We were very happy to hear that Robert Plant is coming to town with the Band of Joy, his new project, which works gospel and country material as well as Led Zeppelin classics. And we are very happy for Robert Plant for, well, seeming so happy. One peek at his recent promo photos and a listen to "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down" from the new record suggests that he's traded the dark magic that fueled Zeppelin for the brighter side.
Though the story behind the band name actually has to do with his being inspired to perform material written by others, as he did in the original Band of Joy -- a pre-Zeppelin project featuring himself and John Bonham -- rather than his degree of happiness, it still seems remarkable that the man most famous for being a dark and mysterious rock god now tours with a band name that could work just as well for a collaboration between David Lee Roth and Barney the Dinosaur. Plant's band name lead us to imagine what other classic rockers might imitate him by coming back with band names that suggest an evolution in character. Here are our five best bets.
Jimbo and the Band of Prudes
If Jim Morrison isn't dead -- and some claim he isn't -- he may attempt to capitalize on his recent pardoning by former Gov. Charlie Crist for his decades-old indecent-exposure charge by trying to rebrand himself as a "good boy," which may earn him a whole new fanbase of Christian moms who were once Doors fans but ended up taking too much acid, got scared, and are now bent on trying to get into heaven via JC.
Roger Waters and the Wall Builders
We know he's probably on stage right now shouting "Tear down the wall!" but he's much older now than when he first conceived of that album -- which deals with the ways in which certain forces in society beat the individual into a state of crippling fear. It's possible that at some point, he'll break down, maybe even on stage, and decide that he's gonna join the oppressors.
Pete Townshend and the Sexy Kids
Townshend is a smart dude, but he may make the mistake of overestimating the public's ability to recognize a joke and reference his child pornography drama with his band name.
Keith Richards and the Heroin Haters
This would be a straight edge, hard-core band. After their shows, instead of partying, Richards would call up his dealer in whatever city they were in, ask him to deliver a bag, then ambush the dude with a gang of cops.
David Lee Roth and the Band of Doom
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This would be the project of Roth and fellow has-been Barney the Dinosaur. Onstage, they would just sit there and drink whiskey till they puke while a backing band plays doom metal. Opening every show would be Sammy and the Waboritas, the band of that other former Van Halen vocalist, Sammy Hagar, which is pretty much an overly joyous celebration of his love for tequila (this band actually exists).
Robert Plant and the Band of Joy. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $40 to $89. Click here.