

Know any more fun trivia.. please feel free to submit it.
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by timmy84 on Jul 30th, 2008, 10:01am

More trivia:

Marvin had bad bunions on his feet, he walked with so much pain, Smokey Robinson nicknamed him "dad", lol.

Marvin lost his virginity to a prostitute at seventeen when he was in the Air Forces.

Marvin was introduced to marijuana in 1960 by his girlfriend who was a stripper.

Marvin's first playing gig was as a drummer for the D.C. Tones when he was 14.

Marvin lists the Capris' doo-wop classic "God Only Knows" as the song that defined his "musical awakening".

Was teased throughout his childhood for his last name and added the 'e' partially to dismiss rumors of him being "gay". Other reasons for the name change, of course, was to distance himself from his father and to admire Sam Cooke for doing the same thing (adding an 'e' to his last name).

Marvin sometimes wandered around Hitsville in a hat, glasses and a cigar.

Marvin was an admirer of the teachings of Malcolm X and shocked Motown staff by carrying Malcolm's autobiography to interviews.

Marvin played both piano and drums on "Hitch Hike".
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by timmy84 on Sep 21st, 2009, 11:32am

Corrections on the trivia:

After Tammi's illness, Marvin was depressed but kept up a busy touring and recording schedule that stopped after Tammi's death, though he eventually returned to recording, he stopped performing for two years.

Never got a chance to perform with Kim Weston for their hit song, "It Takes Two", ended up performing the song with a puppet. Very embarrassing for Motown to do that. lol

Marvin started wearing glasses after an accident with a slingshot his brother used while they were playing a game, Frankie's slingshot indirectly hit Marvin in his right eye. Marvin continued to have corrective surgery on the eye for a period of years.

Marvin won a humanitarian award from the United Nations for his work with children in 1976.

In 1975, Marvin shaved his head bald in protest to the treatment of imprisoned boxer "Hurricane" Rubin Carter.

In 1979, Marvin was named one of the top ten most successful recording artists in history for his number of hit records by Billboard magazine.

Marvin's What's Going On made him one of the first solo recording artists to place more than three top ten singles off one studio album.

Was a big fan of Bob Marley and dedicated "Third World Girl" to him on his 1982 album, Midnight Love.

Michael Jackson once recorded at Marvin's studio, Marvin's Room, for his Invincible album.

Made his final television appearance on Soul Train in May of 1983. The week after his death, they reaired his performance of "Sexual Healing".

Marvin's guitarist and personal collaborator Gordon Banks was a one-time brother-in-law.

One of the most sampled artists in hip-hop, he's been sampled by everyone from G-Unit and Jay-Z, to Big Daddy Kane and Scarface, to Snoop Dogg and Nas, and Mos Def and Little Brother, who sampled both "Dark Side of the World" and "I Want You".

Recorded much of I Want You lying on his back in the sofa of his studio.

Jay-Z once called himself the "young Marvin in his hey" in his hit, "Dirt Off Your Shoulders".

T.I. called himself "the Marvin Gaye of my time" in his song, "Rubberband Man".

Marvin and Diana Ross made a surprising appearance with Stevie Wonder during a concert he held in 1979.

During several of Diana Ross' concert performances, she'd spot Marvin in the audience, in her farewell Supremes concert, she had Marvin sing a line from their cover of "Let the Sunshine In", in later years, she had him sing parts of "Reach Out and Touch". Marvin and Diana reunited again in 1982 when Diana performed in Brussels, Belgium and invited Marvin to the stage bringing out rousing cheers from the audience.

Marvin was quite fond of scooters, motorcycles and motorbikes.

Gave a Command Performance in front of Queen Elizabeth at London's Royal Albert Hall in 1976.

During his 1983 concert tour, the emcee often announced him as "the author of funk, the philosopher of soul, every record he records goes platinum and gold".

Was influenced not only by Sam Cooke but also by Ray Charles, Clyde McPhatter, Little Willie John and Rudy West.

One of Marvin's nicknames was "Gates".
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by Terry82 on Oct 25th, 2009, 6:17pm

The only one that comes to my mind is the one that the Funk Brothers would call him to tease him.

Sometimes they called him Gayesy.

I thought that was funny myself, knowing how sensitive Marvin was about his last name, I know that had to piss him off.
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by timmy84 on Oct 26th, 2009, 11:27am

Gayesy? SMH!

