Thursday, March 6, 2014
Being a big time Best Show fan (or more accurately a Best Show Gem obsessive), I don't know why it's taken me a while to check out Low Times, the new music podcast from Tom Scharpling. In any case, I listened to their 'Fantasy Band Draft' episode recently and found it to be suitably entertaining. It got me thinking about what my own fantasy band might look like... Of course, I've played this game in my head throughout the years but have never really made public what my own personal supersquad might look like.
Now that these ideas are kind of floating around the internet ether, perhaps it's a good time to indulge in some truly nerdy activity. Are you ready for my (draft disregarding) Fantasy Supergroup??
I decided to hell with some of the rules engaged on the podcast (though I did adhere to a few I liked; no two members of the same band, including at least one female musician - this wasn't, and truly shouldn't be hard), swapping out rhythm guitar for keyboards and forgoing resources like Rolling Stone's lists of best guitarists of all time etc, etc...
One aspect that had never occurred to me but I find to be brilliant, is the inclusion of a songwriting member who doesn't actually perform in the group. The addition of this appointment really colours the inclusion of each of the other members, functioning as something of an aesthetic gatekeeper and hopefully maintaining some cohesion.
The last thing to remember is that this exercise is most fun if you try to create a band that could actually function. Supergroups rarely make interesting music. I can't figure out why this is, but I do know that no one actually listens to the Million Dollar Quartet Sessions... or Velvet Revolver. You have to mix in a little understatement among the Jimmy Page's and Jaco Pastorius' of the world.
UNNAMED FANTASY BAND 2014
Singer: Bryan Ferry
Guitar: Sterling Morrison
Keyboard: Nicky Hopkins
Bass: Carol Kaye
Drummer: Jaki Liebezeit
Wildcard: Delia Derbyshire
Songwriter: Serge Gainsbourg
I briefly toyed with the idea of having Lee Hazlewood or Ron Mael as the songwriter, but ultimately the sensibilities of some of my other choices didn't really mesh with those guys. I also think Nina Simone would destroy this band, but that's a little like saying Miles Davis (a God needing no hyperlink) would probably work out OK in the trumpet slot.
I know for a fact that Jaki and Serge would've got on on record like a house on fire. Carol Kaye and Nicky Hopkins are two of the best session musicians (and coolest people ever to live), and have appeared in 'supporting' roles on some of my favourite albums of all time. Sterling Morrison has so much versatility from the strange, and the violent to the sublime. Bryan Ferry is, well... Bryan Ferry, and certainly no stranger to singing other people's material.
The wildcard is a fun position to pick. In my fantasy group I see Delia as serving a variety of positions, from Eno-esque synth tweaker, engineer and remixer, to general audio wizard and manipulator.
I think my band could pull off a hell of a sound. All members convincingly having dabbled in the psychedelic (broadly, and literally defined), pop and all around modern tones... And who knows, with so much talk of infinite parallel universes perhaps these cats really are laying it down somewhere side by side. If only I could make my way through the cosmos, finding just the right dive, sneaking in through the backdoor and bearing witness to a show that could change my life.
North America: Sam Kogon / email@example.com
All other inquiries: Dara Kartz / firstname.lastname@example.org