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Surely browsing Twitter you have come across this expression many times: “what a fantasy”. Esperanza Aguirre in Mask Singer? What a fantasy. Harrison Ford at 78 years old and full of money, playing Indiana Jones again? What a fantasy. A joint album by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan? Unfortunately that never happened, but it was close, as we will tell you later. And it would certainly have been a Fantasy with capital letters.
Because let’s see, who has not dreamed of having their favorite singers or groups come together in a heavenly combo to make the best music imaginable? Freddie Mercury with Michael Jackson, Sonia and Selena with Ella Baila Sola, Joaquín Sabina with Sabrina … oh, too pretty to be true. But there were other spectacular musical combinations that were about to happen.
But let’s rewind a bit and ask ourselves: What exactly is a supergroup? Well, basically it is about the union of several singers or musicians who have already been successful in their respective bands and come together to create an even better one.
Unanimously, it is considered Cream as the first rock supergroup in history. Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Blake burst onto the music scene the day after England won the 1966 World Cup and in just two years they were also the best in the world. Between the three of them they laid the foundations to which rock’n’roll still aspires, creating anthems such as Sunshine Of Your Love, Strange Brew O White Room and all this fighting and hating each other to death at every moment, before finally separating in 1968.
Then others would come like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young o The Traveling Wilburys with none other than Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty and we can even put the members of that legendary USA for Africa or, why not, even The Three Tenors.
But today we are not here to talk about what was, but what could have been. So let’s jump to one of those different timelines that appear in Loki and let’s discover how the history of music could have been if the coin toss had turned out heads instead of tails.
Bowie and Elvis’s Impossible Dream
The following story was told by the White Duke to singer Dwight Yoakam in 1997. According to him, Bowie had told him that 20 years ago, Elvis Presley had asked him to produce his next album. This happened in 1976, when David Bowie had just released Golden Years, a song that was originally intended to ask the king of rock to record.
But legend has it that when Bowie asked his then-wife Angie to deliver the petition, she got so nervous to meet Elvis who backed down and never delivered the message.
However, dreams can still come true, especially when one is David Bowie. It was the winter of 1977 when the Englishman received a phone call from Elvis himself. He had heard his latest hit and was apparently so impressed by it that he wanted him to be his producer. However, chance of fate and the banana, bacon and peanut butter sandwiches, Elvis died of a heart attack a few months later and they never got to work together.
What an explosion of talent would have been the union of these three geniuses! It turns out that the mythical jazz trumpeter Miles Davis and guitar genius Jimi Hendrix had planned to record together in 1969, a year before the latter entered the fateful Club of 27 against his will. For drums they had thought about Tony Williams, one of the best of that time, and to complete the rhythm section on the bass they decided, why not, to aim high and invite one of the most famous people in the world at that time.
As WhatsApp was not working well at the time, they decided to send Paul McCartney – who was a good friend of Jimi, whom he had recommended to head the legendary Monterrey Festival – a telegram that is still on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Prague. On October 21, 1969, the three of them wrote the following:
“We are going to record an LP together this weekend in New York. How about you come to play the bass. Call Alan Douglas at 212-5812212. Peace. Jimi Hendrix Miles Davis Tony Williams “.
Peter Brown, an assistant to the Beatles, answered on Paul’s behalf and told them that the musician was on vacation in Scotland and would not be back for two weeks. It was not a good time for the Fab Four, who were falling apart between artistic differences and financial disputes. In fact, only six months after the sending of that telegram, McCartney himself would announce the dissolution of the band.
Madonna and what could be with Michael Jackson and Prince
If you are a follower of the @esquirees Instagram account (if you are not, click on that link, follow us and come back here, we are waiting for you, relax) maybe you remember that a long time ago we showed you some fabulous photos of some young, beautiful and smiling Madonna and Michael Jackson at the time they were dating.
It was 1991 and the respective king and queen of pop had long wanted to collaborate on an album. So one thing led to another and they started meeting to eat, to go to the movies and They even ended up going to an Oscars together.
Madonna came to assure that that courtship, or whatever it was, was necessary for the two artists to get to know each other before launching themselves to record an album. And who are we to question his creative process? According to her, “writing songs together is a very intimate experience.”
Unfortunately for the millions of fans of both, that collaboration began to fall apart when Jackson did not sit well with her making the decisions for the two and when they finally entered the studio to record, he objected to the spicy lyrics that Madonna proposed and ended up leaving the album unfinished. Later he would admit that he was scared of her.
But there was another artist whose collaboration with Madonna would have been incredible too: Prince. And we bet what you want that the risky letters were not the least problem for him. Both would collaborate on a song by Like a Prayer in 1989, but when the representative of the diva wanted to embark them on a world tour, the little sex god of rock kindly rejected the idea, assuring that the planet was not prepared to withstand its simultaneous greatness. Perhaps the coolest excuse of all time.
Led Zeppelin, Yes… y no
Just as the line-up of your favorite soccer team changes every year and life goes on and nothing happens, there are many rock bands that, in the face of desertion / death by overdose / spontaneous combustion of one of their members, change it for a musician new and something else butterfly.
But there are groups that cannot overcome the loss of one of their members. That was the case with Led Zeppelin after his drummer, John Bonham, passed away. The fact is that another rock band, progressive in this case, as Yes was, was in the same situation and at the same time, so the idea arose of forming a new Frankensteinian supergroup * lightning sound * with their musicians.
The story happened like this: Yes bassist Chris Squire found himself at a party with Jimmy Page, and since they both missed the rocker glory days of yesteryear, they agreed that the remaining members of the two bands should get together and work on. an album. Page even suggested forming a new band and calling it XYZ., the initials of Ex-Yes / Zeppelin. A pretty shabby name? You are right.
The group came to compose some songs and even record demos, but Robert Plant backed out of the collaboration because he thought the music was “too complicated.” To this we had to add Page’s problems with drugs and the discussions between the managers of the respective groups about who should be the leader of the new band. So the project fell unfortunately and under its own weight.
The veto for the best album in history
When the Swinging Sixties were nearing completion, the producer Glyn Johns He had an idea as bizarre as it was ambitious: to include the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan in the same album. In fact, he had everything very well planned, as he told the founder of the magazine Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner, assuring that the idea had come from Dylan himself. His intention was to choose the best material from each group, then have them compete to see who had the best rhythm section, and then have the winners perform those songs on the album.
“Keith and George thought it was a fantastic idea”Johns assured. “Normal, because they were both huge Dylan fans. Ringo, Charlie and Bill were interested in the idea as long as everyone else agreed. John didn’t say a resounding ‘no’, but he wasn’t that interested. Paul and Mick said absolutely no“.
And that was it. For the blessed Jagger and McCartney we are left without the unique opportunity to know how three of the most influential bands in history would have sounded together.
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