Trends come and go. Some trends get famous overnight, and some trends that take some time to get famous are around for a long time. One popular trend is rickrolling. For those of you who understand what this is about, you can download the rick roll QR code here:
Of course, the above QR code will lead to Rick Astley’s masterpiece:
For those who are asking “What’s rick roll?” You probably might have heard or seen this phrase but don’t understand what it’s all about. Well, rick roll is the act of providing a link to something that seems to be relevant to the topic at hand but the link actually leads to the video of Rick Astley’s song “Never Gonna Give You Up“.
The song had touched the heights of fame when it was first released but it resurfaced again as a viral meme. There are many ways to rick roll someone and the use of QR code is just one of the many means. You can present a rick roll QR code as a contact QR code. When someone scan the QR code, instead of getting contact details, they are directed to the video of Rick Astley’s song “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
Rick Astley is born in 1966 in Newton-le-Willows, United Kingdom. Astley is a British singer, songwriter and radio personality and got famous in 1987 after his latest hit at that time, “Never Gonna Give You Up”, with trio Stock Aitken Waterman’s production.
In 2007, Astley turned into the subject of a viral Internet meme known as rickrolling. In this prank, users are fooled into seeing Rick Astley’s video “Never Gonna Give You Up” when they intended to see something else. Views on this video on various websites are currently in the many millions. The marvel turned out to be well known to such an extent that on April 1 2008, YouTube tricked its viewers by making every highlighted video on its first page a rick roll.
On November 27 2008, Astley took an interest in a live rick roll during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends characters sang “Closest companion”, the theme from the 1970s TV arrangement The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. Halfway through the tune, Astley rose out of the buoy and started to lip-sync his particular hit. Toward the finish of Astley’s exhibition, Cheese, a character from Foster’s, yelled out, “I like rickrolling!”
The fun started when the web’s most loved ’80s pop star halted by the famous discussion website, Reddit, where he posts under the name “u/ReallyRickAstley” to share an old photo he uncovered while resting at home during Covid related lockdowns. The image was a photo of the youthful pop star riding around on a bike behind the stage in Las Vegas on his first visit.
In the wake of posting the flashback picture, Astley, who is somewhat of a Reddit standard and legend because of a couple of celebrated associations with fans on the site, stayed to talk with fans and answer questions. While most fans were excited to see the artist drawing in on the site, and many fans posted his famous verses, it was one user, known as “u/theMalleableDuck”, who won the day. The user claimed he had met Astley behind the stage when he was 12 and shared a link of a picture which showed him and Astley together. When Astley clicked on the link to see the picture, he was directed to his very own famous song, and he was apparently rickrolled!
Astley was pleasantly surprised by the fan. He tagged the user and commented, “u/MalleableDuck, I salute you!”
This song was composed by the British production group of Stock, Aitken, and Waterman. A young woman whom Pete Waterman had seen for a very long time inspired the song. Rick Astley was staying with Waterman at that point, and following a three-hour call with this woman, Astley said, “You’re never going to give her up.” Aitken and Waterman, at that point, got the idea for the song!
Rick Astley worked in Aitken, Stock, and Waterman’s studio for a very long time, working on tape machines, singing for different vocalists, learning the art of singing, and famously making tea, before the trio composed and delivered this song for him, which turned into Astley’s first and biggest hit. The interesting fact is that it was recorded in October 1986 yet was not released until July 1987, as the producers believe that releasing the song at the right time will break all records and help Astley reach heights of fame.
In the UK, this was the most fantastic single of 1987, remaining at #1 for five weeks. It beat out all competitors all through Europe.
In the music video, coordinated and directed by Simon West, Astley sang at different west London regions, including an empty club where he slowly motivates a bartender (played by artist Clive Clarke Top of the Pops dance company Zoo) to get the party started. Clarke tried to do a stunt flip while he was hungover and failed miserably on the first try. Fortunately, he was not harmed and nailed the trick on another take.
