General Question

aanuszek1's avatar

What 4 musicians would you put together as "the ultimate band"?

Asked by aanuszek1 (2290points) November 29th, 2008

They can be dead or alive.

My Picks:
Vocals – Joey Ramone (from _The Ramones)
Lead Guitar – Clapton (from a number of bands)
Bass – John Entwistle (from The Who)
Drums/Rhythm – Rick Allen (from Def Leopard)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

38 Answers

amandaafoote's avatar

Andrew McMahon-Piano/Back-up Vocals
Justin Pierre-Vocals/Guitar
Paul Mccartney-Bass
Travis Barker-Drums

AstroChuck's avatar

John Winston Lennon- Rhythm Guitar
James Paul McCartney- Bass
George Harrison- Lead Guitar
Richard Starkey- Drums & Percussion

rawpixels's avatar

Eddie Vedder – Vocals
Jimmy Page – Lead Guitar
John Lennon – Rhythm Guitar/Vocals
John Entwistle – Bass
John Bonham – Drums

@AstroChuck, I loved your answer and I agree

Mtl_zack's avatar

The Traveling Wilburys are an example of the best people put together and sucking. You have to juxtapose them.

buster's avatar

Glenn Danzig on vocals (singer for The Misfits and Danzig.) James Iha on guitar (guitarist for The Smashing Pumpkins. Tom Araya on bass (bassist for Slayer). And Steve Asheim on drums. (drummer for Deicide)

lefteh's avatar

David Gilmour – Vocals and guitar
Roger Waters – Vocals and bass guitar
Richard Wright – Keyboards and backup vocals
Nick Mason – Drums

Wait a second….

aidje's avatar

This kind of question ignores the fact that different musicians work together in different ways. I’ve seen some amazing musicians with zero synergy.

hoteipdx's avatar

Edward Van Halen—Guitar
Stewart Copeland—Drums
Sharon Jones—Vocals
Bootsy Collins—Bass

All living, all doing well…

JoeyDesignsStuff's avatar

Stephen Christian of Anberlin – vocals
Dave Elkins of Mae – guitar
Grant Brandell of UnderĂ˜ath – bass
Matt Greiner of August Burns Red – drums

More than being talented, I think those guys would have a pretty awesome shared creative vision. They’re probably all fans of each other.

Magnus's avatar

J Dilla (prod., mcing), Mos Def (mcing, singing), Lauryn Hill (singing, mcing).

No need for four, that’ll be perfect. If I had to I’d probably add Madlib (prod) or Talib Kweli (mcing).

El_Cadejo's avatar

That1Guy -Bass
Buckethead -Guitar
Neal Pert – Drums
Paul Dateh – Violin

generalspecific's avatar

Syd Barrett – anything he wants
Nick Drake – anything he wants
Joey Eppard – guitar/vox
Ziggy Marley – anything

It would be insane, but totally epic and crazy and exciting. I would totally love to see what they could come up with. If only..

forestGeek's avatar

Tom Waits – Vocals, Piano
Neil Young – Guitar, Vocals, Organ
Keith Moon – Drums
Roger Waters – Bass, Vocals

amandaafoote's avatar

@Mtl_zack; Traveling Wilbury’s have a couple of good songs!

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Tim Kinsella – Vocals, Piano
Tim Kinsella – Guitar
Tim Kinsella – Drums
Tim Kinsella – Bass


Comedian's avatar

Tim Curry-vocal
Lily Allen-vocal
Keith Allen-vocal
Michael Jackson-vocal

hoteipdx's avatar

Steven Martin—Banjo
Eddie Murphy—Vocals
Jack Black—Vocals & Guitar
doing: Woody Guthrie covers w/ commentary

dalepetrie's avatar

OK, first off, you’re going to say I’m overthinking this, but que sera sera. Second, I’ll agree wholeheartedly with Astro Chuck’s answer, and disagree completely with Mtl Zack’s answer (I loved every song on both Travelling Wilbury’s albums despite not being a Megafan of any of the members…liked them all but none were my faves). That said, I’ve given this question a lot of thought, and I like the four person limit here, so I’ll stick with that in order t play by the rules.