I prefer GATES.
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by Masochistic Beauty on Jan 11th, 2010, 5:29pm

- Marvin was very verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive towards both of his ex-wives, but particulaly moreso towards Jan.

- Marvin threatend to kill Jan once, by pulling a knife on her in Hawaii during one of her visits. I believe they had gotten into some sort of dispute about the children, and he was very high on coke and just went off for no reason.

- If you've listened to the song "Masochistic Beauty," you already know that sexually Marvin was into some pretty kinky stuff and had a very dark side. But Jan herself has gone on record by saying that there were times he'd take things to the EXTREME by making her sleep with other MEN. And if she refused, he'd get VERY angry. Why he'd make her do it, I don't know. But there were not just regular average Joe's, but other MUSICIANS and PERFORMERS. Very FAMOUS performers. Some of them included - Rick James, Frankie Beverly, and Teddy Pendergrass. The media really didn't help any, because her involvement with Teddy in particular sparked this huge rivalry between them in the tabloids. Rumors flew around that Teddy "stole" Jan away from Marvin and this and that in the late 70's and early 80's, but no such thing happened. I personally own a copy of Teddy Pendergrass' autobiography 'Truly Blessed' where he actually TALKS about this rivarly with Marvin. While he admits that he did have what he called a "casual fling" with Janis, he didn't say anything bad about Marvin or that they hated each other or anything like that. Actually, he considers her a dear friend to this day.

To prove that I'm not making the trivia up about what Jan said about the sex and all that, here's a link to the page I found it from:

This is only a sliver of an EXTENSIVE story that Crime TV did on Marvin's life. I suggest you guys read all 26 chapters online. For major fans, it's a MUST read. After reading it for the first time several years ago, I felt like somebody had just given me a VIP access pass to his life or something. It's VERY enlightening!

Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by timmy84 on Jan 11th, 2010, 6:11pm

I read it. Thanks. That biography did show a lot of his complex behaviors.
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by andreaarkmgfan on May 20th, 2011, 8:37pm

I decided to resurrect this thread--there were cobwebs and inch-thick dust on it! Here are a few more cool facts on our hero that some of you guys may be seeing for the first timecheesyid you know...--that Marvin NEVER had a driver's license?--on the song "It Hurt Me Too", Marvin played the footboard instead of the keyboard of Earl Van Dyke's trusty Hammond B3 organ?--Marvin did make one visit to my home state during a break in his 1974 tour, but he didn't perform! He visited the Univ. of Arkansas at Pine Bluff campus, & signed autographs for the students & staff.--On the 1964 revival recording of "I'm Yours, You're Mine" (it was a duet with Mary Wells), Marvin had a serious case of laryngitis! But we have to admire his perseverance--he soldiered his way through the song despite his hoarseness.--When doing television performances of "Ain't That Peculiar" in the 1960's, Marvin always executed a perfect spin on the ball of his foot when going into the song's "breakdown".
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by andreaarkmgfan on May 20th, 2011, 8:45pm

(continued) This spin is one out of a few dance moves that Marvin can do perfectly. And one more: Marvin's performance of "Take This Heart Of Mine" on "Ed Sullivan" was his only one--on June 7, 1966.
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by MPGfan on May 20th, 2011, 9:16pm

A couple of those things I didn't know like the Drivers Liscence WOW! I bet every time he got pulled over he offered his autograph in exchange for no ticket.
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by timmy84 on Nov 6th, 2011, 12:06am

Interesting about him not having a driver's license, he must've gotten one later in his life because according to R. Kelly, Janis Gaye gave him one of Marvin's final driving licenses but who knows if it was just a permit license. laugh

Anyways, I think I can add more to the trivia (this place is DEAD):

*Marvin almost never wrote his songs by paper, he would think of the words in his head and memorize it, then when he knew he was ready, he'd tell the producer "okay I'm ready" and usually if not all the time he did his recording in one, two takes tops. Other artists capable of doing this: Michael Jackson and the Notorious B.I.G.

*Marvin was a close friend of the Jackson family, often coming over to their Hayvenhurst home in Encino to play ball against most of the brothers. Michael himself said that he used to be allowed to visit Marvin during the recording sessions of Let's Get It On and I Want You. Michael listed Marvin as one of his many influences, once calling him and Sam Cooke "ridiculous" in terms of their musical genius.

*Marvin was a notorious gum chewer, often chewing during his interviews. If you hear the sound on some of his recordings, you can also hear him chewing or smacking gum.

*Marvin and a pre-Temptations David Ruffin used to ship records and other items while working for Anna Records.

