Monday, October 1, 2012

5 Super Groups You Probably Don't Know

      Anyone within earshot of one of my famous drunken, slurred diatribes that usually end in tears and pants shitting, knows that I love music! I love it a lot, usually, to the chagrin of everyone at the unemployment office  as well (So I listen to my iPod, without head phones, with the volume all the way up? Fuck you! You'll appreciate the musical stylings of David Byrne,whether you like it or not, bitch!).

I think he's screaming in pain...because the suit is too small.

      During one of my many forays into the lecherous world of music and it's obscene gyrating, I discovered a woefully under appreciated phenomenon. The "super group". "Super groups" are when members of two or more "good bands", join forces to fight against the tyranny of horrible music, by making one awesome band. Like a musical group...Voltron. Basically, a bunch of famous music artists "jam", swap groupies and go home. Sometimes they crap out a record that documents their efforts. It's usually not a big deal. It wasn't until later that "super groups" became a big deal. When people in suits smelled the sweet stench of money.

      The "deal" being the sound of a million cash registers opening at once. Many of these "groups" are little more than publicity stunts (shitty duets albums). Aside from whoring for money, a few "super groups" have done some pretty remarkable things. They've kept Scott Weiland and Chris Cornell from drugging themselves to a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame "died too soon" memorial exhibit...temporarily, got Eric Clapton on drugs...temporarily and united one Beatle, one Rolling Stone and Yoko produce a nightmare. So, here are a few, that you've probably never heard of...because...why the hell not. I'm going to cry now.

Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band

"All-Starr"...get it? It's because his name is...
never mind, you get it.

      Ringo Starr was the drummer of a an obscure band called the Beatles. Upon the demise of the barely famous quartet, Ringo went on to some success with a solo career. After spending years, languishing in abject wealth and wasting away in multi-million dollar homes, Ringo got crazy bored. Rather than do what any normal bored gazillionaire would do (buy a clone to replace his aging organs and hunt minorities for sport), he decided to form a "super group". 

      He formed not just ONE super group, no, no...that wouldn't do for someone named Starr. No, instead, he decided to form and continue re-forming his super group with a constant injection of fresh mega-talent. The idea is that everyone in it is the "star". Right. Basically, he formed the vampire equivalent of a super group. It's members have included: Joe Walsh (The Eagles), Sheila E. (Prince's Hoe), John Entwistle (dead Who bassist), Peter Frampton (of Peter Frampton fame) and Edgar Winter (albino) among many, many others.

Army of Anyone

It's like they're watching you...
while you hide in a cardboard box.

      Army of Anyone is the super group no one ever asked for. It's the bizarre pairing of Richard Patrick (Filter) and the DeLeo brothers (Stone Temple Pilots)...and some guy from David Lee Roth's band. Apparently, this is what happens when bands take the wrong singer home from rehab. Richard Patrick was doing a solo record...or some other unremarkable thing, and the DeLeo brothers wanted in on it. 

      They ended up jamming for twelve hours. Eleven of which were overkill. The result is what I like to call "retarded". It's basically a Stone Temple Pilots album that's sadly trying to find another Scott Weiland...and getting the guy from Filter as a clumsy substitute. What do you think?

Atoms For Peace

Will the real Thom Yorke please stand up?

      This is probably the most artsy super group on this list. It's almost the dream team of alternative...weird, just uh...damned weird rock. How Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and Joey Waronker (Beck's precussionist) and some other guy, got together seems like it would be a drug fueled comedy about waif like man children hitting each other with keyboards while Flea looks on...molesting a bass guitar, but it's not. 

      Actually, it was probably because Thom Yorke needed a band to help play his solo album on the road. Still, the line up looks like he took his Rolodex and threw it against a wall. Whoever was left in it got a phone call and a band invite. Really, how else would Flea get this gig? Hell, how does Thom Yorke even know Flea?! They did make an album though...which is basically Thom Yorke dicking around on a synthesizer while singing discarded Radiohead lyrics. Not too shabby.

Camp Freddy

Quick! Pose like a bunch of has beens!

      This is by far one of my favorite super groups, because it's basically the best cover band...ever. Imagine Ringo's crew up there, but with more recent rock stars...and rappers and R&B singers doing...get this...cover songs. The core band consists of Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Sorum (Guns & Roses), Billy Morrison (The Cult) and some other guy...oh and Scott Weiland sometimes, in between rehab visits of course. 

      The band sets up shop at various clubs in and around L.A. and holds court, inviting guests ranging from Cypress Hill to Corey Taylor (Slipknot) to do covers of popular songs. Have you had a bizarre dream to see Courtney Love & Juliette Lewis do a well played cover of "Ain't Talking Bout Love" (Van Halen)? Well, dream no longer, you freakin' weirdo. Why would you dream about something like that anyway? 

The Neurotic Outsiders

Matt Sorum...again?!

      Yeah, it's weird that Matt Sorum is in all of these bands. Well, most of them, Ringo's band already has a drummer. Regardless, The Neurotic Outsiders consist of every second tier band member from three huge bands. There's Matt Sorum, again (Guns & Roses), Duff McKagan (Guns & Roses), Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols) and John Taylor (Duran Duran), in a band fit for...well, nothing really. What they were thinking when they formed this band, only their booze laden livers know for sure. 

      Though, I will say that some of their songs are not totally wretched. The band actually does a halfway decent job at...whatever it is they're doing. Rhyme schemes bordering on illiteracy and songs that range from semi-fast to moderately fast, you might wonder why this band didn't take the world by storm, then, you hear the words "You're so mean, do you know what I mean. You're unkind, you're so not my kind." and you suddenly realize, "Oh, they're retarded, that's why."


  1. There has to be better standards for "super group". I say all the members have to have been an integral part of a previous, famous band. None of this "some guy from David Lee Roth's band" nonsense. Those backing solo artists need not apply. If we allow them to be "super groups," then what's next, "the 3rd string backup dancer for Justin Bieber, the tambourine girl from the album Kidz Bop volume 9, and a guy who once saw Weezer play live on television have formed a super group." We can't have that. No more of this chaos!

    1. I am a firm believer that no group is super...that does not include at least two Elvis impersonators. I say two, as they should do battle on every occasion in which the group performs.


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