Pete Wentz is not a rock star. Neither is Scott Weiland, or the lead singer of your commercial rock or “emo” outfit of choice. The generation we grew up in has been denied the experience of a “super group,” of a band with such charisma and stage presence that you literally find yourself paralyzed through the first half of their set list when you see them in concert.
Of course, our parents’ generation knew this feeling.
They lived through the days when Van Halen and Led Zeppelin were kings.
And now, we might get a chance to finally understand what they were talking about.
In late August, the boys who brought you “Jump,” “Hot For Teacher” and “Panama” announced they would be venturing out on a 50-date reunion tour starting in October with the legendary David Lee Roth manning the microphone.
In the same month, formerly idle chatter about a 2008 Zeppelin reunion tour exploded to the forefront of online music communities and blogs, with many claiming that Jason Bonham, son of the late John Bonham, would be slapping the skins.
Most of the classic rock fans I spoke to back home in New York seemed excited about the prospect of a flashback to the glory days of rock ‘n’ roll.
Except one woman, an employee of a local music store, who said something that set off all the wrong kinds of alarms in my head.
“Sure I’d love to go, but I probably won’t be able to afford it. The ticket prices will probably be ridiculous,” she said.
Two words can almost always be associated with the phrase reunion tour: “Rent’s due.”
Throughout the alcohol-doused, drug-overdose filled history of rock ‘n’ roll, there have been countless reunion tours, and many of them have been pieced together out of a few dinosaurs’ desperation to pick up enough scratch to keep “partying like a rock star.” But would Zeppelin and Van Halen do it? Are they hitting the road again to return to the glory days or are they simply trying to pay the bills?
This is already happening and it’s happening in a big way. Corruption like this has slithered its way to one of the highest rungs on the ladder of rock superstardom.
In my humble, but most likely correct, opinion, Velvet Revolver is the biggest cash scam on the face of the earth and the band is the main reason music fans should be leery of older bands trying to crawl out of nowhere to collect on their former popularity.
Slash and the rest of the old Guns N Roses crew cut ties with Axel Rose for one very simple reason: he was a drug-addicted loser on the verge of insanity. So who do they replace him with? Scott Weiland, one of the premiere voices of the 90s grunge movement and former lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots. Would you like to know another fun fact about Scott Weiland? He’s a drug-addicted loser on the verge of insanity.
Velvet Revolver exists because Slash needed money. This fact has soured part of the lineage of a generation of musicians I had formerly respected.
Is this the case for these impending mega tours? Are we going to be able to “Jump” with excitement when these two bands hit the road or are we going to be left “Dazed and Confused?”
In the case of Zeppelin, I don’t think you could ever question these guys. They ended the band immediately upon Bonham’s tragic death and seem to have only considered a reunion with the emergence of his son Jason as a drummer. A 2008 Zeppelin tour would act more as a tribute than anything else.
I would hesitate to question Van Halen, if it weren’t for Slash’s desperate cash grab poisoning my respect for the “classic rock” scene.
The feud between Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth has been well-documented and over-analyzed and anyone who knows anything about music knows grudges don’t die when it comes to bands, especially when they split over “creative differences.”
So I find it more than a little suspicious that Van Halen and Roth would choose to co-exist. One fan I spoke to believes the pair of rockstars “could very likely kill each other” before the end of the tour.
My famous last words: be wary of old-school rockers playing hits aged more than 20 years.
Sometimes the past can come back to haunt you, but sometimes it’s just looking for a handout.