The Rock and Roll fantasy draft
Heard an interest topic on Bill Simmons’ podcast today (part 1 with Chuck Klosterman) about who would you pick in a fantasy football style draft if your goal was to put together the greatest rock and roll band possible. You’d want this band to be successful, long lasting, write great songs, be both influential and critically acclaimed, and put on a great live show. The only caveat is that you cannot pick multiple members of the same band, you can’t pick Jimi Hendrix as your guitarist (that’s just too easy.), and you have to have at least one “modern” member, which I define as somebody who played primarily in the 80s or later, to avoid this turning into an all geezer rock affair.
I’m going to differ with Simmons and Klosterman slightly and pick a 5 piece band, and allow for members to fulfill multiple roles (theoretically raising the value of a multi-instrumentalist like Prince or a vocal who can also play an instrument like Paul McCartney), but you can still only select 5 members (drummer, bass, guitar, vocals, and wild card – could be piano, another guitarist, sax, an ace songwriter, or some dufus who dances around maniacally like Bez from Happy Mondays). I’ll have four “people” drafting in a typical snake draft (last pick of one round gets first pick of the second. Drafting today will be myself, longtime Fables collaborators Potatus Fry and Jim Tom Pinch, and our special guest, Charlie Sheen. Nice to have you with us today, Charlie. Sure, I’d love some chocolate milk. (Mmmm, that’s delicious, tastes like insanity and winning). Since it’s my blog I get the first pick.
Round 1, pick 1 – JLo
The first pick in the draft is tough, but the lifeblood any band worth it’s salt, especially one that’s expected to fill a big arena, is the drummer. So with the first pick in the 2011 Rock and Roll fantasy draft, I’ll take Charlie Watts, drummer for the Rolling Stones.
Round 1, pick 2 – Fry
JLo, you are an idiot. I’m glad you made it clear to everybody out there so there’s no doubt. The lifeblood to every band is a charismatic front man. One with a big voice who can keep 50,000 people’s attention on him. I’ll gladly select Freddie Mercury (vocalist, Queen) with the second pick.
Round 1, pick 3 – Pinch
You were only half right, Potatus. Both of you are idiots. The key ingredient for a band like this is a songwriter, somebody who can crank out the hits and push the band to consistently evolve. I’m taking John Lennon, songwriting, vocals and rhythm guitar excellence.
Round 1, pick 4 – Sheen
(Um. Charlie, put down the briefcase. Let’s try to focus, shall we? Thanks)
Eddie Van Halen, losers! ROCK AND ROLLLLLLLL!
On to round 2, Charlie, you’ve got the first pick in this round and then we’ll reverse order.
Round 2, pick 1 – Sheen
Ted Nugent, losers! WINNER!
Round 2, pick 2 – Pinch
(momentarily speechless, shakes head)
Wow, ok. Hard to follow that but I’ll try by taking Pete Townsend, guitarist from The Who.
Round 2, pick 3 -Fry
Wow, can’t believe his still on the board here, so I’ll take Keith Richards, Rolling Stones.
Round 2, pick 4 – JLo
Nice pick Potatus, as long you are comfortable with your band playing the same blues guitar rift for the next 40 years. I’ve got my backbone drummer, now I’m dropping the hammer up front by selecting Bruce Springsteen to front my band and give us great songwriting and really underrated guitar. And since I’ve got the next pick as well…
Round 3, pick 1 – JLo
I need a wicked an inventive guitar wizard who can complement the Boss and step forward to take lead when need be. I’m going off the board a bit to select Johnny Marr, guitarist for the Smiths.
Round 3, pick 2 – Fry
Wait, can’t stop laughing for a second. I would ask you explain that pick, JLo. but you’d probably ramble on for a few thousand words and nobody’s got time for that. I’m going to take the best player on the board and go with Eric Clapton.
JLo: You realize with Clapton and Richards there’s no way your band lasts more than 2 years together.
Fry: (rude hand gesture)
JLo: well put
Round 3, pick 3 – Pinch
My band needs somebody to lay down a funky bass line. I’ll fill that need and my “modern” requirement by selecting Flea, bassist, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Atoms for Peace.
Round 3, pick 4 – Sheen
Ready for this one?!?! Ready to have your MINDS BLOWN by the awesomeness of my reality? Zamfir, master of the PAN FLUTE! MEGAWINNER!
Round 4, pick 1 – Sheen
Sheen: John Entwistle, The Who.
Fry: Wow, that was remarkably uncrazy and sane. You ok, Charlie?
Sheen: I’m raising him from the dead with the awesome power of MY BRAIN. And I just added 90,000,000 more Twitter followers.
Fry: That’s better.
Round 4, pick 2 – Pinch
(Walks across the room, leaving Charlie Sheen on a couch by himself, headbanging and singing the lyrics to No More Mr. Nice Guy)
I’ll take Neil Pert, drummer, Rush
JLo: You just won the high school band geek vote. Oh, and Paul Rudd. Congrats.
Pinch (ignores comment, too busy staring slack jawed at Sheen)
Round 4, pick 3 – Fry
Um, I can’t decide. Ummmmmm (times running out, just pick somebody!) Um, um, Mark King!
(Moment of silence, then Spontaneous Laughter)
Pinch: Wait, you just selected slap bassist extraordinaire Mark King, from Level 42?!!?
Fry: Dammit, I panicked. Can I get a do over?
JLo: Why, so you can pick Sheila E?
Sheen: Nice, Sheila E was hawt, dog.
Fry: Shut up. I hate you all.
Round 4, pick 4 – JLo
Hmm….my band need a little bit of awesome. Joe Strummer, the Clash. He and Springsteen can do that sidle up to the mic and sing together thing, it will rock.
(heads nod around the room. This is the best pick of the draft so far. Even Charlie Sheen agrees.)
Round 5, pick 1 – JLo
I need a bassist.
Fry: I’ve got one you can have.
JLo: No thanks. (plays some air slap bass). I just need somebody understated and solid, who can maybe give us some backing vocals. What the hell, it’s my blog, I’m taking Mike Mills from REM.
(Collective): eyes roll in a “of course you will” kind of way
Round 5, pick 2 – Fry
Fry: I’m thinking.
JLo: Careful, don’t panic and shout out Fergie.
Fry: (on outside) Ha ha, very funny.
Fry: (on inside) damn, I was really going to take her.
Sheen: You couldn’t handle her anyway. I could.
Fry: On drums I’ll take Phil Selway, Radiohead.
Pinch: You could take Thom Yorke’s dance moves instead.
Round 5, pick 3 – Pinch
Pinch: Aren’t we done with this yet? No? I’ll take Stevie Wonder to play piano and 3oo other instruments.
Sheen: Plus, it’s always more fun with a blind guy at the party. ALWAYS.
Pinch: You disgust me.
Round 5, pick 4
(Long, awkward Silence)
Sheen: What, you guys waiting for me? I already picked Sheila E.
(Long, awkward Silence)
There you have it. As always with a draft like this, things unfolded strangely, with some big names left on the board. And Potatus Fry is working the phones furiously trying to dump Mark King. Good luck with that, Potatus.
So my All Star band turns out to be fronted by Bruce Sprinsteen, with Marr and Strummer leading support on guitar, and backed by Charlie Watts and Mike Mills. I’d listen to that.