Thursday Bar Fight #12: Just Like The Travelling Wilburys, Only Not Really

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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71 Responses

  1. Tod Kelly says:

    By the way, for those unfamiliar with the titular Traveling Wilburys: They were a super band from the late 1980s who recorded the minor hit Handle With Care.

    Their personnel consisted of George Harrison from The Beatles, Tom Petty from The Heartbreakers, Jeff Lynne from Electric Light Orchestra, Roy Orbison from Springsteen’s Thunder Road Lyrics, and Bob Dylan from that guy Bob Dylan.Report

  2. Pinky says:

    Tough rules. Between no former bandmates and one instrument, you knocked out my entire lineup (Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Phil Collins, and Peter Gabriel).Report

  3. Kazzy says:

    Thanks for using the idea, Tod! As I said when I emailed it to you, I don’t think I’d have an answer. But I hope others do!Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

      Actually, I have a semi-answer…

      Freddie Mercury on vocals.Report

      • Will H. in reply to Kazzy says:

        I’m glad somebody brought up Queen.
        I was listening to this last night, and thinking the electric guitar (right up until the end) sounds like it’s being played with a slide in a reverse tape loop. (the link is cued to the part where it does it the first time)

        Anyone here with better ears than me with an opinion on this?Report

  4. Christopher Carr says:

    I’d be very interested to see what kind of crazy new music the following individuals would produce together:

    Brian Eno, Bruno Mars, Jay Z, Kanye West, Laetitia Sadier, Bob Dylan

    Bonus (same rationale): Bach, Beethoven, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Harry PartchReport

  5. Will H. says:

    Michael Sadler (Saga): vox
    Eric Gales (The Eric Gales Band): lead guitar
    Judah Bauer (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion): second guitar
    Roger Manganelli (Less Than Jake): bass
    Martin Deller (FM): drums

    That would be my first choice.Report

  6. I’m so fishing tempted to just make an All-Jersey supergroup (Brian Fallon on vocals/lyrics/guitar, Lauryn Hill on vocals, Max Weinberg on drums, Zack Wylde on guitar, and maybe Bryan Kienlen from the Bouncing Souls on bass), but I’ll restrain myself and instead make a grunge-heavy supergroup with a Jersey influence.

    Lead vocals, guitar – Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, etc.)
    Vocals, lyrics, guitar – Brian Fallon (Gaslight Anthem)
    Drums – Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters)
    Bass – Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam)
    Sax – Kenny GReport

  7. Kind of just tempted to re-unite the Backbeat Band.

  8. So long as it features Kate Pierson on vocals, I’m happy to listen to any band you assemble.Report

  9. Mike Schilling says:

    Cheerfully ignoring the rules:

    Guitar: Pete Townshend
    Bass: Paul McCartney
    Drums: Ringo Starr
    Lead Vocals: Roget DaltreyReport

  10. BlaiseP says:

    Ryuichi Sakamoto: old school synthpop grown into delicate, intellectual beyond-classical world music.
    Brendan Bayliss: jam artiste and songwriter extraordinaire. I’d take Jake Cinninger, too, but I can’t include two band members.
    Tony Levin: everything below 2kHz.
    Rick Marotta: the different drummer.
    Madeleine Peyroux: an inimical voice.Report

  11. Geoff Rickley – Vocals (Thursday, solo work)
    Hope Sandoval – Vocals (Mazzy Star, solo work)
    Adam Franklin – Vocals, Guitar (Swervedriver, Toshack Highway, Adam Franklin and Bolts of Melody)
    Eric Quach – Guitar (DestroyAllDreamers, thisquietarmy)
    Matt Gentling – Vocals, Bass (Archers of Loaf)
    Mike Marsh – Drums (Dashboard Confessional, The Avett Brothers) [Marsh may not be the best drummer out there, but he’s good enough and incredibly entertaining live.]Report

    • Oh, here is my deceased line up:

      Ian Curtis – Vocals (Joy Division)
      Kurt Cobain – Vocals, Guitar (Nirvana)
      Layne Staley – Vocals, Guitar (Alice in Chains, Mad Season)
      Elliot Smith – Vocals, Guitar (solo work)
      Mark Linkous – Vocals, Guitar (Dancing Hoods, Sparklehorse)
      Jason Molina – Vocals, Guitar (Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co.)

      So, yeah, this would likely be the most depressing band ever, as everyone either committed suicide or destroyed themselves.Report

      • I’ve changed my mind:

        Ian Curtis – Vocals (Joy Division)
        Kurt Cobain – Vocals, Guitar (Nirvana)
        Elliot Smith – Vocals, Guitar (solo work)
        Michael Dahlquist – Drums (Silkworm)
        Mark Linkous – Vocals, Bass* (Dancing Hoods, Sparklehorse)
        Jason Molina – Vocals, Guitar (Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co.)

        *Linkous was primarily a guitar player, but also played bass, so I’m switching him to bass to round out the sound.Report

  12. Chris says:

    Hmm… most of the people I want to pick are dead, so here’s my band:

    Vocals: Karen O, ’cause she’s fun.
    Gee-tar: David Gilmour (preferably from the Wish You Were Here era and not The Division Bell era)
    Gee-tar 2: J Mascis, ’cause that fuzz is going to sound awesome under Wish You Were Here era Gilmour
    Bassist: I was torn between Victor Wooten and Les Claypool, but because of Tod’s arbitrary and totally unfair rules, picking Wooten would rule out another of my selections, so I’m going with Claypool.
    Banjo: Bela Fleck (hence no Wooten)
    Keyboard: Garth Hudson
    Drums: Billy Cobham

    We need a songwriter, though, so I’m going to go with Neil Diamond behind the scenes.

