In case you haven't noticed, 2007 is rapidly shaping up to be the year of the reunion, as far as what you will be seeing on your nearest concert stage this summer. Bands who could barely stand to be in the same room with each other — no less actually play together — seem to be tripping all over each other to cash in on the possibilities offered by the lucrative market of $200 plus concert tickets and a quick pay day.
I could easily go off right now on how the price of tickets these days has priced the average Joe right out of the experience many of us boomer types shared (along with a bong hit or two) in the years of our youthful rebellion "sticking it to the man."
Just last year, there was a single week here in Seattle where the Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, and Dylan played shows, which any one of us would have gone to at any cost back in the day, but usually ended up costing around six bucks a ticket. These days however, a week like that might work if only you are Bill Gates or Paul Allen. But anyway, like I said, I won't go into that right now.
Rather, let's talk about the big bonanza the upcoming concert season looks to be, with the reunions of everyone from the Police to Crowded House to Jesus Christ and the Three Wisemen, for all I know.
With tickets for even two of these shows, the concert-goer and his special someone — with all of the accompanying parking, condiments, and the like — Joe Six Pack is likely to spend a weeks pay. We feel it's our obligation, as a public service, to handicap these shows in order for you, the concert-goer, to get the best value out of your entertainment dollar.
What follows is our basic guide to all of this 2007 reunion mania. We will tell you what is actually happening and give you our prognosis on the best bets (The Reality). We will also cover the rumors of what may lie ahead (The Rumors), as well as going over some of the reunions, in the best MAD Magazine tradition, we would actually like to see (The Ridiculous).
But before we start, let it be noted that the one reunion not being talked about that I would pay these sort of prices to see would be the original Pink Floyd with Roger Waters. Which right now I expect will actually be underway sometime next year. Anyway, onward we go:
The Police: Right now this hands down looks to be the tour of the year unless the rumors (which I will address below) of a Led Zeppelin reunion prove to be true. Sting may have once said he would be insane to reunite with his bandmates Summers and Copeland, but the advance sales for this tour have only proven he would have been insane not to. The timing is apparently absolutely right for this and whether or not Sting really needed it or not, our three favorite New Wave blond cops from the eighties are going to positively clean up on this one.
Will they stick around? I doubt it. Word is these guys can barely stand each other. But Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland should be able to secure their retirement, while Sting makes pretentious albums for the corporate cocktail crowd with buddhist monks or something.
Van Halen: The wishful thinking deal of the year, and such a no-brainer that you'd think a guy as smart as Eddie could put his ego aside for one minute to cash in on reuniting with the obnoxious, but priceless antics of Diamond Dave. If Kiss can go out in makeup and milk it for a decade why can't Eddie and Dave? Well apparently because Eddie has some demons he still has to work out, and has checked himself into rehab to do so. Unfortunately, this one looks to be derailed before it got started.
Genesis: When Phil Collins and company officially announced their fall trek last week, you could have heard a pin drop. That is, if you chose to stifle your yawn. The big tease here, for anybody who actually gives a shit about Genesis at this point in time, was that the reunion most people actually want is the one with Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett to perform The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.
What we are getting instead is the Collins helmed Genesis that sold a buttload more records, but people these days care about this as much as they care about someone like REO Speedwagon. This one is going to stiff in my view, because the Abacab model Genesis just didn't draw the hardcore following. Get Gabriel on board on the other hand, and we are talking about another story entirely. I hear that he is buddies with Sting too, so word in your ear…
Rage Against The Machine: Now this one could be interesting. Supposedly this is a one-off for the Coachella festival. But has Zach de la Rocha done anything at all of note since Rage's original split? Word is already out that Rage is going to extend this reunion out far enough to include a few dates with the Wu-Tang Clan (speaking of reunions).
Meanwhile, Audioslave is history as Chris Cornell has left to make another solo album. One would assume it will be at least as underwhelming as his first one was (what was that damn thing called? Dewdrop Morning or something?). I actually hear a Soundgarden reunion already in the works there.
Iggy And The Stooges: This is the one 2007 reunion I've already made plans to see, and for what is, in my mind at least, good reason. The Coachella one-off from last year was by all accounts very well received, and I hear that The Weirdness reunion album is the best shit Iggy has done since Lust For Life.
Although I expect the madness to be a lot more controlled than Iggy's heyday of slashing his chest with beer bottles and hurtling himself into the crowd, at 45 bucks a ticket, and the inherrent unpredictablity factor of anything involving Iggy you just can't go wrong here.
Squeeze: Well it turns out the rumors of a British reunion tour for Squeeze are at least true. Whether or not this translates to American dates remains to be seen. Personally, I always loved the combination of Difford and Tillbrook and would love to see great songs like "Black Coffee In Bed" and "Tempted" performed live. If it does happen in America, it's probably a theatre deal and at reasonable prices will do great business. One can only hope.
Led Zeppelin: If the rumors swirling about are indeed true, this is the one ten thousand pound gorilla that stands to derail the Sting show as the tour of the year. The "talk" basically goes like this. Page and Plant have made peace with John Paul Jones for something that goes out this fall with Jason Bonham on drums. Personally as an official "old guy," I've seen Zeppelin something like half a dozen times. But there is an entire generation schooled on this shit that never has, and still holds them in awe. If this really is for real, move over Police. This is the tour of the year.
The Archies: Archie Andrews is, of course, ruler of the free world these days with the empire he has built with his stranglehold on the cardigan sweaters preferred by Microsoft executives. But his desire to reunite with former best friend Jughead Jones for another round of "Sugar Sugar" is no secret to those in the corporate community. Efforts to locate Mt. Jones, rumored to be a heroin addict still beating his bongo drums somewhere in a coffee house in Seattle remain ongoing.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience: By all accounts, Mitch Mitchell is available.