bad queen and other improbable pairings
seventies pomp-rockers queen are touring this year, with former bad company and free frontdude paul rogers taking the late freddie mercury's parts. rodgers and mercury were contemporaries and unusually good vocalists, but their styles were ... different.
mercury was over-the-top, theatrical, and campy. rodgers was straight-ahead, macho, and bluesy. hearing the latter interviewed this morning, however, i identified the missing link: rodgers emulated little richard's voice and mercury emulated little richard's style. still, i'm tempted to overpay to see them next month. it wouldn't be queen, of course, but rodgers' leather-lunged shouts might be a nice complement to brian may's big guitar sound (aside: almost bought his li'l vox amp this spring, but opted for this one). in any case, i'm now convinced that a seemingly improbable pairing will generate more fan interest than an expected one (e.g., queen's flirtation with george michael).
i tried to think of a similarly disparate pairing for the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. here are a few that come to mind, but you can probably think of better ones:
1980s: michael stipe fronting u2.
hmmm. i'd pay to see beautiful day, but edge and peter buck already have more than a little in common. maybe it would be more interesting to pair bono with r.e.m. -- losing my religion would be killer.
1990s: the flaming lips' wayne coyne fronting pearl jam.
now we're getting somewhere. just imagine wayne's reedy falsetto over alive. for the reverse, we'd get to hear eddie vedder belting out she don't use jelly. he would certainly take do you realize? in an entirely new direction. it is probably best not to think about that one too long.
2000s: how about weezer's rivers cuomo in outkast?
hey-ya would be great fun onstage. putting andre 3000 into weezer would result in some outstanding versions of beverly hills and buddy holly.
that settles it. let's put andre 3000 in queen! two words: bohemian rhapsody.