Anyone who follows sports with any regularity knows that fantasy sports are all the rage, especially fantasy football. That got me to thinking. What if there was a fantasy rock band? That’s the kind of fantasy that cousin Ryo would love to play.
So I figured, why not draft my own fantasy band? Hey, someone had to start fantasy baseball long before it became super popular. To me, a fantasy rock band would be incredibly fun! I’m just not sure how you could score points, but give me some time to mull that issue over.
In the meantime, here it is – the inaugural draft of Fantasy Band.
Criteria: must be alive and playing as they are today. IE if you draft Chuck Berry, you get the 83 year old Chuck Berry, not the Chuck from his prime. Each fantasy band is required to have at least one of each – guitarist, drummer, bass player, lead vocalist. The rest is arbitrary.
If I were drafting my fantasy band, it would look like this:
Lead Guitar: Without a doubt, the hardest category to pick from. The lead guitarist is more often than not the nucleus of the band and can make or break the group. An exceptional guitarist is essential, but they also have to be able to get along with others, and still strive to be innovative and fresh. While I love Ace Frehley, I wouldn’t draft him. There would be no fantasy value in owning him as a guitarist for my band.
My first choice for lead guitar would have to be Joe Satriani. His solo work is amazing and the riffs that he just put together for Chickenfoot were mind boggling. Satriani is still an exceptional guitar player and he would be a worthy first round pick for my fantasy band.
Bass Player: Flea. Even at age 47, Flea can still bring it on bass guitar. His riffs are funky, cool, and innovative. His stage presence is still a force as he thrashes around, jumping, kicking, and never missing a beat. He’s also a character that brings any band together with his humor and wit. Flea’s style and ability are the perfect fit for any strong rhythm section.
Lead Vocalist: Bruce Dickinson. The man is a master showman, and although he is getting up in years, he is still in exceptional shape and great health. The air raid siren voice and his ability to work a crowd make him a priceless commodity. Bruce knows how to lead a band and he would not only be my number one choice for lead vocalist, he would be my number one draft pick overall.
Drummer: Neal Peart. Hands down, even at his advancing age. Neal Peart is the greatest drummer in rock and roll. There will never be another master like him behind the kit. The incredible depth that he brings to every song cannot be matched. Hands down, he would be my number one drummer, and I would make a strong argument for him to be my first overall draft pick.
Rhythm Guitarist: John Corabi. Drafting the crab at this position has multiple rewards. First, the man can play exceptional guitar. In addition to that talent, he can write (or co-write) songs. He can also sing. Corabi brings multiple talents and adds serious depth to any band that he is a part of. He would be a fantastic draft choice, especially if he could be had in the later rounds.
Saxophone/Horns: Jerry DiPizzo. His playing in OAR has made him quite the talent and the man is a presence on stage, ranking up there with Clarence Clemons in ability. Not only does Jerry play a mean saxophone, but he also plays guitar, drums, and a slew of other instruments making him a very versatile member of the band (and therefore a very valuable fantasy musician).
Songwriter: Nikki Sixx, but I would make sure his writing was tailored more toward the Crue/Brides of Destruction style of songwriting, not the Sixx AM style. Look, the man is a lyrical genius. He made Vince Neil’s two solo tracks solid and he was the reason the first Brides album was so fantastic. Nikki just knows how to write a song.
Second Selection (in case the first weren’t available)
Lead Guitar: Steve Vai. If you can’t get the master, why not take the student? Steve Vai still puts together some amazing riffs and he can still play the guitar like a six string genius. He’s an exemplary backup choice to Joe Satriani.
Bass Player: Steve Harris. I thought long and hard about selecting him for a songwriter, but then I realized that Harris would have dual eligibility. He can serve as a bass player and as a songwriter. And let’s remember that Harris is an awesome bass guitarist in his own right. He’s always seen as the brains behind Iron Maiden, but if he were to be drafted just on his bass playing ability, he would be a solid addition to any Fantasy Band.
Lead Vocalist: Leigh Kakaty from Pop Evil. At first look, this may seem like an odd choice. But if you’ve ever seen Kakaty perform live, you would know why he is a number two choice behind the legendary Bruce Dickinson. Kakaty has the ability to one day be the Bruce Dickinson of his era.
Drummer: Matt Cameron. The drummer is in his prime and has done some amazing work with Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. If Neal Peart were not available, Cameron is an excellent second choice.
Rhythm Guitarist: Keith Richards. Now, I know this is a bit of a gamble given his age and propensity to alcohol, but it’s still Keith Richards. The man is a genius. He sings, he writes exceptional songs, he plays an amazing guitar, and his stage presence is second to none. Keith Richards would be worth a fourth or fifth round pick if my number one choice for Rhythm guitar was not available. He brings a lot of value to the table, even if he is a high risk band member.
Saxophone/Horns: Perhaps the hardest position to draft at. After Jerry DiPizzo, the field gets real weak, real fast. Clarence Clemons is too much of a risk due to age. Richie Cannata is not in the spotlight enough. Bobby Keys is too much of a wild card (who knows when the Stones will tour again). That leaves Jeff Coffin, the replacement saxophone player for The Dave Matthews Band. He replaced Leroi Moore after his untimely passing and has been an excellent fill in. The only risk with drafting Jeff is that DMB is taking 2011 off.
Songwriter: Axl Rose. I know this is a bit of a risk, considering how crazy he can be, but sometimes the risk is worth the reward. The man can still write lyrics that not many can touch, and he still composes some amazing musical arrangements. And since I’m only drafting him as a songwriter, there wouldn’t be any worries about the late performances or n show for concerts.
And there you have it. The inaugural Fantasy Band draft, complete with initial and secondary choices. Would you play Fantasy Band? Who would you draft?
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