Well kids, we had a good run. We had what, five or six thousand years of recorded history to hang our hats on? Not bad at all, but if the prophecies are to be believed then human civilization is about to crumble very soon. I refer of course to the return of NBC’s Whitney, in case you thought I actually believed all that bunk about the Maya calendar.
Of all the regrets I’ll have about mankind having to cash its chips in so soon, the biggest is not being able to witness some very cool band reunions that shall now never be. (Never let it be said I don’t have my priorities in order.)
Here are eight groups that missed their big chance to do it all one more time. And no, one-off shows or charity events don’t count.
#8. Talking Heads
Just as with the Police reunion several years ago, I wouldn’t even need a new Talking Heads album to justify a reunion tour. They could pack a two-hour set with some of the greatest music from the New Wave movement and I would have been cool with that. Because really, I’m not interested in David Byrne as a solo artiste. I know the critics love his post-Heads music but a lot of it just leaves me cold.
#7. Guns N’ Roses
I actually respect Axl Rose’s dogged determination to have nothing to do with the musicians that made Guns N’ Roses the household name is still is today. I don’t understand it, but I respect it. But I also have little interest in anything his group has done since the Use Your Illusion albums came out. No offense to fans of Buckethead or Chinese Democracy — which isn’t actually a bad album — but if Slash at a minimum isn’t involved, it’s just not the same band to me. I know I’m the exact type of fan Axl hates, but so be it.
Two studio albums and a few EPs. That’s about all that exists as a testament to one of the great power pop acts of recent years. While all the other bands on this list at least had a great run of several years and albums, Jellyfish is at the top of my list of the great “What Ifs” in recent music history. I’d love to see the original core lineup of Andy Sturmer, Roger Joseph Manning, Jr., and Jason Falkner get the group together again, but I’d also love another Sturmer/Manning-driven effort.
Few musical partnerships have been so artistically — if not always commercially – satisfying as the one between Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding. I’m not sure what happened to make the latter want to abandon XTC and essentially the music business altogether, but it’s a huge loss even if the band’s best material is long in the past. It’s great that Partridge and longtime XTC guitarist Dave Gregory have rekindled their personal and professional relationship, now all they have to do is get Moulding back on board and we can all enjoy some pop bliss once more.
#4. Faith No More
You mean Faith No More already reunited and toured a few years ago? Hey that’s cool. Too bad they played like two or three shows in the U.S. I think it’s great that fans in Europe and South America got to witness one of the coolest and weirdest bands of the last 20 years live, but that does me no good. And of all the groups on this list, I think these guys also have another really good-to-great album in them. After all, it’s not like Mike Patton, Billy Gould, or Roddy Bottum have been sitting on their asses doing nothing since Album of the Year came out in 1997.
#3. Led Zeppelin
Perhaps it would’ve been better had the three living Led Zep members not recruited Jason Bonham for their 2007 concert at the O2 Arena. Because then the tantalizing idea of a tour might have remained more of a fantasy than a seemingly realistic thing. A lot of people still subscribe to the notion that Plant, Page, and Jones shouldn’t do anything to tarnish the band’s nearly impeccable legacy from the ’70s. I say nuts to that.
I know better than to expect a recreation of the band’s legendary shows from back in the day. I know that Robert Plant’s voice, while still respectable, is a shadow of its former glory. I know that John Bonham is dead and gone, and that nothing changes that no matter how good his son might be. I also know that if what currently constitutes Led Zeppelin puts a show on sale anywhere within five or six hours of me, I am going. And you will do the same.
#2. Pink Floyd
You dug the Live 8 performance and I dug the Live 8 performance. And yes, we all miss Richard Wright and acknowledge what a huge part of the Floyd sound he was. But be honest, if three-fourths of the classic lineup rolled through your town, you are not passing that ticket up because they’re using a substitute keyboard player.
Hell, I’ll go so far as to say that 99% of Floyd fans would’ve gone even if Nick Mason weren’t involved. As long as David Gilmour and Roger Waters were there, the fans would’ve shown up. I think that it would have been visually and musically stunning, as you know the two would have poured everything they had into the tour. It would also have rivaled the Police reunion tour for Vegas action on how long it would take before a fistfight broke out on stage.
I know that Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford did in fact get together for a concert tour in 2006. That’s all well and good, but that’s not the tour I wanted nor is it the tour many longtime fans wanted. I wanted Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett. That’s the lineup I would’ve taken a second mortgage on my house to see.
But no, Gabriel was too busy furthering human rights or some crap like that. We get it buddy, you’re all about helping your fellow man. You know what would’ve helped this man? You putting on the fox mask and singing “Watcher of the Skies,” that’s what.
- The #1 Albums: “Led Zeppelin II” (popdose.com)
- Top 5 Music Autobiographies That Need to Be Written (popdose.com)