But I have to add a few more rules, or at least observations. First off, supergroups in general don’t seem to do all that much for me and there are two reasons I think that is. One is chemistry…I think your best bands are like the Beatles, where this organic thing grew and was pieced together, and 4 people who were very talented began to collaborate, they knew how to work with each other, they knew about the give and take, no one was the “star” so there were no egos to go around, and they had shared interests and goals setting out. When one had a great idea, they were all in synch enough to pull it off.

When you get established musicians, they are often set in their ways in terms of how they collaborate (or don’t), that’s why when big bands break up, the sum of the parts is never nearly as good as the whole. Every one of the Beatles was a multi talented performer and songwriter, but nothing that any one of them has done solo or as part of any other band (including the Travelling Wilburys) has come anywhere near what they accomplished together.

I think what happens a lot of times is not they they don’t know HOW to collaborate, but they don’t know how to collaborate with a VARIETY of other performers. So, I think getting someone who was in one big band can be successful as a solo artist (and can even be very good if they were the driving creative force behind that band and the rest of the band were little more than studio musicians), but generally an artist goes solo and the quality suffers somewhat, particularly if they were in a collaborative band. Rock and roll is littered with examples of this from just about every year since 1955.

Another problem though is that if someone who is used to collaborating with a certain set of people, or even worse, someone used to flying solo, suddenly puts himself in a position where he needs to collaborate, particularly with other strong personalities, and others who have particular musical visions of their own, those things have a hard time meshing. So, I look at a lot of supergroups people imagine (not so much from these examples, they are really creative for the most part), but say someone says we should throw Prince, Beck, Trent Reznor and Henry Rollins in a room together and see what they come up with or something like that, well they wouldn’t have the same visions, they would all be very vocal and uncompromising about where they wanted the music to go and they would not know how to incorporate each other’s ideas, so rather than finding a way to mesh it, they would compromise out everything good and keep the lowest common denominator in.

So, in my analysis of this pressing issue, I feel also that it is of no value to speculate using dead rock stars, I want a band that could actually exist, and which could actually pull something off. And I think to do that, your best bet would be to get very creative people who are multi-talented (i.e., can sing and can play multiple instruments). I think part of the collaborative process might end up being that you have four members who don’t necessarily take traditional roles…all would sing, sometimes one person might play the bass, the drums, the guitar, or something else…it would depend on the song and what the person could bring to the music with his particular playing or singing style. This is about opening up the options and making this collaboration succeed on as many levels as possible.

And I think it’s important to have people who have been collaborators, but in front and in lesser roles within various bands, people who have collaborated, performed on others’ albums, played in a variety of bands and are essentially musical chameleons who have used their careers not to achieve ultimate frontman status, but to explore as many different musical avenues as possible. There are some musicians who just get off on trying as many new things and working with as many new people in as many genres as possible, these are the people who I think would “play well with others”, who would be able to create something that would be greater than the sum of its parts.

I’d start with Elvis Costello. Some remember only his New Wave/Punk days of the early 70s, but he has proven himself to be a consumate performer over the years, having put out rock, punk, country, jazz, classical, vocal, and even instrumental albums. He’s written hundreds of songs, toured and collaborated with a who’s who of rock and roll. He is best known as a vocalist, but can play guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, drums, ukulele, glockenspiel, mandolin, tambourine, harmonica, organ, cymbals, and a variety of instruments most of us have never heard of. He could tackle just about any duties this band would put forth, and he would bring a positive prowess and mastery of songwriting to the band, and he would work well as a collaborator, being somewhat of a musical sponge, he is naturally interested in the input of others.

Next, I would add Josh Homme, he is currently best known as lead singer and lead guitarist for the band Queens of the Stone Age, but previous to QOTSA, he was a founding member of the legendary stoner metal band Kyuss where he was far more in the background. He also co-founded the band Eagles of Death Metal, where he also defers the bandleader role to someone else, so he is no stranger to collaboration. For a time, he also joined Mark Lanegan’s legendary alternative band Screaming Trees, and has been a producer and collaborator for a wide variety of acts spanning several rock genres. He has written some of the most unique and in some cases experimental hard rock of the last decade. Not “big” enough to have a swelled ego, but genuinely interested in playing around with sound, he would be a great add to a band. Add to this that he plays guitar, bass, piano, keyboard, drums and organ, and has been known to modify his guitars to get a very signature sound, he is exactly the kind of person I’d want in my dream band.

