Music News


As the summer of the supergroup reunion tours draws to a close, veteran rockers are counting up their winnings. Not everyone got richer quick: For example, the restoration of Traffic (actually, it was just Steve Winwood getting together with some guy who plays drums) produced about as much excitement as an appearance by Dan Quayle. But by and large, crotchety old-timers such as the Eagles and Steely Dan made out like already well-heeled bandits.

Which means, of course, that promoters, managers, agents and concert bookers are scrambling to find bands interested in reuniting next summer. A pairing of Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant is in the planning stages, and the surviving Beatles, who recorded together this year for a BBC documentary about the band, have received astronomical offers to perform together. But information about other acts is difficult to unearth. Fortunately, industry insiders who wish to remain nameless have provided this tantalizing list of possibilities:

Sonny and Cher: The timing couldn't be better for a comeback for this duo. With Sonny Bono's political career in the dumper and Cher's once-hot acting career reduced to occasional appearances in exercise videos, they need each other like never before. They got debts, babe--and you could help pay them off.

The Sex Pistols: Now that punk rock is suddenly commercial, why not bring back the granddaddies of them all? Their schedule is open: Lead singer John (Rotten) Lydon's latest act, Public Image Ltd., recently lost its record deal with Virgin, drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones have spent most of the nearly two decades since the group disbanded watching the telly, and Sid Vicious is dead--meaning he doesn't have any prior commitments. Besides, Vicious in his present condition probably can play the bass just as well as he did when he was alive.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Death also has thrown a crimp into plans to renew the Experience. Fortunately, modern technology can help. Planners envision bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell (each of whom have written books about Hendrix) playing with a computer-generated Jimi holograph. Won't Natalie Cole be jealous?

The Partridge Family/The Brady Bunch: Imagine the nostalgia orgasm this combination would provoke. Again, nearly all the principals are available: David Cassidy has become a one-man Partridge Family publicity firm, Susan Dey has quit in a huff from every TV series in which she's been involved, Danny Bonaduce is (surprise!) not in jail, and Florence Henderson and Ann B. Davis are rested and ready. Expected to fill in for the late Robert Reed as Papa Brady: Gabe (Welcome Back, Kotter) Kaplan.

Wings: Actually, most of the rumors concerning a reunion of Paul McCartney and his post-Beatles group are coming from the other bandmembers. Who seem to have a lot of time on their hands.

David Bowie: Because Bowie is not technically a group, it would seem difficult for him to reunite. However, he has never joined all of his personalities on stage at the same time. Packagers promise a killer duet by Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke.

The Police: Perhaps the most unusual reunion of the summer. Police vocalist/bassist Sting originally considered bringing back guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland, but he changed his mind after coming to the conclusion that he was the only worthwhile person in the group. Hence, Sting's only sideman will be his ego.

USA for Africa: The ultimate supergroup succeeded once, with "We Are the World," and they can do it again. Among those already committed to getting on this love train include Kim Carnes, Kenny Rogers, Sheena Easton and Tito and LaToya Jackson. Be still, our hearts!

The Kinks: This band hasn't really broken up, but promoters think that pretending it did may revive the group's career. Possible titles for the trek include "The We-Promise-Not-to-Play-Anything-From-Our-Last-Album Tour."

The Archies: This band was supposed to hit the road last summer, but the scheme went awry after Archie learned that Reggie was doing it with Veronica. Now that Reggie and Jughead are a couple, the "Sugar, Sugar" can go on. Ticket prices for this event likely will hover in the $200 range. Archie brushes off criticism of this move by noting that parking is included.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts