The Police, Genesis, The Eagles, The Smashing Pumpkins, Rage against the Machine and all the other rockers resuscitating their old alma maters took one of Neil Young's most prescient lyrics to heart: "my, my, hey, hey rock'n'roll is here to stay." Of course they also purposely chose to ignore one of Young's most famous maxims from the very same song: "It's better to burn out then to fade away." Then again even Shaky himself didn't heed his own words, reuniting with CSNY at least a half dozen times since the iconic hippie band's first run to crank out the classics and occasionally record new material. But despite what Peaches & Herb may tell yah, reunited doesn't always feel so good. In a world where touring reincarnations of the Beach Boys and Lynyrd Skynrd barely share a smidgen of their namesakes' DNA, you've got to be careful before you opt to pad a nostalgia act's 401(k) because all band resurrections were not created equal. When it comes to reanimated rock dinosaurs, nostalgia never tells the truth. Thanks to me, you won't get fooled again.
Original Run 1972-1980
Signature Songs Hotel California, Desperado, Take it Easy
Lyric Concert Goers Can't Wait to Sing-along to again: "Welcome to the Hotel California…"
While on Hiatus: After the breakup Eagles mainstays Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Glenn Frey continued to rock on in the 80's. Highflying singles include Frey's Beverly Hills Cop anthem "The Heat is on" and Don Henley's grammy and MTV Video award winning "Boys of Summer." Life was good for Walsh as well who had already established himself as a formidable solo talent in the 70s. He released several albums and even tossed his hat into the ring for the presidency of the United States in 1980. Walsh's campaign platform: "free gas for everyone!" The Eagles reassembled in1994 for an MTV concert special that kicked off a blockbuster concert tour that ran through August of 1996 and spawned the multi-platinum selling companion album Hell Freezes Over. Recent reunifications since include a millennium concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and their Farewell No. 1 Tour in 2003.
What's the Deal: Looks like these 50-plus wings are ready to fly again. This past February singer/drummer Don Henley announced a new Eagles album 'Long Road Out of Eden', the band's first full length studio effort since 1979's 'The Long Run' (Hell Freezes Over only contained a handful of new tracks) and a tour to support it. If Henley greenlights a couple more of these "farewell" jaunts the Eagles might just edge out Cher in the Guinness Book.
See Them: https://www.Eaglesband.com
Signature Songs: 1979, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, Today
Lyric Concert Goers Can't Wait to Sing-along to again: "Despite all my rage I'm still just a rat in a cage."
While on Hiatus: Pumpkin supreme Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin formed Zwan and carved out a decidedly un-smashing album. Corgan next joined Jewel and Alicia Keys in the Top-40 songwriters poetry club with his New York Times Besteller Blinking with Fists in 2004. A synth-heavy solo album The Future Embrace followed. While delighting fans of his Myspace blog with its stark, gloomy confessionals Pumpkin fans starving for monster riffs were lulled to sleep. Chamberlin's jazzy 2005 solo joint Life Begins Again threw fans a bone with Corgan purring at the mic on the song 'Loki Cat." Meanwhile the other Pumpkins, bass thumper D'Arcy Wretzky and axe-man James Iha faded into obscurity.
What's the Deal: James Iha and Darcy Wretzky are still MIA but key pumpkin cogs Corgan and Chamberlain are both on hand for a tour and a new album titled Zeitgeist being released on the lucky date 7/7/07. At press time only European tour dates have been announced but a North American leg is widely expected. Go to https://www.smashingpumpkins.com for the latest tour info.
First Run: 1969-1997
Signature Songs: No Son of Mine, Land of Confusion, Invisible Touch
Lyrics Concert Goers Can't Wait to Sing-along to again: " She's got a body under that shirt but all she want to do is rub my face in the dirt…"
While on Hiatus: After the We Can't Dance Tour, Phil Collins left the band to focus on his solo-career. While Collins' crooning continued to climb the adult-contemporary charts, latter day ballads "You'll be in My Heart" and Can't Stop Loving You" failed to measure up to 80s panty droppers "In the Air Tonight" and "Against All Odds." Praying that Genesis may have one more chapter left to write, guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks corralled Stiltskin lead singer Ray Wilson to assume vocal duties. The result was 1997's critically and commercially panned return to prog-rock, Calling All Stations.
What's the Deal? 56-year-old Phil and the boys are gearing up to blow the lid off stadiums forTurn it on Again, Genesis' first tour in 15 years.
If you're a Peter Gabriel era Genesis fan (1969-1975), stay at home.
Tour Schedule: https://www.genesis-music.com
Rage against the Machine
First Run: 1992-2000
Signature Songs: Killing in the Name Of, Bulls on Parade, Guerilla Radio
Lyric Concert Goers Can't Wait to Sing-along to again: "F*** You, I won't do what you tell me!"
While on Hiatus: Lead Screamer Zach de la Rocha made an attempt at a solo-album. He collaborated with Trent Reznor on twenty tracks but an album never materialized. "We Want it All," a song from these sessions, eventually surfaced on the 2004 compilation "Songs and Artists that Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11." de la Rocha also continued with his social activism releasing the protest song "March of Death" on the eve of the Iraq war. Meanwhile guitar shredder Tom Morello, badass bassist Tim Commerford, and skins pounder Brad Wilk stayed in the spotlight. They enlisted Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and formed the supergroup Audioslave. After releasing three multi-platinum albums, Cornell left the band citing "irresolvable personality conflicts." Considering Rage only had one more studio album than Audioslave, expect Cornell to reconcile with slave five or ten years down the road.
What's the Deal? After re-igniting their inner-rage at Coachella in April (the reunion was originally planned as a one shot deal), Morello and crew decided to give rapacious capitalism a stab by scheduling more lucrative dates. Rage is sharing a bill with the rhyme-busting rap collective, The Wu-Tang Clan.
See Them- July, 28 New York, NY
August, 11 San Bernandino, CA
August, 18 San Francisco, CA
*More dates to be announced. Check https://www.ratm.com for updates.
First Run: 1977-1983
Signature Songs: Roxanne, Message in a Bottle, Every Breath You Take
Lyric Concert Goers Can't Wait to Sing-along to again: "I'll send an S.O.S. to the World…"
While on Hiatus: Since they disbanded Sting went solo, sold a gazillion albums, and even learned to play the lute. The former school teacher's staying power did not just relegate itself to the music charts either. His revelation that he had mastered the art of tantric lovemaking, the ability to prolong sex for hours on end, elevated Sting from hearthrob to cosmic love God. "The purpose of sex ideally is for the woman to attain orgasm and for the man not to" explained Sting. While Sting would later admit that his tantric sustainability claim was bogus, on this side of the Atlantic his energizer-bunny mystique remains intact. Why would a man with a pimp hand on par with Diddy's need to up-sell his game? "Not only does he hate humanity, but every human within the species, except for his family. His ego [could be] seen from the moon," said Police drummer Stewart Copeland, shedding a dark light on his former frontman.
What's the Deal- Nevermind the bad blood. Their aren't too many blokes on this planet that would let pride get in the way of a 70 million pound pay day.
So Sting, Andy Summers, and Stuart Copeland are all back to strap on their instruments and lay down the law to celebrate their 30th anniversary. There's a new album on the way, a new best-of package, and a gargantuan 80s style never-ending World Tour.
See Them: https://tickets.thepolicetour.com/
First Run 1978-1998
Signature Songs: Jump, Panama, Runnin' with the Devil
Lyric Concert Goers Can't Wait to Sing-along to again: "Oh, whoa, whoa, jamie's cryin'"
What's the Deal- Keep crying. The reunion was indefinitely postponed.
Why We'll have to Wait longer: A 40-date summer tour with original frontman David Lee Roth back behind the mic was announced on Feb 2, 2007. A few weeks later and the tour was on ice. While no reason was given for the cancellation, Diamond Dave issued a telling statement: "We have fragile politics in Van Halen." The derailment may have something to do with band kingpin Eddie Van Halen choosing to include his 15-year-old son Wolfgang Van Halen in the reunion roster in favor of longtime bassist Michael Anthony.
This Article originally ran in the May/June issue of Chill Magazine
Copyright © Mike Dojc 2007