The neck of my Guitar
Musical reunions are subject to dischord Fri, Nov. 12, 2004 New York Daily News

Musical reunions are subject to dischord

By David Hinckley

New York Daily News

Exactly why, you might wonder, did promoters book a tour co-headlining Jay-Z and R. Kelly, who haven't exactly been close pals and who are both used to headlining themselves?

If you guessed "money," you're on the right track. If you suspect there may be more to it than that, you're probably overthinking. Promoters booked them for the same reason they booked Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, or Oasis, or Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young or the Everly Brothers. If the music is memorable, what else matters?

If anything, a little tension can be an unspoken selling point. It increases the chance that this is the last chance to see these artists together, and maybe a few fans will buy tickets to see if "something" happens.

Like the recent blowup at Madison Square Garden with Jay-Z and Kelly, when the "something" was Kelly walking offstage -- and the tour crashing.

But Jay-Z and R. Kelly aren't the first artists to decide they should tour together when they might not even be speaking. It got to the point for Phil and Don Everly that their onstage breakup at Knott's Berry Farm in 1973 kept the brothers apart for 10 years.

Oasis was 15 minutes from boarding the plane for an American tour in 1996 when frontman Liam Gallagher said he wasn't going. The others flew over anyhow, limped through a few shows and canceled the rest.

After their triumphant 1981 concert in Central Park, Simon and Garfunkel went out on tour and planned an album. The tour became so burdensome for Simon that he erased Garfunkel's vocals and turned his new songs into a solo album.

When Simon and Garfunkel went out last year, with Simon not visibly much happier onstage, he explained that he felt they owed it to the fans, who really wanted to hear the old songs one final time.

The money was also good.

The classic story about stage mates, which after all these years may be partly apocryphal, involved Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry.

They both wanted to close a show, the story goes, so they flipped a coin and when Lewis lost, he finished his set by lighting his piano on fire.

These artists faced the greatest detest of all

Notorious crash-and-burn tours include some of these "what-were-they-thinking?" combination musical acts:

David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar

In 2002, when both Roth and Hagar were feuding with Eddie Van Halen, the two former VH singers hit the road together. While the two were happy to make money as a team, they didn't bother to speak to one another -- onstage or off. Diamond Dave took to telling a few jokes at Hagar's expense each night.

Smashing Pumpkins and Pavement

In 1994, Pavement leader Stephen Malkmus took a swipe at the Smashing Pumpkins in the song Range Life. The line, "Out on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins/Nature kids, but they don't have no function" supposedly annoyed Billy Corgan and Co. so much that they banned Pavement from that year's Lollapalooza. Pumpkins' management denied the rumor, and in 1995 Pavement played Lollapalooza.

Hole and Marilyn Manson

In 1999, Courtney Love's band hit the road with the man who was then America's favorite shock rocker. As the opening act, Love expressed her disdain for Manson's rowdy fans. "Stop screaming for Marilyn Manson," she admonished them at one show. At another, she ran out and jumped on Manson's back. The tour derailed just two weeks into its planned two-month run. Love's management said it was due to "production problems."

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

The long-awaited and heralded 1974 reunion tour took an unsociable turn when Young chartered a separate plane to take himself to the last round of dates.

Limp Bizkit and Creed

At the 2000 K-Rock Dysfunctional Family Picnic, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst let fly with this choice observation about Creed singer Scott Stapp: "I want to dedicate this song to the lead singer of Creed," he said. "That guy is an egomaniac. He's backstage right now acting like [expletive] Michael Jackson."

Cash Money Millionaires -- Ruff Ryders

In 2000, two of the rap world's biggest "families" hit the road for a tour that featured stars such as DMX, Juvenile, Eve and the Lox. But in Boston, a backstage melee erupted in which five people were stabbed and one was hit on the head.

-- New York Daily News Fri, Nov.12, 2004

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