Remember this? From Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004)
The big Super Bowl game is coming up, this year it’s in the new Cowboys Stadium up in Arlington, and it got me to thinking about the halftime. Now these things pretty much exist only to please advertisers and, I suppose, people in the stadium. For us millions of TV viewers the Super Bowl halftimes are usually a losing proposition.
A wardrobe malfunction might be welcome during this year's show with the Black Eyed Peas
We had a Super Bowl in Houston, back in 2004, and the MTV-produced halftime at that event included performances by Britney Spears, Kid Rock, Nelly, P. Diddy and of course, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson. So after that holocaust they’ve had more mainstream rock acts – Paul McCartney, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, the Who – who were not really as exciting as they are in a regular two-hour concert. The halftime performers in Dallas this year will be the Black Eyed Peas, so maybe they want to get the demographic a little younger again. You watch: one of these years it’s going to be “American Idol” winners/runners up and the cast from “Glee,” and it will be very popular – and truly deadly.
Anyhow, we were thinking about some acts that we’d like to play the Super Bowl halftime, if only because they would never be asked to do this in real life. Think of this as our Fantasy Super Bowl Halftime Act list, like your weird still-single uncle’s Fantasy Football Team. We helpfully included some stats and a small dose of reality, as explanation why this could never happen.
KISS – The hard rockin’ kabuki-faced quartet is known around the world, they like to “party” and they are rich enough to be their own sponsors. What’s not to like about Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and co.? Although you certainly can’t tell with all that makeup, Simmons and Stanley are certainly old enough to qualify as Senior Classic Rockers. And another plus: they bring their own pyro!
Rookie season: 1973 Recent triumph: Sonic Boom, which went to No. 2 in 2009
Playlist: “Strutter”/”Detroit Rock City”/”Calling Dr. Love”/”Beth”/”Rock and Roll All Nite”
Why they’ll never play halftime: Actually, I bet they will in the next few years. (Editor’s note: KISS did perform during opening ceremonies for Super Bowl XXXIII, in Miami in 1999.)
Neil Diamond – Newly accepted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after years of being ignored, Neil certainly has a flashy enough stage show to play the Super Bowl. He rocked the pop charts in the late 1960s-early 1970s, he’s successfully played Vegas and in recent years he has made a bit of a comeback with some mellow new material. He would get the Grannies rockin’ during halftime; keep a defibrillator handy!
Rookie season: 1962 Recent triumph: Hot August Night/NYC in multiple formats, available at a Wal-Mart near you!
Playlist: “I’m A Believer”/”Solitary Man”/”I Am … I Said”/”Play Me”/”Cracklin’ Rosie”
Why Neil will never play halftime: “Dad, who’s that old guy?” “What’s wrong with his hair?” “Hey, Grandma’s breathing heavy!” “Call an ambulance!” (The last one could be used in the stadium as well.)
Willie Nelson/Bob Dylan: Personally, I’d love to see this one. What a package deal – Willie could come up and sing some reggae songs about smoking weed, then he could bring Dylan up to mumble one or two of his classics in a strange rhythm that would require subtitles for the TV audience. Nelson can – and does – play with everyone, and Dylan has been touring continuously since about 1969.
Rookie season: Nelson – 1960; Dylan – 1961 Recent triumph: Nelson – Country Music (2010); Dylan – Christmas In The Heart (2009)
Playlist: Nelson – “On The Road Again”/”Crazy”/”Funny How Time Slips Away” Dylan – (Unintelligible)/(Unintelligible)/(Unintelligible)
Why they will never play halftime: Their combined ages total up to 146 years. After the performance you’d have to wake everyone up, including the stadium audience and football players.
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The Stooges – The punk rock godfathers, still going strong in their sixth decade, have enough energy to power through a rockin’ two-hour show so they’d be great for a Super Bowl halftime. Guitarist Ron Asheton could bring the thunder, but he died in 2009; current guitarist James Williamson (from the Raw Power era) is flashy and almost as good. They could be sponsored by Cialis and Geritol and the network won’t have to worry about a wardrobe malfunction on lead singer Iggy Pop – he never wears a shirt anyway.
Rookie season: 1967 Recent triumph: Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Playlist: “Search and Destroy”/”No Fun”/”TV Eye”/”I Wanna Be Your Dog”
Why they will never play halftime: “My d**k is turning into a tree” (lyrics from “Trollin'”)
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Ozzy Osbourne: What red-blooded rock and roller would not welcome a Super Bowl halftime appearance by the Prince of F***ing Darkness? Currently on a U.S. tour, Ozzy is rocking audiences with Black Sabbath classics and his choice solo gems. Booking Ozzy could be the ultimate act of heresy, as it may encourage millions of youngsters to worship something besides wholesome professional sports, shameless corporate pandering and the single-minded pursuit of money.
Rookie season: 1969 Recent triumph: Scream, and his 2011 tour to support that album
Playlist: “Mr. Crowley”/”Iron Man”/”Let Me Hear You Scream”/”Crazy Train”/”Paranoid”
Why he will never play halftime: He’s the Prince of F***ing Darkness