Rockbrat Wonders: Why Some Singers Feel They Should Also Be Rhythm Guitarists ?

'hey Ed, I just figured out Eruption' - photo: Neal Preston

Jagger’s a great front man – maybe even the best ever. But I’ve often thought how odd it was when you’d see a Stones roadie strap a guitar over his shoulder. Somehow, it just didn’t seem right ? Know what I mean ? He is a front man – chiefly a singer whose whole stage persona was built around being just that – a singer ! So there he was – one of the most legendary of front men, strumming bar chords ! Was it even plugged in ? Did it matter ? Keef and Woodie would be chugging away and holding up the guitar side of things quite nicely, so why even bother ? (Rockbrat scratches head). There’s been a few others I can recall. That bloated, peroxide, whiskey-soaked toad, Vince Neil often grabs a guitar on stage. Too funny. He should try focusing on strengthening his ailing vocal range instead, cos that is what is in need of desperate attention – or so I woulda thought. I can vaguely recall seeing Alice Cooper play a guitar once as well. What is all that about !? I nearly made use of his guillotine. Our Kid from Oasis – in my opinion the last of the truly great rock frontmen – has never slung an axe in the live arena, though he did strum one in the ‘Songbird’ video. Thing is it’s a great tune – and he pulls it off nicely. Brother Noel was impressed with the simplicity of the chords and how good it was. But he’s the only exception which comes to mind. Thinking back to fat Vince – unless you are going to add something to the tune, it is a totally pointless exercise.  Diamond Dave used to play one in the Van Halen days (back in the day – not modern day VH with the tubby son on bass). Was he taking the piss !? What was he gonna add to any song when you’ve got possibly the mother of all guitar players in your group ! I don’t geddit. Can you imagine if Ozzy grabbed a guitar on stage ? I think I’d eat my hat and give the rock game away (though when you’ve had six string wizards like Iommi and Rhoads as your bandmates it would defy all logic – not that the bumbling, incoherent Prince of Darkness would know how to plug one into a Marshall). I think even the late great Freddy Mercury would often swap his half-mike for an axe (though not in the 70’s). Mr Rockbrat digs Queen big time, but with the phenomenal Brian May to your left….why bother ? Same goes for Klaus Meine of the Scorps. Can you see the point I am trying to make here folks ? On the other hand  there have been some great vocalists who’ve remained just that – and never felt the urge to strap on a Strat – guys like Ronnie Van Zant, Iggy, Dave Johansen,  Rod Stewart, Bon Scott, Brian Connolly, Robert Plant, Ronnie James Dio, David Coverversion, Bruce Dickinson etc. Vocalists. Full stop. Can you add any other vocalist who’ve felt the desire to play guitar ?!

2 thoughts on “Rockbrat Wonders: Why Some Singers Feel They Should Also Be Rhythm Guitarists ?

  1. How about some guitarists who have foolishly stepped up to the mic, like Uli Jon Roth elbowing Klause out of the way to mangle a few Scorpions tunes? And then he forms his own band “Electric Sun”, and decides to handle the vocals on that project as well. Sounds like a drunken homeless Japanese transvestite doing karaoke. Badly.

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