Some of the most hilariously indulgent moments in music
There’s been a bit of talk about supergroups of late. The mere mention of them can elicit a multitude of feelings in the music lover. It’s either a merging of talented musos to make great art, or a disappointing musical vanity project that keeps bored artists entertained in between releases with their regular acts.
And, while it’s not always the case, it has been suggested that some supergroups are a tad indulgent.
So I thought I’d take it one step further and put the call out to the Double J audience for the most indulgent moments in music history.
Think along the lines of the longest guitar/drum/bass solos. The most time and money spent recording an album. The highest of hairstyles, or the largest of shoulder pads in a photo shoot or music video. The most ridiculously expensive clip.
Anything that communicates that, sometimes, the music world can provide some of the most batshit crazy moments in life and art. Without them, we’d be a boring lot with no sense of humour.
So here they are. Get in and enjoy the ride.
Brian May performs ‘God Saves The Queen’ on the roof of Buckingham Palace
Sure, this was part of the celebration for the commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II (WTF that means is anyone’s guess), but this is the ultimate in lead guitarist punish.
Here’s Brian, standing alone atop the most royal of houses in the world, paid for by the poor plebs, dressed angelically in white, his luscious soft permed locks flapping in the breeze. He’s playing one of the dirgiest of tunes ever written to thousands of peasants locked below in a field that looks to be miles away.
Let them eat cake, with a side of feedback. Jimi Hendrix would be turning in his grave.
Hear ‘n Aid – ‘Stars’
This might be my favourite thing on earth ever. All the metal and hard and hair rock bands converged together to create a song that was their answer to USA for Africa and Band Aid. And it’s genius.
So much hair, so much ball-tearing tight jeans, crop tops, duelling guitars. So much everything. I’m high on hairspray fumes just watching this.
The KLF burning 1 million pounds
Sure, this was all part of an art project (a fascinating one that commented on the corruption of the music industry), but some people were critical.
People suggested that even a few tenners of that cash could have helped some folk sitting outside their local Tesco holding their hands out in order to secure a bed overnight.
But it was the ‘90s and the KLF were all bound for Mu Mu land with big ideas and a manifesto that still rings true today, so I’ll forgive them.
Also, the drugs were probably really great back then. And they probably thought artists would continue to make money through music. LOL.
Keith Emerson’s Flying Piano
OH&S, where the feck were you when some bright spark decided that this was a great idea in the pre-tour blue sky big ideas meeting?
Such insanity went on to inspire other bright sparks to do the same. I’m looking at you, Tommy Lee, whose revolving drum kit above the audience would get stuck quite often, leaving him dangling upside down mid drum fill.
Some would suggest this was a traumatic experience for Lee, while others would say a career highlight. You decide.
The recording of Guns ‘N Roses’ Chinese Democracy
A gazillion years in the making. It went on so long I can’t even remember if it came out. Did it? [Ed: yes] And if it did, was any good? [Ed: no]
U2 pre-loading into all of our iTunes without our permission
You all remember where you were when this happened.
“WTF is that pile o’ shite doing in there?” you thought as you looked at your screen. “If I’d wanted Bono and The Edge, Adam Clayton and the other guy that no-one remembers staining up my collection at least I’d start with something good, like The Joshua Tree or War.” #neverforget