I apologize for the lack of posts as of late, but I am just overwhelmed with everything that is going on. Between the coronavirus, the riots, and being back in the hospital with cardiac issues, I’m not sure where I am most days. Plus, I have to back in the hospital on Tuesday for a cardiac catheter ablation procedure. Not really looking forward to the procedure but hoping that it will stop the A-Fib I’ve been dealing with for about 5 years now. We’ll see.
Not too long ago (I can’t really remember exactly when – the days here in self-isolation just blend together), I watched the ZZ Top documentary on Netflix. A very enjoyable show it was. It gives a good background on how they got started and had bit and pieces of lots of their music scattered throughout the show, as well as the band playing live.
One line that stuck with me, but I can’t remember who said it (not a band member), was “ZZ Top took the blues and turned it into party music”. That’s a very true statement. It goes right along with front man Billy F. Gibbons’ reply when asked why fans still come to see them play live; (paraphrasing here) “I don’t know. We’re just the same three guys playing the same three chords”.
I hope they keep those same I-VI-V chords going!
This song has been stuck in my head off and on since I watched that show.
So just yesterday, or maybe the day before, or was it last week, son-the-younger hit me up with one of his questions. It was a very good question.
”Would Jimi Hendrix be just as famous if he had had a lead singer?”
In my (not so humble) opinion, no he would not have been as famous. Generally speaking only the front man of the band get’s the headlines. Without “googling” it, name the lead guitar player for The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, or The Animals. See? Not that easy. (Robby Krieger (The Doors), Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane), and The Animals was a trick question, they had more guitarists wander in and out you’d have to read the Wikipedia page for all the names).
Not that Jimi didn’t deserve his fame. He was a brilliant musician, and is a member of my “Guitar Gods” list (I really, really need to actually put that list in writing). My thought was since he died so young (a founding member of the 27 Club), he would not have had enough time to get out of the shadow of a really good front man. Of course, we’ll never know. Feel free to leave your response to the question as a comment!
Before you go thinking that this is a Hendrix post, read on.
The next (semi) logical step in our conversation was who else fit in this category. We threw lots of names around. Naturally, the whole discussion started looking for a rabbit hole. As we were on our second Tequila drink (not sure exactly what we were drinking, something from son-the-younger’s warped mind) it didn’t take long to find said rabbit hole.
We ended up discussing front men that really couldn’t sing. Sometime during the course of the back and forth of throwing out names and laughing, I mentioned Roger McGuinn. Since Earth Day and Arbor Day is right around now, this song has been getting a bit more airplay. And when I played it for the boy, he had never heard it. But we both agreed that Roger is not a singer. A great song writer and guitar player, but we’ll leave it at that.