Now,I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking, “I have already found theband of my dreams, and they are called Maroon 5.” But try to thinkbeyond conventional reality. Everyone who likes music has probablyfantasized about their version of the perfect lineup for the perfectband. This is something people do when they are 14, or stoned, or 14and stoned. This is something I occasionally bring up to strangers incasual conversation, and I always expect them to dismiss the exerciseas a waste of time; to my surprise, they never do.
Here’s the idea: You must build the ideal rock band. Youneed a singer, a guitarist, a bass player, a drummer, and one “wildcard” (this musician can play whatever you choose and provide backingvocals). The rules are as follows:
1) You can’t take more than one member from any given existing group.
2) You can’t pick Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley as your vocalist.
3) You can’t pick Jimi Hendrix as your guitar player.
4) If you pick a bassist who sings (like Les Claypool) or adrummer who sings (like Don Henley) or a guitarist who sings (likeMaroon 5 frontman Adam Levine), he (or she) can’t sing in thisparticular band. They can play their specific instrument only. Also, if you select Les Claypool or Don Henley, you’re a prick.
5) You can’t pick John Bonham as your drummer. You also can’t pick Animal from The Muppet Show.
At first glance, this might look easy. But the more you thinkit over, the more challenging it seems. This is because your Dream Bandis not supposed to be an all-star team of your favorite musicians.These five artists are actually supposed to record an album and tour.As a consequence, certain lineups simply will not work. It would be abad idea to make deceased blues legend Robert Johnson your singer ifSwedish ax virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen is your guitarist. These personaswould not gel (although I suppose they might end up sounding likeLiving Colour).
I’ve been considering this for roughly 20 years, so mylineup is probably unbeatable: It’s Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi onguitar, Parliament-Funkadelic’s Bootsy Collins on bass, Mötley Crüe’sTommy Lee on drums, and Prince as my multi-instrumental wild card. Myfrontwoman will be Karen Carpenter. This, I feel, would be the ultimatefunk-metal wedding band (the group’s name would be Doomed Honeymoon).
So here is what I want you to do: Come up with your ownDream Band using the parameters I’ve established. E-mail your lineup(and the band’s name) to [email protected]. Enter as many timesas you like, because–honestly–what the fuck do I care? And here isthe prize: If I feel your Dream Band is good enough to legitimatelyrock the cosmos, I will personally turn your dream into a reality. Iwill call all prospective musicians on their home telephones. I willconvince them that this opportunity is perfect. I will sign them to arecording contract. And I will immediately fly them (and you) to NewYork City for rehearsals. Your Dream Band will meet with you and me, aswell as proven hit-makers Glen Ballard and Desmond Child. Together, wewill create a 28-song double album (you will be responsible for thelyrics, and you may also have to mike the drums). Upon the record’srelease, your Dream Band will embark on a 26-city club tour. Theopening act will be Maroon 5.
Perhaps you still have questions. Perhaps you find yourselfsaying, “Chuck, this will never work. Many of the prospective bandmembers I want to select are already dead.” However, that will not bean issue: We have robots. We will build robots, and they will rock you.We have robots. And we have dreams.