Hmmm… Isn’t someone missing here? Oh, yeah Bill Ward
I was reading on-line the other day, one of those “lists” that rock and roll websites are so fond of these days (and yes, I’m guilty of that too). On the site, it listed something like, “bands who are touring without any original members.” Talk about a rip off. It’s like a ponzi scheme. I mean, I get it, I hate my family reunions and haven’t attended one in years, but no original members? That’s like going to someone else’s family reunion… someone who you don’t even know. My buddy Storm told me that Foreigner is out on the road these days without Lou Gramm… That seems useless. He also told me they filed an injunction and Lou Gramm can’t even sing the songs he cowrote with Foreigner on his solo tour. Jeez. I even remember, around the time of the Beatles’ “Anthology” LP releases, before George Harrison’s tragic demise, the suggestion that the Beatles re-unite with Julian Lennon pinch hitting for his father John. That’s like asking me to pinch hit for Pavarotti… and uh, I don’t sing, let alone opera.
It seems an all too familiar trend these days when a band makes a huge reunion tour announcement I find out after the fact they’ve left somebody out. Van Halen famously got back together with David Lee Roth, something the entire universe was rooting for, but they left out Michael Anthony on bass. Eddie brought in his son Wolfgang on as the bass player. Sigh. One of the more egregious of these “leave outs” was Bill Ward on the Black Sabbath “The End” tour. The root of all of this seems to be money. Izzy Stradlin recently tweeted that the only reason he’s not on the current Guns N Roses tour is “they didn’t want to split the loot evenly.” I mean, Richard Fortus was great, but Izzy and Slash’s guitar sound just belongs together. Izzy co wrote many of their great tunes and sings on one of my favorites “Dust and Bones.” And to think we missed that moment on the GnR tour because of money? How much do these guys need?
The only circumstance that merits a reunion without all members is in the sad case where someone has passed. I get that the Faces reunited without Ronnie Lane or Ian McLagan because they’ve both passed. Thin Lizzy continues to go on without charismatic front man/bassist Phil Lynott, though one must ask the question, why? I do respect the whole “soldiering on” sentiment when a member of a band dies in some unfortunate way. I respect any band who keeps going after such a tragedy. What I’m talking about here is the big time reunions.
I began to think about all these guys that had been left out of these reunions lately and realized they’d actually make a pretty good “Supergroup.” They could call themselves “The Left Outs” or perhaps “The Leftovers.” I think I like the Left Outs better. This is my supergroup based on guys that by all rights should be included in these massive tours and yes, split the loot. I actually would pay money to see this line up… I think these guys might rock.
Drums: Bill Ward of Black Sabbath. Ward was apparently offered to join “The End” tour as a contract player without being offered a full split of the tour profits. Ward’s drum sound was essential to those early Sabbath albums. He and Ozzy have been feuding about this since the tour started.
Bass: Michael Anthony of Van Halen. Michael Anthony was summarily dismissed from Van Halen apparently for the sin of staying friends with Sammy Hagar. Eddie even came out in the press and slagged Anthony, claiming that it was actually him, Eddie, playing all the bass parts on the LPs. He even went so far as to claim it wasn’t Anthony doing the harmony vocals. Jeez, Eddie, you’re great, we get it, no need to pad the resume.
Rhythm Guitar: Izzy Stradlin of Guns n Roses. Izzy should be on this current tour. He was an integral part of their sound and wrote and sang some of their best songs. I saw him with the JuJu Hounds in a tiny bar with my buddy Stormin and the guy is awesome.
Lead Guitar: Don Felder of the Eagles. I know, I know, he doesn’t really fit the mold of the rest of these guys but lets remember the awesome guitar he played on his lone hit, “Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride)” from the soundtrack of that great animated movie from the 70s. The guy is a hell of a guitar player. I guess you could always opt for Gary Richrath from REO Speedwagon who left that group years ago, but I like the Felder choice better…
Lead Vocals: David Lee Roth of Van Halen. I really debated on this one. At first I considered Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins or Courtney Love of Hole, since those guys have actually done reunion tours where they were the only actual original members of their bands. I thought that would be ironic. I like the choice of Roth because he’s been kicked out of Van Halen, not once, not twice, but three times. And, yes, their live album sounded, as Dr Rock described it to me, “like a pet store, full of animals, burning to the ground,” but I think he’d be fun to watch without the behavioral governors Eddie put on him on the last tour. I want to see the old Jack Daniels swigging, karate-on-stage David Lee Roth.
Call me crazy, but that’s a band I’d go see. Have I left anybody out? If so, please comment and we can add them to the list.
Football is back this weekend folks. Pour something strong and put on some loud music… Be careful out there and as always, Cheers!