A few days ago, the great classic rock band Queen announced a North American tour set for this summer. However, die hard Queen fans had mixed feelings when Queen also announced that former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert would be joining them on vocals to replace the legendary Freddie Mercury, who passed away in 1991. This got me thinking, why do old bands still tour? More times than not, they 1) have a member who has passed away, like Queen or 2) feature some member of their band who is washed up, like Bob Dylan (I love you Bob, and yes, I did see you in concert last summer, but your arthritis prevents you from playing guitar and your voice is shot. Maybe it’s time to call it quits.). Granted, it is awesome to see some of the greatest bands of all time still playing, especially if you are older and were a fan of these bands growing up. However, their general incompetence is a problem. My proposed solution is this: we take the best members of each band who still have it and form a couple of supergroups. It’s happened in the past, why can’t it happen again? Here is my vote for supergroup #1.
Vocals, Ann Wilson (from Heart): This category was a tough one, as the voice is often the first thing to go among older bands. I mean, they were smoking up a chimney back then, so it’s not very surprising. In all honesty, I have no idea if Ann Wilson still has her pipes but I still want her as lead singer of my supergroup. All you have to do is listen to the song Barracuda to know how good of a voice she has. It’s unique, it’s powerful, and it screams rock and roll.
Guitar #1, Jimmy Page: This choice is easy. Despite his age, Page is still the greatest living guitarist in my opinion. Plus, the supergroup will have enough star power where he won’t have to bust out six-minute, face-melting solos, which he tends to avoid at the age of 70. Like I said, this one’s a no brainer, not much else to say here.
Guitar #2, Eric Clapton: Clapton as a #2 guitarist is certainly an interesting choice. Contrary to popular belief however, I do not believe this is a demotion. Clapton uses chords much better than Page does, which is why I think he would serve as a good rhythm guitarist to compliment Page. And in reality, the two could trade off solos. All in all, I think Clapton and Page would make a killer combo.
Bass, Paul McCartney: Once again, a no brainer (is it bad if a lot of my choices are no brainers?). McCartney may be the one “old guy” who is having the most success today, as he has launched a lucrative solo career after The Beatles. In addition to his skill on the bass, McCartney could help out on vocals, maybe even sing lead on a couple songs. However, the main reason why I want Sir Paul in my supergroup is so that there will be screaming teenage girls fainting at shows.
Keys, Elton John: Not every supergroup needs a keys player, but I really wanted mine to have one. I love any rock and roll group who can fit a piano into their repertoire, and in reality a lot of old bands did feature them (Lynyrd Skynyrd comes to mind). However, similar to Paul, Elton John’s main contribution to my supergroup is non-music related. His role in my supergroup is as the guy who wears ridiculous costumes and glasses, as can be seen above.
Drums, Neil Peart: Although I’ve never really been a Rush fan, I am forced to recognize the greatness of Neil Peart. The guy features the biggest drum set I have ever seen. My supergroup will definitely need that kind of presence for the arenas that we will be playing in, so Peart is definitely in.
Backup Vocals, Crosby, Stills, and Nash: This last choice is kind of random, unnecessary, and maybe even demeaning to CS&N. In reality, they have all the ability to be leading a supergroup. Still, I want them in my group for their amazing harmonizing ability that all backup singers need. Their presence will truly make my supergroup super.
There you have it, my proposed solution to the problem of the incompetency of old bands. If my supergroup were to in fact come together, I have no doubts that they would be one the greatest bands in the history of the world. However, this seems very unlikely. In the meantime, we will have to suffer through Adam Lambert as the lead singer of Queen. Sigh.