*Marvin caught wind that not only was David Ruffin abusing Tammi Terrell, his closest singing partner, but also that James Brown had hit her in the head several times. Marvin was wary of James' presence because he didn't wanna cause a situation but he never got over what Tammi told him about James. The two musicians kept things civil while they were in each other's company though.

*David Ritz allegedly asked Marvin to give him $10,000 for royalties for "Sexual Healing" according to Freddy Couseart. According to Couseart, he and Marvin laughed at the suggestion.

*Despite rumors of a rift, Marvin and Diana Ross did get along. After Marvin guested on Diana's 1982 Belgium concert, he took her to Ostend where he played "Sexual Healing" and confided in her that he was on the comeback. Marvin and Diana got along real good especially during the last few years of Marvin's life, which is why "Missing You" was initially dedicated solely to him.

*Marvin suggested a young San Francisco funk group to change their name because he felt the name was not commercially viable. That group, Raw Soul, under Marvin's suggestion, instead became Maze. He also convinced the group to meet up with Larkin Arnold who later signed Maze to their first recording deal. After releasing their first hit record, Maze opened for Gaye on a national U.S. tour.

*Marvin's sister Zeola can be heard screaming in "Got to Give It Up". Zeola also became Marvin's main choreographer during Marvin's later tours.

*In the train of events that led Marvin to be late for his Command Performance for Princess Margaret in 1980, Marvin's musicians said that Marvin wasn't going onstage unless he and the musicians got paid for the night. When the promoter refused, Marvin reluctantly decided to perform anyways only for Princess Margaret to have left due to time issues. Of course the UK media made it negative calling it a "snub".

*Marvin's 1970s studio, Marvin Gaye Studios, was not only big enough to be a recording studio but was also a bachelor's pad-type of house and also had enough room to be a club, which led some in the media at the time to call the place "the west coast Studio 54" due to its wild parties and the number of celebrities who attended the studio.

*Prior to him performing the national anthem during the Sugar Ray Leonard championship in 1979, one of his boxers he was managing lost in a fight. Marvin looked a bit upset as the camera took a shot of him before he sang the song. Diana Ross and Berry Gordy could later be seen in the audience as Marvin sang.

*Marvin was a close friend of boxers Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman.
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by Debra Gomez on Jul 9th, 2012, 10:41pm

I heard this news instantly, After a dispute, his father shot him twice in the chest, killing him instantly. He added the "e" to the end of his name because he thought it looked more professional.

Yoga retreats
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by timmy84 on Jul 10th, 2012, 12:50pm

Yeah it's documented that's how he was shot and such.

I think I read somewhere that Marvin's reasoning was that he felt adding an e would bolster his record sales like it did Sam Cooke.
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by SM247 on Jul 11th, 2012, 10:18am

on Jul 10th, 2012, 12:50pm, timmy84 wrote:
Yeah it's documented that's how he was shot and such.

I think I read somewhere that Marvin's reasoning was that he felt adding an e would bolster his record sales like it did Sam Cooke.

That's the one I'm more familiar with, or at least hears the most.
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by timmy84 on Jul 11th, 2012, 11:32pm

on Jul 11th, 2012, 10:18am, soulmusic247 wrote:
That's the one I'm more familiar with, or at least hears the most.

Yeah it's funny how biographies on Marvin are now on how he required to have an "e" in his name... I mean his family confirmed it but I think he also did it for professional reasons. Marvin was complex so no reason was ever simple with him. undecided
Re: Marvin Gaye Trivia
Post by timmy84 on Apr 4th, 2015, 01:24am

2015, this hasn't been added in three years. cheesy Hopefully people who use to come here can add more... soulmusic247, where are you? sad

Anyway, correction on Got to Give It Up:

*Zeola was the first person you hear in the song when it plays. She is heard saying "hey y'all!" or "hey Marvin! Hey Frankie!" in the audio clip. The person screaming while Marvin is singing the first verse was Janis' sister.

*Marvin and Richard Pryor were actually friends. According to Janis, they used to make jokes all the time. According to Janis, Zeola, Frankie and Marvin's children, Marvin was a great jokester. You can sense that in some of his interviews (Don Cornelius' in 1974 and Tom Joyner's in 1983).

*According to his last girlfriend, Deborah Decker, Marvin was the father of an unborn child. Following Marvin's death, she had a miscarriage.

*After adopting Marvin III, he named him after him and his father. Asked why, Marvin simply said "I wanted to keep up with tradition".

