Today I discovered that the saxophone is banned by the Vatican, which is a delightfully random and utterly useless piece of knowledge. Strictly speaking, the saxophone was banned by Pope Pius X in 1903 (to avoid the temptation of churchgoers indulging in sexydancing, or something or other) and the ban has never formally been repealed. What might happen if you were to turn up in Vatican City with a saxophone I do not know.

The saxophone was also banned by the Nazis as a tool of ‘degenerate’ art due to its popularity with black jazz musicians (but mainly due to the Nazis being irredeemable walking piles of crap). Not to be outdone, Stalin also banned the saxophone due to its links with jazz, but in this instance it was because he viewed jazz as “the embodiment of bourgeois American imperialist culture” (i.e. he hated all americans, not just the black ones … though I expect Hitler wasn’t too fond of americans either after they beat him).

Knowing all this gives me newfound respect for the sax.

#interesting is a series of random facts that I find interesting, and will be posting here during 2021 for your edification, amusement, derision and/or diversion.