Daring to Dream

creamLet’s talk about super groups.

But first, what is a super group?

Well, a super group, according to Giddy Up America, is a band consisting of famous musicians coming together to be in a band for a hot minute or two. Results may vary, but the excitement generated from a super group forming doesn’t.

According to Rolling Stone, the first ever super group was Cream, back in 1966. The band was considered a super group because it consisted of Eric Clapton (The Yardbirds) and Jack Bruce & Ginger Baker (both of the Graham Bond Organisation- a band that must be British because they spelled organization wrong.) Those three dudes were all big-timers when they formed Cream, making it different than other bands and in turn, making it a super group.

The reason why super groups fail to really stick and last that long can be traced back to the originator, Cream.

“From its creation, Cream were faced with some fundamental problems that would later lead to its dissolution in November 1968. The rivalry between Bruce and Baker created tensions in the band. Clapton also felt that the members of the band did not listen to each other enough. Equipment during these years had also improved; new Marshall amplifier stacks produced more power, and Jack Bruce pushed the volume levels higher, creating tension for Baker who would have trouble competing with roaring stacks. Clapton spoke of a concert during which he stopped playing and neither Baker nor Bruce noticed.Clapton has also commented that Cream’s later gigs mainly consisted of its members showing off.” – Wikipedia

So in short, super groups have a tendency to come with super egos, meaning that super groups are usually super short-lived. But on the plus-side, that’s part of what makes a super group so much fun and so exciting.

A Brief List of Super Groups

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1968)
David Crosby (The Byrds,) Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield,) Graham Nash (The Hollies,) Neil Young (Buffalo Springfield)

The Dirty Mac (1968)
Eric Clapton (Cream,) John Lennon (The Beatles,) Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience,) Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones)

Blind Faith (1969)
Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood (Traffic,) Ric Grech (Family)

The Highwaymen (1985)
Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson

The Traveling Wilburys (1988)
George Harrison (The Beatles,) Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra,) Roy Orbison

Temple of the Dog (1990)
Chris Cornell (Soundgarden,) Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam,) Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam,) Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam,) Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam,) Mike McCready (Pearl Jam)

Oysterhead (2001)
Trey Anastasio (Phish,) Les Claypool (Primus,) Stewart Copeland (The Police)

Audioslave (2001)
Chris Cornell (Soundgarden,) Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine)

Velvet Revolver (2002)
Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots,) Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum (Guns ‘n Roses,) Dave Kushner (Wasted Youth)

Monsters of Folk (2004)
Jim James (My Morning Jacket,) Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes,) M. Ward (She & Him,) Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes)

Them Crooked Vultures (2009)
Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters,) John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin,) Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age)

Atoms for Peace (2009)
Thom Yorke (Radiohead,) Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers,) Nigel Godrich (producer- Radiohead,) Joey Waronker (Beck, REM,) Mauro Refosco (David Byrne)

traveling-wilburys-4ff972d27b17bSome of those bands were conscious efforts at one-off projects (Traveling Wilburys, Temple of the Dog, Oysterhead) and some were attempts at starting something new amidst the ashes of something old (Audioslave, Velvet Revolver.) Them Crooked Vultures is one of my favorite bands to have come out in the past couple years, but bands like Oysterhead, Audioslave, Monsters of Folk and Velvet Revolver had more misses than hits. Oysterhead especially fell victim to one of the main super group killers: self-indulgence. If a super group becomes too enamored in the greatness they’ve assembled, it becomes problematic. Meanwhile, Audioslave and Velvet Revolver never quite lived up to the hype and couldn’t escape the shadows cast by their members previous bands.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Cream are the two bands that seem to have create the biggest legacies, although you could argue that the Highwaymen and the Traveling Wilbury’s are right up there with them. Temple of the Dog is a sentimental favorite because the band was a tribute to Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood and they probably have one of the most famous songs to ever come from a Super Group with “Hunger Strike.”

What if you could make your own super group?

Who would you pick? Why would you pick them? What would their name be?

Glad you asked.

Giddy Up America’s Dream Super Groups

Not settling on just one or two super groups, I broke them into categories:

  1. The Summer Party Band
  2. The Gritty Rock Club Band
  3. The Arena Rock Band
  4. The Stadium Rock Show Band
  5. The Power Trio
  6. The Jam Band
  7. The Hip Hop Collective

Feeling ambitious, I even included some potential names for these bands. It’s important to note that one thing super groups are not known for is cool names (Atoms for Peace is possibly the one exception.) So don’t hate on the names.

Band members could be alive or dead. It doesn’t matter. This is all about what could be awesome.

THE SUMMER PARTY BAND

Lineup:
Bradley Nowell (Sublime): vocals, guitar
Travis Barker (Blink 182, the Transplants): drums
Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Atoms for Peace): bass

Band Name:
Board Shorts, The Saturday Nights, The Wild & Willing, Three the Hard Way

THE GRITTY ROCK CLUB BAND

Lineup:
Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys): vocals, guitar
Gary Clark, Jr.: vocals, guitar
Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam): bass
Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers): drums

Band Name:
The Suburban War, Sand & Gravel, The Roundhouse Kicks

THE ARENA ROCK BAND

Lineup:
Eddie Veddar (Pearl Jam): vocals
Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin): guitar
Jack White: guitar, vocals
John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin): bass
Keith Moon (The Who): drums

Band Name:
Fast & Fiction, Connector Flight, Travesty Day, Gas on Skin

THE STADIUM ROCK SHOW BAND

Lineup:
Bruce Springsteen: vocals, guitar
Keith Richards (Rolling Stones): guitar
The Edge (U2): guitar, vocals
Eric Clapton: guitar, vocals
Paul McCartney (The Beatles): bass, vocals
John Bonham (Led Zeppelin): drums
Billy Preston: keys
Clarence Clemons (The E Street Band): sax
LeRoi Moore (Dave Matthews Band): sax
Adele: backing vocals
Beyonce: backing vocals
Otis Redding: backing vocals

Band Name:
The Amazing Eventually, The Keepers, Up in the Air, Bruce Springsteen & the Keepers

THE POWER TRIO

Lineup:
Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day): vocals, guitar
Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters): drums, vocals
John Entwhisle (The Who): bass

Band Name:
The Catchalls, Shuttle, In Spades

THE JAM BAND

Lineup:
Jim James (My Morning Jacket): vocals, guitar
Trey Anastasio (Phish): guitar, vocals
Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead): guitar, vocals
Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, The Dead): guitar
Oteil Burbridge (The Meters): bass
Stanton Moore (Galactic): drums
Jon Fishman (Phish): drums
Herbie Hancock: keys
Keith Godchaux (Grateful Dead): keys
Grace Potter (Grace Potter & the Nocturnals): guitar, vocals
Janis Joplin: backing vocals

Band Name:
The Suburbs, Straight on to Morning, River Bank Players Club

THE HIP HOP COLLECTIVE

Lineup:
Questlove (The Roots): drums
Doug Wimbush (Living Colour): bass
Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine): guitar
Capt. Kirk Douglass (The Roots): guitar
Neal Evans (Soulive, Lettuce): keys
Mos Def: vocals
Snoop Lion: vocals
Method Man: vocals
Notorious B.I.G.: vocals
Justin Timberlake: vocals
Amy Winehouse: vocals

Band Name:
Urban Renewal, These City Streets, The Anthem

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