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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Three Bands Better off with their Lead Singer Dead (An Accusation)

Three Bands Better off with their Lead Singer Dead
The death of the lead singer usually spells the end of the band. Think INXS without Michael Hutchence, Lynyrd Skynyrd without Ronnie Van Sant, or the Crickets without Buddy Holly. But for these bands, death was only the beginning.
Now I'm not saying that any of these bands had anything to do with their lead singer's demise, but this sure does establish a credible motive. If I was Morris Day, I'd be shaking in my shoes right now.
My fine, fine shoes.

3. AC/DC-
Hard-drinking Bon Scott wasn't the first musician to die from choking on his vomit, but he does get the award for coolest official coroner report ("Death by misadventure"). Why those words didn't become a track on the next AC/DC album we'll never know.
This is totally going on my tombstone.
Prior to 1980 when Bon Scott died in the back of a Renault (the least Rock n Roll car in history), AC/DC's top selling album reached only number 17 in the charts. Though they did sell respectfully and tour internationally, the band had never experienced the type of mega-stardom that prompts people to name their children 'Blanket' or 'Apple'. Enter Brian Johnson.
Pictured: The car that has blocked more cock than Portia DeRossi.
Brian joined the band just in time to record Back in Black, an album that sold 50 million freaking copies; that's second only to Michael Jackson's Thriller. They would follow that up with more hits and resurgences than Evander Holyfield, and were ultimately inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Even today, AC/DC remains one of the most popular bands of all time.
Would AC/DC have reached that kind of commercial success with Bon Scott? That's for the courts to decide.   
Suspicion level: 6

2. The DOORS-
The Doors, sans lead singer/lizard deity Jim Morrison, recently toured the United States. Exactly three people attended these shows and one of those was Ray Manzarek's optometrist. The other two were convinced Jim was still alive. They were disappointed. Horribly, horribly disappointed.
Yet despite the fact that the Doors couldn't sell out the waiting room of a dentist's office, they continue to sell albums. As in millions of them. As in much, much more than when Jim was alive and Ray is no longer getting sloppy second groupie bootie.
 That’s right, this guy is getting more than you.
In case you're counting, that's two motives. Add to that Jim's death under mysterious circumstances in Paris, and you've got yourself a bonafide murder investigation. Hell, we had less evidence when we bombed the crap out of Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction. Somebody at least bring this guy in for questioning.
Suspicion level: 7.5

1. Mother Love Bone-
If your immediate response to hearing this band's name was 'who?', congratulations and welcome to the 99%. For the 1% that screamed 'Andrew Woooooooood!,' it's time to put away your flannel shirts and cut off your pony-tail. Grunge is dead and it's not coming back
Andrew Wood is considered one of the pioneers of the Seattle grunge movement. Of course back in 1988, he was just a hippie with a guitar and a nasty habit heroin habit. He stuck around long enough to form Mother Love Bone, release a 6-song EP and the album Apple, none of which anyone would have heard of had he not died of an overdose in 1990.
Enter Eddie Vedder. Pearl Jam manages to transcend the Seattle scene, along with Nirvana, achieving international pop success. Flannel shirts are eventually relegated to lumberjacks in the Pacific Northwest, but Pearl Jam continues to tour. And the remaining members of Mother Love Bone weren't the only ones to profit off Wood's success. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Candlebox, and Alice in Chains all released tribute singles and albums dedicated or inspired by Wood to commercial success. There's even been a film chronicling Wood's short life.
Multiple indictments pending.
 Or maybe it was the shirt that did him in. You can't tell me that thing doesn't look sinister as hell.
Suspicion Level: 9

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