*Despite performing in the same Kingston, Jamaica venue in early 1974, Marvin never met Bob Marley.

*According to Mickey Stevenson, Marvin and Anna Gordy Gaye had a fight during their wedding and Anna threw one of her heels at him.

*Marvin's 1970s collaborator, Elgie Stover, could be heard screaming "hey what's happening" when "What's Going On" starts.

*When Marvin finished What's Going On, he filmed his scenes for the film, Hot Chrome & Leather, months later, he grew the rest of his beard and pose for photos for the What's Going On album prior to its May 21st release.

*Contrary to public stories, while Marvin was two weeks shy of turning 34, Janis was over 17 when they met in 1973 (not 16 as David Ritz initially suggested).

*Marvin's only sound investment as a businessman was to take part ownership of Wally Amos' Famous Amos cookies in the '70s.

*Marvin read the lyrics to "Can I Get a Witness" for a minute before telling Brian Holland he was ready to record doing only one take of the song.

*While he didn't "capture this song's feel", Marvin admitted he was influenced by Johnnie Taylor's disco smash "Disco Lady" to do "Got to Give It Up". The demo title of the song was "Dancing Lady".

*Michael Jackson learned about vocal multi-tracking, was inspired to write songs about children and the environment, and adapted parts of his clothing style from Marvin (MJ adapted the military outfits Marvin wore in his last tour, prior to 1983, MJ was never seen with military gear, he even began wearing the same type of Ray Ban sunglasses Marvin wore). As noted, the songs "Shake Your Body" and "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" were mainly influenced by "Got to Give It Up".

*Marvin was inspired by Rick James' "Superfreak" to do the song "Midnight Lady". The original demo's title was named "Clique Games (Rick James)" and in the demo and final versions, Marvin mentions the word "superfreak" often, even imitating a mock British accent like Rick did in the song and mentions drugs (like RJ mentioned "when I get there, she's got incense, wine and Quaaludes" but in Marvin's, he's obviously mentioning coke: "they tell me something's going on in the men's room, soon as we come out, we'll be high soon, did you save a line for the ladies? We're not into that, are you crazy?!"). It's clear the song is his response to RJ's punk funk new wavish R&B sound as Midnight Lady has a similar punch to it.

*In a demo version of "Rockin' After Midnight" (titled "I Bet You Wonder"), Marvin sings "Rocké aprčs minuit" instead (he was obviously influenced by French music at the time, he spoke in French on "'Til Tomorrow" for example).

*Marvin produced and can be obviously heard singing alongside Yvonne Fair on her version of Norman Whitfield's "Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On".

*Despite his claims of not being a good dancer, he did perform The Butterfly during the 1981 Ostend performance of "Got to Give It Up" and showed some nice dance moves during "Inner City Blues".

*Todd Rundgren's "Lost Horizon" was a tribute to Marvin (I think the vocal harmonies lets you know that).

*Marvin was a constant viewer of Playboy magazine but also viewed other pornographic magazines, including Qui magazine.

*Marvin was sexually attracted to disco legend Donna Summer.

*Marvin's penchant for flamboyant clothing was apparent in 1977 when he wore a dashiki-type blouse during a performance at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

*Marvin was of the earliest rock stars to be shown wearing an earring during a time when wearing earrings weren't considered "manly" (no wonder Marvin felt confused though, I think there was some internalized hatred for his sensitive side, is it any wonder why he tried all he could to appear "macho"?).

*The platform boots MG wore during his 1974 comeback tour was his idea (note: George Clinton didn't start wearing platform boots until 1975; in fact, MG might've gotten the idea of wearing the glam rock-esque boots from Patti LaBelle but it's no telling how true that is, nonetheless he was the first male R&B performer to be seen in that wardrobe).

*Much like Aretha Franklin in later years, Marvin hated flying, and that was mainly the reason he didn't tour overseas often during the '60s despite a sizable UK following.

*Marvin considered Billie Holiday's Lady in Satin as one of his favorite albums, he also listed Billie as one of his influences in his own work (he recorded "You Don't Know What Love Is" mainly because Billie had done it).

*The reason why MG recorded so many songs by other writers during the pre-Let's Get It On 1972 sessions was mainly because he had writer's block. Nonetheless, he was still a producer for most of the sessions (including the Willie Hutch songs, which they co-produced together).

*One of the most beloved songs in his catalog, "Distant Lover" was one song he revisited for over 20 takes before he was settled with a version he felt was "releasable".