Next, I’m throwing Mike Patton, best known as lead singer of Faith No More into the band. He is not so much of an instrumentalist as a singer, but in much of his work outside FNM, he has experimented with electronic ways to make music, including vocal modification via computer. He has a number of bands he has been in, founded and/or performed with including Mr. Bungle, Tomohawk, Fantomas, and Peeping Tom, and has collaborated with Jazz musician John Zorn, electronic/rap artists the Executioners, and DJ Dan the Automator on several occassions. He brings to collaboration a sensibility unlike any other, there is little he is afraid to try, and he could give the music a bit of an avant garde edge, while making it very contemporary and in some cases revolutionary (he was at the forefront of bringing rap and heavy metal together). Nothing is off the table for Patton and he has shown an ability to collaborate with a wide variety of musicians (listen to the song Sucker by Peeping Tom, featuring Norah Jones).

Finally, I’d round out this band with Jack White of the White Stripes and the Raconteurs. Here’s a guy who can create great revivalist garage rock with only 2 people, he can make his guitar sound like 5 different instruments, and can indeed play guitar, piano, keyboards, bass, drums, marimba, mandolin and organ. He loves to bend genres (give a listen to Elephant or Icky Thump), and has collaborated with and/or produced many other musicians, even Loretta Lynn!

All these people can work solo, with small groups, with large groups, in various genres of music, they all have great stamina and a thirst for new types of musical adventure and they all seem to come from slightly different perspectives while being open to a wide variety of musical worlds. None of them seems to be too enamored with the glory, but all are very big into the craft, and all can craft volumes of material in very short order. In short, I think they would be able to create music unlike anything anyone has ever heard and were they to get together could have the potential to be the best supergroup ever assembled.

My only question is, how does one make this happen?

Comedian's avatar

Holy jumpn’. How long did that take to write?

lefteh's avatar

Dale, don’t you have…like…things to do?

Comedian's avatar


dalepetrie's avatar

About half an hour (and yes I have things I should be doing, nothing I’d rather be doing).

Beans4life's avatar

Brandon Flowers- Lead Vocals
John Bonham-Drums
Jimmy Page- Lead Guitar
Paul McCartney-Bass/Vocals

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i would probably never realistically WANT this to happen because it’s nice having 4 individual amazing musicians than one band full of them, but:
ben kweller
adam green
conor oberst
and let’s resurrect elliott smith, and throw him into it too.
every band needs a zombie singer/lyricist/guitarist.
i do think my lineup is really illogical though, because i’m pretty sure all of them play the same instruments, and i don’t know how they would divide up the song-writing job, but hey, they could figure that out

90s_kid's avatar

Anyone from the 90’s.

90s_kid's avatar

What about Santana?? he invented the guitar.

AstroChuck's avatar

No, that would be Gaetano Vinaccia.

90s_kid's avatar

What? I never said anything!


aanuszek1's avatar

AC wins. Flame off.

richardhenry's avatar

[mod says:] Try not to be so argumentative when you reply to other people on Fluther. It’s not nice. Happy Fluthering.

Your edit is much better.

vindice's avatar

Bass: Mike Watt
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
Drums: Damon Che
Vocals: PJ Harvey

mariatxi's avatar

Jimi Hendrix on guitar
Stewart Copeland on drums
Erykah Badu singing

mariatxi's avatar

Bass!!! I forgot the bass!!

Jimi Hendrix on guitar
Stewart Copeland on drums
Erykah Badu singing

Bootsy Collins on Bass

hoteipdx's avatar


WakeUp's avatar

Captain Beefheart
Cedric Bixler Zavala
Frank Zappa

Brian1946's avatar

Vocalists- Jim Morrison, Steve Perry, Sarah Brightman, and Aretha Franklin

Guitars- Johnny Winter and Eric Clapton

Bass- Stanley Clarke

Drums- Ginger Baker

Piano/keyboards- Oscar Peterson

Trumpets- Miles and Dizzy

Sax- Candy Dulfer.

The diva factor in that band might not be conducive to artistic cohesion, but if someone could do a Phil Jackson and channel all that talent into a harmonious effort, I’d love it!

lamardouglas's avatar

Guitar lead +vocals:jimmy hendrix
Rythm guitar back ground vocals:John frusciante
Drums:Travis Barker
Bass:Bootsy Collins and Flea from rhcp

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