That was not the only tangle during the one-day shoot. As per VH1’s Pop Up Video, Astley’s chief got into a two-hour contention with West about either the singer’s sleeves should be rolled up or not.
In the UK, the song “At whatever point You Need Somebody” and a cover of “When I Fall in Love” were released and both of them went to #3 and #2 respectively. His next five UK singles likewise made the Top 10, giving him a record for putting his initial eight singles in that layer.
In America, the next single was “Together Forever,” which has a comparable sound and was viewed as a continuation of sorts to “Never Gonna Give You Up”. This one likewise went to #1.
The first use of the song for rickrolling dates to 2006, starting from the “4chan imageboard (a language imageboard website)” in an early meme known as “duckrolling.” On one of the threads of the website, where “eggroll” had become “duckroll,” an unknown user posted an altered picture of a duck with wheels, considering it a “duckroll.” The picture got on across 4chan; the picture would be the bait of a hyperlink with a generally intriguing title, with a user clicking on is supposed to be “duckrolled.”
In March 2007, the primary trailer for the much-awaited Grand Theft Auto IV was released on the Rockstar Games site. Viewership was high to such an extent that it smashed Rockstar’s site. A few users assisted with posting mirror links of the video on various social media platforms and other websites.
Yet, one user on 4chan had hidden a link to the “Never Gonna Give You Up” video declaring to be the trailer, fooling various users into the bait-and-switch. This trend immediately got linked to duckrolling. The bait-and-switch trick to “Never Gonna Give You Up” got viral on 4chan on April Fools’ Day in 2007 and prompted this meme stunt to expand to different websites like Fark and Digg soon after that, rapidly getting the name “rickrolling” in light of the earlier “duckrolling” trend.
One of the first uses of “rickrolling” was confirmed by the editors of Know Your Meme, where a rural Michigan occupant Erik Helwig had called into a nearby radio games television show in 2006 and, as opposed to chatting with the DJs, essentially played “Never Gonna Give You Up,” leaving the DJs dumb.
In April 2008, the New York Mets ball club’s web page presented an online poll to select the eighth inning chime melody. On April 4, 2008, FARK users bombarded the survey with upvotes for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” On April 7, the Mets declared that the melody had won with more than 5,000,000 votes. Instead of using the song for the 8th inning, it was then used for the home opener, making the Met’s fans unhappy.
In November 2008, the rick roll video went on a round trip when Rick Astley himself showed up on a float during the 2008 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and he lip-synched his famous hit from 28 years ago.
Rick Astley was nominated for the Best Act Ever award for the MTV Europe Music Awards in November 2008, when the gathering was overwhelmed by fans of the rickrolling masterpiece. Astley has expressed his joy with a strange joke, expressing, “MTV was altogether rickrolled”.
On January 13, 2009, US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, distributed a video out of appreciation for the launch of HouseHub YouTube channel, including the Rick Astley music video toward the end.
Pete Waterman, co-writer of “Never Gonna Give You Up,” in April 2009, denounced Google and YouTube for allegedly not compensating artists well enough for their work featured on YouTube. He was cited saying, “Panorama did a documentary on the abuse of foreign workers in Dubai. I feel like one of those workers since I acquired less for a year’s work off Google or YouTube than they offed the Bahrain government.”
In February 2010, a bipartisan gathering of Oregon Representatives wanted to pull off the “rick roll” during House meetings. All of the members were secretly given a part of the verse of the song “Never Gonna Give You Up” to put into their speech during the legislative discussion in the gathering. Finally, this plan was uncovered on April 1, 2011, when Representative Jefferson Smith and his co-workers involved in the scheme edited the video and uploaded it in their proper lyrical order.
Times have certainly changed but the rick roll meme lives on. There are many ways to execute the rick roll prank. QR codes are becoming common and we use them on a daily basis, many users have also used the QR code to keep the rick roll meme alive.
You can also check out our Never Gonna Give You Up QR code blog post for 7 great rick roll ideas you can try out with your friends and family. You can also create and customize your very own QR code with our QR code generator.