Chain Saw of Fools

Where do Wendy and Rob rate among rock's most marginal contributors?

Ringo's Tonsils:
Infinitely more important than Nichol, these excised masses of tissue warbled on a total of three Beatles recordings before being yanked out of the Lovable Nose's skull. That this trio of songs ("Boys," "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "Matchbox") constitutes possibly the least important songs of the Beatles' recorded output might downgrade them in the final scoring. While we're at it, let's gauge the importance of yet another drummer's biological castoff.

Rick Allen's Left Arm
After the Auto Accident:
Sure, the former arm of Def Leppard's drummer kept time on a great number of hits by the band, but what has it done for us lately?

Mickey Finn:
Most people downplay the importance of drummers, a common but understandable mistake given their lower profile onstage. Yet what is one to make of Mickey Finn, T. Rex's conga player? Tracks like "Bang a Gong," "Metal Guru" and "Children of the Revolution" are indisputable rock classics that have endured far beyond glam's limited shelf life. But just try remembering the conga parts on any of these, and you'll come away wondering if Finn recorded his parts on transparent tape.

Cliff Noble:
One-hit wonders seem like a natural for this listing, except that they've got at least one memorable hit to commend them, which is several less than Milli Vanilli but considerably more than the Plasmatics ever attained. Like Rob and Fab, Cliff never sang on his hit record, either. Deejays flipped his vocal rendition of "Love Is All Right" over in favor of its instrumental version. "The Horse" galloped to the Top Three in 1968 and jettisoned Noble's singing career. Blame it on the reins!

Andrea True Connection:
Before ex-porn priestess Wendy O. turned her attention to music, there was ex-porn star Andrea True warbling the disco classic "More More More." Here's another case where several other voices were brought in to sweeten a lead vocal, to the point where you couldn't hear the true True anymore. Except on late-night TV disco-album offers, no more more more was ever heard from Andrea.

Andrew Ridgeley:
George Michael recently made headlines by indecently exposing himself in a Greyhound depot. Years ago, he gave far more indecent exposure to his no-talent partner Andrew Ridgeley. Andy's hollow post-Wham! stab at a heavy-metal career gave some indication of how come he wasn't ever invited to sing on a Wham! recording or even the safety-in-numbers Band Aid anthem "Do They Know It's Christmas?" What was Andrew's job description? Playing negligible guitar, mouthing George Michael's la-las in the videos and taking up 4x5 inches of every Wham! 8x10 glossy. The only job Ridgeley was qualified for after that was being one of the people who fill in the seats at the Oscar ceremonies when someone famous goes onstage to collect a statuette.

The New Monkees:
These upstarts were supposed to take up where Davy, Micky, Peter and Mike left off. Unfortunately, they didn't get the funniest looks--or ANY looks that matter--from anyone they met. Unless you're one of those people who fell asleep during an infomercial and woke up to their rarely aired 1987 syndicated show at 4:30 a.m., the actual existence of a new Monkees is cause for mere speculation. It's doubtful even episodes like "Meet the Pope" gave birth to any memorable songs.

Jason Everman:
Credited as a second guitarist on Nirvana's Bleach album, he merely came up with the $606 the band needed to record it. Everman, a former commercial fisherman, never played a note on that or any subsequent recording. Kurt Cobain grew to dislike him, and the band soon got rid of him. And remember now, even in post-grunge America, Kurt's very important and very, very dead.

The 25th Marvelette:
As far as girl groups go, the Marvelettes were anonymity personified. Most of their early album covers don't even show their faces--Please Mr. Postman has a crude drawing of a cobwebbed mailbox. By the time they did show the girls' smiling faces with any regularity, new members came and went several times over. The Return of the Marvelettes album in 1989 features only one original Marvelette (Wanda Young) and two models hidden in fog and haze. The touring version of the Marvelettes surely must've hit 25. Only Menudo can claim more ex-members.

The 26th Menudo:
As long as there's a God and a useless Internet page devoted to these puppet pop stars, I'll get to the bottom of this.

Billy Squier's Dance Instructor:
Squier gave us a few choice AOR hits and perhaps the most embarrassing video in all of rock, the "Rock Me Tonight" fiasco. Whoever taught Billy to dance like such a strumpet and took money for it probably had a lucrative sideline printing "I'm With Stupid" tee shirts as well.

Every account of the Sex Pistols' anarchic rise to fame always mentions the mysterious guitarist in glasses named Wally who was eventually given the boot for being, well, a geek. For a while, this nerd was rumored to be Elvis Costello. Had he been allowed to stay, most editorial accounts of the Sex Pistols' exploits would probably have used the word "wanker" far more frequently. Plus, with Wally's deciding vote, they may have been outvoted when they kicked out their most accomplished musician, Glen Matlock, for liking the Beatles.

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