Thursday, February 15, 2007

Who's Next? Rick Astley?

I'm making this statement without doing any real research, but I can name only two rock bands who have broken up, got back together, to smashing success, so much so that they've done so a handful of times and in fact are STILL touring now, and will probably be the two highest grossing acts of this summer:
  • The Rolling Stones (who haven't confirmed a new tour yet, but at this point in their careers, what else are they going to do because they can still charge $250 per ticket)
  • The Eagles (who have already announced a 2007 AND 2008 tour, with, GULP, a new album and they'll get up to $200 for the good seats and like the Stones sell out every arena)

That's it. That's the list. But now USA Today and other outlets are declaring this as the "Year of the Reunion". When the reality is, only two of the "reformed" bands have a chance of being considered a success:

  • The Police: Mackenzie's favorite band is the big one of the bunch, and just think how much bigger this would have been had Sting and Company agreed to pretend to get along, oh 10-12 years ago. The reason this one's going to work and probably work big is that they've followed the successful model. They opened up the Grammy's with a killer performance (something Simon & Garfunkel did before they reunited, akin to the Eagles doing their legendary acoustic version of "Hotel California" on MTV to kick off their own rehash). And the really good news: They're playing ONLY Police stuff. No Sting solo work, which surprised the hell out of me. Sting's had quite a nice solo run, so much so that I could actually see a handful of his stuff (especially from "Dream of the Blue Turtles") working with Andy and Stewart. But I like this idea of sticking to the Police playlist. There's still enough material for a great 3-hour show and probably justify a $200 ticket price. This one could give the Eagles a run for highest grossing tour.
  • Van Halen: The big fly in the ointment is 15-year old Wolfgang Van Halen filling in on bass. NOT the Dave and Eddie fighting. Eddie's been a mess since his divorce from Valerie. The last time VH got back together (the ill-fated affair with Sammy on the mike), Eddie played most gigs drunk out of his mind, and when he wasn't chain smoking, there was always a lit cigarette dangling from his legendary guitar. I'm guessing a fucked up Eddie will deal a whole lot better with Diamond Dave's antics. This will definitely be, as Roth termed it, "Knots Landing meets Jerry Springer". But remember: Irving Azoff played a bad hunch when they got back with Sammy. He over charged for tickets to the point that VH played less than full arenas. Maybe it was the fact that everyone wanted Dave instead of Sammy. I'm guessing that had a lot to do with it, but if Azoff's involved in putting this tour together, he better not gouge the public with Police/Stones/Eagles-esque ticket prices. I'd follow the Bob Seger and Billy Joel model and get $45-$70 a ticket. That will ensure more asses in the seats and more buzz towards Eddie and Diamond Dave sharing a stage. But man can you imagine what would happen if Dave makes a crack similar to the one the last time the original lineup played in Omaha? A fan threw a pair of ladies panties up to Roth, who turned to Eddie and said, "Uh oh, looks like somebody found Valerie's panties again!" That sort of shit could lead to Altamont. The other problem is that Michael Anthony, who's a great bass player, is nowhere to be found. Yes, the background vocals on the Roth era VH songs were cheesy 60's harmonies. But they were ALL Michael. Is this responsibility now going to fall on a kid named Wolfgang? The train wreck element alone is going to make this puppy sing for a few months at least. But I think at least until we see how things work out at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies next month, all bets are off.

No other "reunion" tour makes any sense at all:

  • Crowded House: What, is Mr. Mister busy working on a stripped down version of "Kyrie" in hopes of coming back? Should the Cutting Crew have visions of older fans holder their cell phones open while they perform "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight"? Are members of Glass Tiger calling each other up to mend fences? Oh, and here's the other thing: Crowded House's drummer killed himself in 2005. And they were a TRIO. Where the hell are these fuckers going to play, state fairs?
  • Genesis: I'm sorry, Phil Collins became a joke ever since he started doing cheesy ballads to Disney cartoons. Until Peter Gabriel becomes involved, this is no reunion anyone will give two shits about. Either tour in England or stay the hell away.
  • Smashing Pumpkins: Why doesn't Billy Corgan just tour by himself. The Pumpkins will NOT have James Iha and D'Arcy Wretzky in their new lineup. What's the fucking point? Oh, and Jonathan Melovin, the heyboardist who overdosed on heroin in 1996? I don't think he's a part of this either. The only band from the grunge era anyone wants to see reunite is Nirvana, and unless Courtney Love grows a penis that aint happening.

Now, here are the ones we REALLY want to see happen:

  • Jane's Addiction: A full-fledged tour, not just a Lalapalooza thing, with all original members. If only to make my friend Jason Jorgensen happy. There's actually a new audience for this band that digs their early work. Would be a huge hit, as long as ticket prices stay in the $50 range. People have been reintroduced to them because their song "Superhero" plays over the opening credits of Entourage.
  • REM: I have a feeling that when Bill Berry joins them at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this will generate some buzz. Berry really only left for health reasons, and the band has generally stiffed without him. A tour with Berry back on drums where the band could really let loose on their old stuff would be an unexpected hit. This is the one I want to happen more than anything, if only because I went to one of their shows that they mailed in during the "Green" tour, and I've felt cheated ever since. I love this band, and need to see a full-fledged effort with all 4 original members before Marlon Lucky comes back to football practice.

And the one reunion that's going to happen, be maybe bigger than any of these, and nobody's talking about:

  • AC/DC: There are rumors of this thing already being signed, sealed and delivered, and I've even heard of a very probable Omaha date. Like the Eagles, Stones and Police, the younger generation has really taken to this band. They've got a whole new generation of fans they've never even seen before. Not a $200 ticket band, but they could justify upwards of $100, absolutely kill in Australia, and surprisingly clean up here as well.

1 comment:

BSmokedTurkey said...

Third attempt (stupid Google)

When did the Stones break up?

Congrats on your return to prolific blogging glory. When you think "Opinions by the foot", think Dirty Laundry.