    Oh, and Mix Master Mike when we need someone on the turntables.Report

    • Christopher Carr in reply to Chris says:


      I was listening to Nights With Alice Cooper a few months back, and he played a song from The Division Bell. After the song, there was like a ten-second pause, and then Cooper just dryly said: “That was a song from The Division Bell. I didn’t really listen to a lot of Pink Floyd then.”

      We’re not worthy, indeed.Report

      • Chris in reply to Christopher Carr says:

        I don’t mind The Division Bell, but I prefer ethereal Gilmour to more sober Gilmour. The only time I was able to see them was during The Division Bell tour, when they would play the show in two parts: pre-Division Bell (including one song from A Momentary Lapse of Reason), and The Division Bell. That second part was cool, but that first part? A religious experience, even without Roger Waters.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Chris says:

          I would have picked David Gilmour for my band (below), but I decided he’s too predictable at this point in his career. If you want to soar, there’s no one who’ll take you higher. I love his work. But I’m thinking of the band over the next ten years. There’s got to be room to grow. Maybe I should pick an already-all-star band and not have to worry about their development.Report

    • Chris in reply to Chris says:

      OK, after listening to Eveningland on the way home, I’m changing my vocalist to Sally Ellyson.Report

  13. J. Otto Pohl says:

    I know most of these guys are pretty old, but I have been cut off from popular culture for a very long time.

    Stan Ridgway – vocals
    Bootsie Collins – bass
    Ritchie Blackmoor – guitar
    Ginger Baker – drumsReport

  14. carr1on says:

    The Allman Brothers Band. That’s all the Super Group I need. Gregg and Duane Allman. Dickey Betts. And now Derek Trucks (anyone want to start a religious war about who’s the best guitar god alive?!?!?!?) and Warren Hayes (Gov’t Mule).Report

  15. zic says:

    I’d start with Jordan Kaulback.

    And his whole setup is his instrument; you cannot separate the guitar, keyboard, microphone, voice, and looping pedals apart, he plays them all at once.

    Rest I’ll think on.

    This a live solo performance at a private summer festival.Report

  16. Jaybird says:

    We should also have a chick band.

    Vocals – Roberta Flack (she’s still alive)
    Bassist – (the other) Michael Steele
    Lead Guitar – Jennifer Batten
    Drummer – Is Karen Carpenter still alive (too soon), okay, Jody Linscott.

    Oh, and have Missy produce it.Report

  17. Andrew says:

    One problem with this: “they will not be allowed to play in any other bands or pursue solo careers during this time”… That knocks out quite a few people who I wouldn’t want to restrict…

    But, putting that aside, and putting aside the concept of making money off of this band (they will exist purely for my own enjoyment):

    Emmylou Harris (vocals)
    David Rawlings (lead guitar)
    Jim James (rhythm guitar)
    David Grisman (mandolin)
    George Porter Jr (bass)
    Rodney Holmes (drums)

    Be a fun combination of more country-oriented musicians with a funky jazz rhythm section. And, if that rhythm section doesn’t work out for some reason, we’ve got a ready-made acoustic four-some.

    For the bonus question, gimme Jerry Garcia and any combination of other musicians. Let’s say Garcia, Duane Allman, Jack Cassady, Levon Helm and John Coltrane. And what the hell, throw in Ray Charles as well.Report

  18. Markahnua says:

    1980s Super Goup:

    David Bowie (vocals)
    Gary Numan (keyboards / vocals)
    Nick Rhodes (keytar)
    Jeff Lynne (guitar/pipe)
    Rudy Sarzo (bass)
    Alan Myers (drums)Report

  19. aaron david says:

    I’m seeing some good stuff above, but, well…

    We need to boil this down a little, as six, well, you couldn’t get that many people on the stage at CBGB’s, and if you can’t play there, you are not rock*.
    Four, still too much fat on those bones.
    Power trio:
    Marc Ribot – guitar
    John Medeski – keyboards
    Brann Dailor – drums

    * yes, I know about CBGB’s having closed.Report

  20. Brian Houser says:

    Most of the musicians I’d like to choose are past their prime, so to speak, and I’ve tired of watching once-great performers try to stretch their careers to the point of sullying the memory of their heydays. I really want the rules to allow choosing band members from when they were in their prime. I’d love to get the younger Mark King (Level 42), Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Neil Peart (Rush), Al Jarreau, and Rickie Lee Jones together.

    So, sticking to the rules, rather than picking well-known artists, I’m going to put together a band of young prodigies that have impressive YouTube videos:

    Guitar: Tina
    Bass: Michael Lima
    Keyboard: Ameri
    Drums: Sara
    Vocals: Jasmine Thompson

    I am a little worried about the songwriting abilities of this group, but assuming they can come up with something, imagine how cute!Report

  21. Pinky says:

    John Mayer – guitar & vocals
    Tim Reynolds (occasional member of Dave Matthews Band) – guitar
    Grant Hutchison (Frightened Rabbit) – drums
    Joe Walsh – guitar

    Mayer and Hutchison both do some interesting stuff with rythym. They’re also near the beginning of their careers, which will be important for a ten-year run. I might have gone with Dave Matthews as the second guitarist, but he can be too Dave Matthewsy. Joe Walsh has his best years behind him, sure, and I don’t know if he’d fit in the style of the band, but I figure he’s just going to wander in and out of the studio at random anyway, and while he’s there, you get Joe Walsh (which is a pretty amazing thing to have). Anyway I have to get to four members.

    I would have gone with Joss Stone for vocals, but if John Mayer is the horndog he’s reputed to be, I couldn’t do that to the poor girl. I don’t hear too well in the lower range, so I’m not going to pick a bassist. And it bugs me that I can’t think of a younger (post-Emerson Lake & Palmer) keyboardist who is interesting.Report