Did a girl really get killed in the studio while the Ohio Players were recording “Love Rollercoaster,” and if you listen close you can hear her screams?
If there was ever a time to redub a vocal track, you’d think it would be to remove evidence of a homicide, wouldn’t you? This story comes in many versions, of which the most lurid is that the naked model getting sticky on the cover of the Ohio Players’ 1975 Honey was horribly disfigured during the photo shoot because the “honey” was an acrylic substance that bonded with her skin. When she came to the studio demanding justice, the band’s manager stabbed her. The scream–which comes in the breakdown, about two minutes and thirty seconds into the track–is actually keyboardist Billy Beck screeching, like Mariah Carey does en route to a high note. The band believes that the grisly rumors got started by DJs speculating on-air; needless to say, law enforcement has never investigated the fictional murder. “We’ve never been arrested or incarcerated or interrogated,” Ohio Players drummer Jimmy “Diamond” Williams informed me cheerfully. “Some of us have been handcuffed–we’ve had some wild times–but that’s different.”
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)