Thursday, April 1, 2010

Musings on Arena Rock

Captain's blog, supplemental:

I've been taking a class this semester called History of Jazz. Most of the time, I really enjoy going to class and learning about different musicians and listening to cool (or hot) music. But there are those times when I get a little bored, and my mind wanders (anybody who's shocked right now must not not actually know me. How did you get here, anyway?).

Anyway, when my mind decides to take a break from Dr. Harker's lectures, it actually just goes to another class taught by Dr. Wikipedia. I have dubbed this class History of Music (with emphasis on the subtleties of grooving bass lines and face-melting guitar solos). What this actually means is that I take advantage of my only class with Internet access and read up on some of my favorite rock bands and musicians.

So, what purpose does this have other than explaining why my History of Jazz grade will be... less than perfect? I'm getting there. Yesterday, I decided to do some reading about the Scorpions. Among the many interesting things I learned (they've had like 50 different bassists and get a new drummer every time the old one breaks down), this stuck out the most: they're still recording! After 45 years of music and over 60 years of life, they came out with a new album last week.

Naturally, I had to download Sting In the Tail. It's pretty awesome; I'm amazed they can still bring it at their age. While listening to songs with great names like "Raised on Rock" and "Spirit of Rock," my mind unfortunately turned to The Who's Super Bowl halftime show (I keep trying to block it from my memory, but it won't go away). I asked myself: if the NFL (or whomever's responsible for the halftime entertainment) insists on getting old dudes to pretend like they're young and hip, why can't they get someone like the Scorpions, who can still rock?

This brought up another important question: Which 5 old-dude bands would I most like to see perform during a Super Bowl halftime? Of course, there have to be some rules when coming up with a list like this. These are mine:

  1. Only rock bands may be included. No other types of music, and no rock solo artists.
  2. The band performing must have achieved popularity before 1987 (if they were popular before I was born, then they're old dudes. No exceptions.).
  3. No time-traveling. We're not dealing with bands in their heyday. We want to hear them perform in their 2010 (or later) bodies.
  4. Unfortunately, no reanimated corpses will be allowed. I'm terrified of zombie outbreaks (this means you, Queen).
So, those are the rules. Without further ado, here (in reverse order of course) is the starting five for "Old-Dude Bands I Want to Perform at the Super Bowl":

Number 5: Styx. They narrowly beat out G'n'R, but they could take this spot if they can get Slash.

Number 4: Van Halen. Since David Lee Roth is back, this one should be a cinch. And can anyone think of a better opening to a halftime show than the opening synthesizer lines from "Jump"?

Number 3: Scorpions. They jump Van Halen if, and only if, they are able to drag an orchestra along and play "Rock You Like a Hurricane 2000." But since it's my fantasy, it'll happen. Plus, they also have new stuff that they could show off.

Number 2: Bon Jovi. Anyone who watched the 2010 Grammy Awards (I didn't, but that's what YouTube's for) knows that Jon Bon and crew can still bring it. A Super Bowl halftime show would be a perfect showcase for them. I think it could be kind of like Paul McCartney's show back in 2005. In fact, I think this one could actually happen someday.

Number 1: Journey. Of course. But even though this choice probably doesn't surprise any readers out there, I don't think any of you quite understand the potential here. Let me paint you a picture....

Sunday, February 5 2011. Super Bowl XLV has just reached halftime with the Donovan McNabb-led Eagles trailing the New England Patriots by 10 (this is my fantasy, remember?). The lights go down in Cowboys Stadium, just before the opening guitar riffs of "Wheel in the Sky" are heard. Journey fans are pleased and amazed to see Steve Smith on the drums, since he hasn't played with Journey since 1998. But he's agreed to do this show.

After "Wheel in the Sky" (featuring a killer Neal Schon guitar solo), Arnel Pineda (Journey's current vocalist) performs a rousing segment of "Open Arms," and the audience begins to forget the atrocities committed by The Who the previous year.

After "Open Arms" finishes, Arnel inexplicably leaves the stage. Ross Valory steps forward, and he and Jonathan Cain begin the familiar opening of Journey's most famous song. But when the iconic lyrics start, the audience notices the change in voice as Steve Perry steps onto the stage. The crowd goes ballistic, obviously. After the closing notes, the now-complete quintet announces that they're together to stay.

That show would end up being one of the greatest moments in rock history. Inspired by Journey's performance, the Eagles take the field with new life and claw their way back into the game, ultimately winning.

Well, there's my list. What a long post this was. I know that I've left off some fantastic old dude bands, so I'll give it up to you guys. Who else should make the list?


  1. The Doors... Jim Morrison dying was a myth. Like Elvis.