After Sunday night’s Tupac Shakur holla-gram at Coachella, we still have glowing dead rock and rap stars on the brain (plus, we’re still out here in Indio and there’s not much to do after the bands leave beyond getting drunk at the Beer Hunter down the street). Yesterday we asked via the Phoenix Facebook profile what defunct bands should headline Coachella 2013 with the help of the same 3-D technology that resurrected Tupac. We compiled the best answers, added in a few of our own, and came up with a Top 10 wishlist.
A few rules: no solo artists (sorry Johnny Cash, Elliot Smith, Amy Winehouse, and Jeff Buckey), no performers that died recently (think of this like the Hall of Fame’s five-year waiting rule after “retirement”), and no more than one hologram per band (good suggestion, among many, from the Metro’s Pat Healy yesterday).
Ok, here we go:
10. T Rex – The ‘70s glam legends have taken on a mythical quality since Marc Bolan died in a car accident in 1977, but even after 35 years, it feels like T. Rex still haven’t gotten their due when far less acts of their time have been hero-worshipped by a new generation. Probably not a big enough name to drop nearly a half-mil on, but a band that’s deserving of some long-overdue props beyond the random current band guy in a t-shirt.
9. Alice in Chains – We’ve heard plenty about how great William DuVall sounds as Layne Staley’s replacement, but the fact remains the nail in Alice In Chains’ slowly-building coffin was sealed in 2002 with the death of their true face and frontman. Bassist Mike Starr, who died in 2011 but left the band in 1993 (loophole!), will get a video tribute and slideshow presentation, kinda like Nate Dogg got last night, as long as Mike Inez isn’t busy.
8. Nirvana – You know Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic are just itching to get this fucker rolling along, and 2013 would deliver the 20th anniversary of In Utero. Perfect! Courtney Love’s twitter feed would be the Number 1 follow all weekend, and maybe Frances Bean could come out for some intros. This seems so obvious, to happen either at Coachella or somewhere someday, we’re putting it at Number 8.
7. Queen – Coincide releasing the Sacha Baron Cohen bio-pic with next year’s Coachella, and chaos would ensue. A hologram Freddie Mercury seems far less tasteless than the other suggestions on this list, though we’re unsure just why. Get John Deacon back in the mix, write the blank check to Brian May and Roger Taylor, and watch history unfold. Oh, and, ahem: Queen’s self-titled debut record is turning 40 next year.
6. Metallica with Cliff Burton -- Sorry Robert Trujillo, and kinda-but-not-really sorry Jason Newsted. We’ll Cliff Em All up there Sunday night on the main stage, opening with 1983’s “(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth,” and then bang out Master of Puppets, Burton’s final album with the metal heavyweights, in its entirety. Only drawback, besides the ominous presence of tour buses: Lars Ulrich is invited. Maybe we can break the “One Hologram Only” rule this time.
5. Led Zeppelin – Finally, a drummer on a list full of frontmen. John Bonham died in 1980 and since then Zeppelin have been regulated to that band your best friend’s older brother who loved cars and never talked to girls was obsessed over (at least it was like that for me on Long Island in the early ‘90s). Of course there was that 2007 reunion in London for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert, but having John Bonhan back behind the kit – and not his son, Jason Bonham – would be some next-level party. There were 20 million requests for tickets five years ago at the O2 arena gig; imagine the demand out in the Coachella desert? But… would the kids approve? Would Lez Zeppelin sue?
4. Joy Division – Peter Hook and the remaining members of New Order are likely headed to court over… uh, everything from his basslines to the crooked lines on the Pulsar 1919. But the one thing that could, maybe, bring back Hooky and Bernard Sumner on better terms would be a hologram Ian Curtis. He could slowly descend from the stage rafters as the band launches into “Dead Souls,” and the Coachella live feed would no doubt crash during the finest pop song of the 20th Century, “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” I’m wet just thinking about it.
3. Pantera – Here’s where the Coachella roof figurative blows off the Empire Polo Club and lands somewhere near the Nevada border. It’s probably not the kind of finale organizers would bank on, but bringing Dimebag Darrell for one last go-round since his tragic on-stage death in 2004 would be therapeutic for a generation of metal fans. Vulgar Display of Power turned 20 this year, but there’d be no need for an anniversary-record appearance with this kind of musical firepower. There wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house during “Hollow.” I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
2. The Doors – Breaking on through with Jim Morrison in Southern California would be the hottest ticket of our lifetime (sorry, the Smiths – though maybe you should be on this list somehow). Honestly, if the remaining members of the Doors are gonna play around with shit like Skrillex, then they’d have time to resurrect one of the greatest bands of all time and show us folks born after 1971 just what all the fuss was about. Just imagine the Sunday build-up to this? Would it even mattered who else was on the bill? We could be looking at the first digital dick flashed on stage!
1. Guns N’ Roses, original lineup – Yeah, Axl Rose isn’t dead (well, maybe he “died” after the “Estranged” video), but the real Guns N' Roses certainly are. Imagine the possibilities – a punctual set time, a fitter and more affable frontman, no threat of mass rioting, and that beautiful red kilt once again flapping in the spring wind. The rest of the band -- the real band -- showed a willingness to rock out together at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction, and all seemed in great spirits and ready to embrace their role as legends. But Axl was a no-show and his usual prima-donna half-wit fucktard self. Screw him, let’s re-imagine our favorite ginger frontman as a friendly, singing glow-worm and get Appetite For Destruction back in the headphones and earbuds of every person aged 5 to 50. This might be maybe the one suggestion on the list no one would have any moral problems with. You know where you are? You’re at Coachella 2013, baby.