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Band members with no real purpose in the band

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by powderfinger, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    So last night I watched an old 38 Special live concert on YouTube (I was in an arena rock cheese mood). Anyhow, I always thought they were a tight band, and had pretty catchy songs and solid musicianship. However, in watching them live, I began wondering... what purpose does Donnie Van Zandt serve in this band? I'd say 2/3 of the time he runs around the stage with a mic stand (not singing or playing an instrument). The other times, he sings a little back up, and strums some acoustic guitar (whether it's actually plugged in, who knows).

    So anyhow, yeah... I decided they let him stand there bc he kind of looks like Ronnie Van Zandt, and wears a cool hat like his brother did. Oh, and his last name is Van Zandt. Beside that, I cant decide what his purpose in that band is. Anyone know?

    Anyone have any other bands in mind with members who serve no apparent function?
  2. Janek Gers: Iron Maiden
    Datsgor likes this.
  3. Trujillo says hi
    Microbass and bassbully like this.
  4. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    I would say that it is likely a performance element for the bands. I tend to think it is silly but most people probably think it is just exciting seeing someone running around the stage.

    Janek Gers in Iron Maiden I think was kept around because one of the old guitarists came back and they were probably just too nice of guys to kick him out. Their newer stuff does actually have three guitar parts and some of the older songs now a have a rhythm part during the harmonized leads, but most of the show he just runs around doing windmills. I am sure he doesn't mind as the paychecks are still pretty darn good.
  5. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Ronnie definitely had all the brains out of all the siblings. :ninja: Whilst true to his Southern roots, he was clearly a complex individual. Donnie seems a bit 'hold ma beer' by comparison...

    Useless band members...

    Linda McCartney. Clearly not a musical bone in her body. Her voice sometimes worked in harmony work though.

    Bez. Happy Mondays' dancer. Not even pretending to be contributing anything musical to the proceedings.
  6. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Eddie Montgomery from Montgomery Gentry. He is the on the left in the photo. I don't know why he is there. He does not play anything and can't really sing. All he does is hold a mic stand most of the time.

    Grumry likes this.
  7. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    I'd also like to nominate the old man in the rocking chair in Arrested Development.
    MattZilla likes this.
  8. First name that came to mind.

    Before him there was Paul Buchanan of Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

    After him there was Joel Gion of Brian Jonestown Massacre.

    And of course, Sid Vicious served no musical purpose to the Pistols.
  9. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Carl Wayne of The Move seems to have watched himself get slowly overtaken by Roy Wood as the band progressed. It is odd watching music videos of him when Roy is singing.

    Jon Povey of the Pretty Things. He was their keyboard player, but did very little to add to the sound of the band.

    Falk U. Rogner of Amon Duul II. Coming from the hippy commune roots of the band, it was clearly more radical and anarchistic to claim to be in a band than to actually do anything worth while in the band. Falk U. Rogner's entire contribution to the band seems to be a few bleeps and bloops from a crude analogue synth (maybe even a simple wave generator from a laboratory) here and there. The band had a much better keyboard player. Falk did produce some album cover photography.
  10. poit57


    Apr 30, 2010
    Oklahoma City, OK
    There was a guy in Mighty Mighty Bosstones who appears all he did was dance next to the lead singer. I only saw a handful of television appearances, so I'm not sure if he actually did anything else.
    Sharknose79 likes this.
  11. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    wohwohwoh - he plays some awesome riffs live!! Could they do it with 2 guitarists? yes, they could, but if you look good, they split up the stuff. Jannick always plays the folk-stuff and accoustic stuff. I guess he is just better at it. Dave and Adrian have their specialties, too

    and the way they play the hookline of the trooper novadays is impossible with 2 guitarists
  12. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    "Specialties" meaning, being able to solo using a neck pickup and being able solo a using bridge pickup, respectively?
  13. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    All this guy did was skank dance on stage! I think it worked for this band though, it was their shtick. I wonder if he made a good living and how he was compensated? I don't think he did ANYTHING else other than skank dance.
    Sharknose79 likes this.
  14. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Story goes, in the early day of the band, this guy was good friends with all of them, and came to all their shows and helped with the gear and everything. Problem was, he was under 21 at the time, so club owners wouldn't let him in. They surmounted this problem by making him an official member of the band who joined them on stage. Yep, all he does is dance.
    pcake, Sharknose79 and Luke19Boarder like this.
  15. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Jan 30, 2014
    The "Insane in the brain" guy from Cyprus Hill..
    The guy with the moustache from Frankie Goes to Hollywood..
    Sid Vicious
  16. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    going off on a tangent, how about band members whose talent is wasted in their current gig.

    I nominate Vivian Campbell. As much as I love Def Leppard (and have done for over 20 years, and will continue to), he has some fantastic guitar skills and a love of classic rock that rarely sees the light of day.
  17. Your opinion, tho that doesn't mean you're right. Certainly Linda didn't start out as a keyboardist, and while she was never a Roy Bittan, everybody had to start somewhere. She got better over time. Besides, in the early days of Wings, she played an important part in holding down some simple background keyboard parts while Paul played bass. She certainly did more than walk around holding a mic stand for the whole gig.
  18. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    This guy basically marches up and down the stage while Damian "Big Gong" Marley plays.

  19. ultra60

    ultra60 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Herndon/Chantilly Va.

    You have to go back to the 70's, and the first two 38 Special records. He was the lead singer. They probably realized in order to make money, they had to modernize the sound, and maybe lose some southern flair. Figure the guitar player writing the songs probably wrote for his own voice. So why is Van Zant still in the band? I guess because he's been there since day 1, and they are probably all very good friends.
  20. Oddly

    Oddly Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Patti Scialfa in the E Street Band ?
    gebass6 likes this.