Black Eyes for Peas
During the last bunch of years, I’ve really looked forward to the Super Bowl’s halftime entertainers.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Who, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen all put on high-energy shows that fans in stands and sofas enjoyed.
I don’t know a lot about the Black Eyed Peas, but am savvy enough in pop culture to know the funk-rap outfit is more popular with the teen and Twenties set than they are in my age bracket, middle age. Youthful middle age, I hope.
The group got a ho-hum review from the Associated Press, and I heard some radio folks slamming the Peas on the way to work this morning. It’s not really my music, but I thought the Peas did OK. They showed a lot of pizazz during their 12-minute set, lit the place with electronic outfits and dancers and pulled off a few surprises with Guns n’ Roses guitarist Slash and pop star Usher.
I’m sure people in the more seasoned middle age bracket — say 65 to 70 — were completely lost. And guys like my father, who is 90 but watched the whole game, must have been saying “What in the green hell is this!” Of course, guys in their 90s might have said the same thing about The Who and the Stones, too.
I think the Super Bowl gang has to really know its audience. Signing the Peas to appease (sorry, couldn’t resist) teens and young adults is one way to look at it, but they’re losing most people in their 30s all the way up to their 90s.
In a way, it’s kind of a no-win situation. The Super Bowl is never going to please everyone with the halftime show, but they can at least improve the odds ... and maybe shoot for a band that will appeal to people in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. I’ve got some ideas, and here they are, in order of preference.
* Cream: Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce are still around. Herd them up, pay them off and let’s hear “Sunshine of Your Love,” “White Room,” “Badge” and “Crossroads” at the Super Bowl.
* Led Zeppelin: The monster hard rock band from the late 1960s reunited a few years ago for a million dollar concert. A Super Bowl show might be reason enough to convince Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to reunite once more.
* Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: Another big stadium act from the old days, and some of their harmonies might even win over folks in their 70s.
* Beach Boys: Don’t know how many of the boys they can get back together, but it would be fun to hear some of their oldies.
* Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Don’t laugh! I was a fan during the trio’s glory days, when “spectacle” was their middle name. They used to fill stadiums, and I’m sure could fill 12 minutes with pieces like “Fanfare for the Common Man,” “Lucky Man” and maybe even “The Sheriff.” Fireworks and gongs come free!
* Yes: If you think ELP is an odd choice, art rockers Yes might be a double odd choice. But “Roundabout” was everywhere during the 1970s and you can still pick it up today. And it lasts just about 12 minutes. It would just be great to see super guitarist Steve Howe and keyboard wiz Rick Wakeman on the same stage.
Love to sneak in a southern rock act, but there are two problems. Some names, like the great Pure Prairie League and the decent Molly Hatchet, are just not big enough. Others, like the Outlaws, are missing driving forces. Charlie Daniels? Maybe. Poco? Hey --- there's an idea!
You get the idea. Just some acts with a little more appeal.