Along with rehab, doing a sequel just for the paycheck, screaming anti-Semitic slurs at traffic cops, and getting away with murder (literal or otherwise), one of the greatest privileges of the celebrity has always been the right to inflict your less talented siblings on the world. Take, for instance, Solange Knowles, sister of Beyonce, who releases her ridiculously titled new album, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, this week.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, we here at Popdose have decided to take a stroll down memory lane and present you with a brand-new, very special edition of Lists You Didn’t Ask For. Here, without further ado, is a collection of Celebrity Siblings You Didn’t Ask For!
Frank Stallone. The man has his fans — in fact, as you’ll see below, he still tours with the Frank Stallone Band, and once had a hit, “Far From Over,” that certain commenters ’round these parts profess to enjoying in an unironic way — but not even the most cogent, impassioned defense of Frank’s singing career can get around the fact that he’s the black sheep in a family that includes a promoter of women’s wrestling, a male hairdresser, and the man responsible for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Or, for that matter, the fact that Frank released a country album — titled, of course, Songs From the Saddle — in 2005, the same year he appeared as a consultant on NBC’s boxing reality series, The Contender. According to his Wikipedia entry, Frank is “currently building a multi-million dollar estate in Nantucket, Massachusetts,” which is both a testament to everything wonderful about America and our latest reason for wanting to kill ourselves.
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Dan Fogelberg and Tim Weisberg. Fogelberg catches a lot of shit for his many wimpy ballads, but in our book, not even the simpering “Longer” was as misguided as Fogelberg’s decision to link up with his twin brother (from a different mother) Tim Weisberg for a pair of albums. No matter what anyone says, jazz flutists are not cool, not ever, and should not be brought within a five-mile radius of any recording studio where something resembling rock music is being made. (Sorry, Jethro Tull fans. You have been living a lie.) Fogelberg initially teamed up with Weisberg in 1978, seemingly in an effort to determine just how much he could antagonize radio programmers before they’d drop him from their playlists; the duo’s second effort, 1995’s No Resemblance Whatsoever, boasted smooth jazz/AC hybrids with titles like “Isle au Haut,” “Todos Santos,” and our favorite, “Forever Jung” (download).
Shaun Cassidy. Look at him. Just look at him! God, don’t you just want to punch that face? And that’s without even listening to any of his shitty hits, including covers of “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Do You Believe in Magic?” that even Pat Boone laughed at. And then he fucking lied to us when he recorded “That’s Rock and Roll” — it wasn’t, not even close. Would you believe this motherfucker once held the record for the biggest-selling solo debut album in history? And that Todd Rundgren once needed money so badly that he produced Cassidy’s 1980 release, Wasp? Shaun’s brother David is the one people usually mention when they talk about ’70s teen idols, but compared to Shaun’s sugarcoated turds, David’s music was the work of a hard-rocking genius.
Thankfully, Shaun had the decency and common sense to hang up his microphone a few years after his debut and move on to other pursuits — such as acting on Broadway and becoming the Ted McGinley of television producers, creating show after quickly canceled show. (And Cold Case. Hey, every dog has his day.)
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Mike McGear. You have to give him credit for changing his last name to avoid the appearance of exploiting his relationship with his older brother, Paul McCartney — but you also have to make fun of him for working as an assistant hairdresser while the Beatles were making it big, and for abandoning that whole “I’m my own man” thing when the time came to cut 1974’s McGear: Big brother Paul produced and cowrote nearly every track on the album, the lone exception being a cover of Bryan Ferry’s “Sea Breezes.”
When he wasn’t busy toiling in Paul’s McShadow, Mike was a member of the Scaffold, a bizarre music/poetry/comedy troupe that, thanks to a long-standing British fascination with novelty music, scored a handful of hits in the UK. It wasn’t until he retired from music, however, that he found his niche as a photographer — a career in which his relationship with Paul also probably didn’t hurt, as the book of shots he took during Live8 can attest.
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Roger Clinton. As quickly as Bill Clinton helped dispel myths and stereotypes about Arkansans, his brother Roger helped reinforce them all over again. The Jim Belushi of the Clinton family, Roger popped up in all sorts of inconvenient places during the early years of his brother’s administration, including on Nothing Good Comes Easy, the regrettable album of passionately crappy blues-rock he released in 1994. (It came out on Pyramid, which made Roger labelmates with Joe Walsh and the early-’90s incarnation of Asia. Think anyone who worked at Pyramid still has a job today?) Roger was also an actor, sort of, if by “acting” you mean “parlaying your notoriety into a series of cameos on lousy sitcoms and playing ‘Mayor Bubba’ in Pumpkinhead II.”
Oh, and speaking of Pumpkinhead II, here’s Roger’s contribution to the soundtrack:
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Mick Jagger. While his brother Chris, a talented purveyor of blues and zydeco music, has been consigned to the margins, this wrinkled old fool sells out arenas all over the globe while fronting a band that hasn’t released any music that really matters in nearly 30 years. Mick gets five stars from Rolling Stone for 2001’s Goddess in the Doorway, and Chris? Poor Chris doesn’t even get his own Wikipedia entry. He hosts game shows. Game shows! We have it on good authority that this picture — taken from the cover of the utterly unnecessary The Very Best of Mick Jagger — was snapped just after Mick’s accountant told him he made more money during the walk from his Bentley to the studio than Chris did during the preceding 12 months.
Ashlee and/or Jessica Simpson. Christ, they’re both awful — we can’t decide. Jessica’s the hotter of the two, in a Dudley Do-Right-meets-Stepford Wife sort of way, but Ashlee never starred in anything as heinous as 2006’s Employee of the Month. Maybe the tie goes to Ashlee for doing this:
All peripheral Jacksons (Marlon, Jackie, Randy, Tito, Rebbie, LaToya, and 3T). At first, they told us there were only five Jacksons, but that turned out to be a dirty lie; over the years, we’ve been introduced to so many members of the family that you could pick any stupid name you can think of — Stinkum, Euripides, Mo-Mo — and nine out of ten people will believe you’re talking about some random Jackson they’ve never heard of. Who can blame them? Jesus, just look at the names on that list up there. Okay, so some of them are nicknames, but by all accounts, Joe Jackson was a God-fearing hard-ass — don’t you think he could have brought out his belt a time or two to discourage his kids from leaving the house as “Tito” or “Rebbie”?
In terms of solo careers, the Jacksons are like Republican presidents — the first one we had was pretty awesome, but the last good one was a failed actor, and these days they all spend more time grab-assing with Middle Eastern oil barons than doing anything useful. Does this make George W. Bush the Rebbie Jackson of presidents? You could debate the point — George has never done anything as cool as Rebbie’s crummy 1984 hit “Centipede” (download) — but it’s close enough for us.