I've been waiting a long time for a show like Vh1's Supergroup. A show that really shows what it's like to be in a band. Regardless of what P-Diddy thinks he's been making for the last four or five years on eMpTyV, it's hasn't yet been a band - and I for one have always resented the idea that throwing a bunch of singers, dancers and rappers together constituted - "A Band". The Season II group from Diddy's little clusterfuck even had the nerve to call themselves "Da band".
Or is it "Duh, Band...?" - I forget.
At any rate, the new show Supergroup, featuring Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, Ted Nugent, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Evan Seinfield of Biohazard and Jason Bonham of Foreigner, which aired it's season finale last nigth has been like a long lost gift from heaven for a long-time musician like myself. I've been in a half dozen bands over the last 16 years, and this program was like going home. Everything was familiar. The confusion during rehearsals, as songs get worked out - the squabbles, brotherly in-fighting, trying to figure out a freaking NAME, dealing with outside clueless pressures and all the bullshit that goes along with being in a Rock band.
It was all there.
First let me address the big blonde elephant in the room, Sebastian Bach. Thanks to snarky gossip sites like MetalSludge.com, he's been known as Sebitchian Bach for the past ten years - ever since his behavior led to his being fired from Skid Row. Bas, as he's often called, was notorious back in the day for his "Aids kills fags dead" t-shirt (yes, rude - but he was young, dumb and full of cum) and throwing a peice of glass into the audience in anger after being hit in the head with a bottle - an act which resulted in major surgery for an innocent young girl who happened to get caught in the crossfire. Only the manic-depressive riot inducing antics of Axl Rose were more volatile than Bas.
On this show he was rather mellow, by comparison. If you consider a bull, a china shop and 5 lbs of TNT to be "mellow". But I have stand in defense of Bas, his clashes with the Vh1 promo team (aka Mr. Who-do-you-want-to-be? and his pet Bulimic Skipper) over his workout schedule and his hair were just classic. I've been a lead singer, and Bas was absolutely right to focus on making sure he was going to be in the correct physical conditioning to be able to do the gig, and that he was going to have the right look to deal with pictures and press. Photographer, and asshole extradonaire, Ross Halfin certainly gave him a rash of shit - 'You just don't have the body for it, Sebastian".
For a second it was like watching an episode of "America's Top Model" as Bas, who looks like he has 6% body fat and went running in the Nevada heat just about every day got pummelled for being overweight. Prick.
Then there was the fucking clueless AP reporter, "Do you feel that you're being yourself [on the show]?" Well, what the hell else would he be, a ham sandwitch? And the wardrobe people trying to talk Scott Ian into this silver lame cape - "That's not gonna happen". Classic.
It was interesting watching them musically collaborate, and actually go through the process of writing songs and working out their parts (Something all those other so-called "Bands" on TV don't do - because they aren't F-ing Bands!) Or trying to get a demo of their song recorded with inadequate gear. Oh lordy, can I relate.
But the absolute worst had to be the producer, Rob Cavallo, the balding Green Day producer who had the nerve to completely miss the point of their of song "Take it Back".
"Take What Back?"
Take back The Rock, you nitwit. From the Boy Bands, from the Pop Divas from all that Shit.
And I just about exploded when I heard this one - "Uh, I think it sounds kinda - dated. Like something from 1982" You have a band with 57-year-old Ted Nugent and your like expecting Avenged Sevenfold or Coldplay or something? "Maybe if you tried some more Punk like beats - I could should you on the drums?" He's saying this shit to a band with John Bonham's son on the kit?
Jason's response nailed it : "Bonham doesn't - do - punk!"
Damn straight. Jason's about my age, I know exactly where he's coming from. If you think these guys, with the experience they have doing what they want to do the way they want to do it are going to get together and start trying to sound like the hip band at the moment like Green Day, - who are an excellent band at any rate - you've got a screw loose. It's like asking them to do an Asslee Simpson cover.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
If Velvet Revolver can put it all back together, so can these guys.
I would say that the demo tracks were badly recorded, and it's obvious that Sebastian did the production because they're all vocals with a teeny, tiny little band off in the corner. But saying it's "Dated" is the same stupid B.S. I heard about most of my bands all during the 90's. As if playing Rock the way it's been done for the last 40 years since Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin isn't allowed anymore. Total Crap.
There were so many great moments in this show, Sebastian battling with his drinking issues, the death of this father, spooging as his wife and Evan's porn star wife Tera Patrick pose in some risque lingere. Scott's meltdown as Mister-Zen-Coolness through the entire show discovered his guitar rig stopped working - 'STOP - EVERYONE SHUTUP, MY SHIT ISN'T WORKING!"
What a total Exorcist moment. He was about ready to spit green pea soup and recite the national anthem backwards.
Then there was Ted Nugent over the bar-b-que with a peice of fresh venison having a Nicholson moment: "It's Dead - made for Ted - enough Said". With his guns, stalker hunter, anti-drug, neo-pedophallic tendencies - in the end Ted Nugent actually has a huge heart under all that crust. His stepping up and taking the dad role to help Sebastian straighten out after his drunken brawl with Evan was admirable.
Somebody has to be the Poppa Bear in the cave, and Ted was it. And he was absolutely right about Rock being Tribal, Primal even. You're aren't getting that from the Back Door Boys or Taylor the Hick.
And lastly there was Manager Doc McGhee. Ah, what to say about Doc. Sebastian once again was absolutely correct to face the Doc issues head on. Yes, Doc was the one who hired Sebastian and put him in Skid Row, plucking him out of Roxy (Vixen) Petruccia's band Madam X. At the time Doc managed Motley Crue and Bon Jovi. Jon and Richie Sambora took their fellow Jersey natives Skid Row under their wing, nurtured them, and took them out on tour. But when the checks started rolling in for "Youth Gone Wild", "18 and Life" and "I remember you" - they had Richie and Jon's name on them. And Doc's. This caused a huge stink with the Skid Row guys, including Bas and primary song-writer Dave "Snake" Sabo. But I have to give credit to the BJ Boy's, they were man enough to take their names off the publishing and give Skid Row back the money they'd earned. But getting burned like that was an learning experience for Bas, and something that anyone with musical aspirations should remember.
Your Publishing is your Pension. It's your retirement money, don't let anyone fuck with it.
Watching the VH-1 Post Show it was made evident that Sebastian hasn't had a drink - except for one and a half beers - since the end of taping. He's on the wagon and feeling good about it. Ted's off hunting in Alaska, Scott's still with Antrax, Evan's got his porn stuff going with Tera and Jason is still performing with Foreigner -- but if the oppurtunity and the timing arrizes, they're ALL up and ready for some more Damnocracy, an album and a tour.
I for one, am definately looking forward to it.