Can You Guess How These Classic Rock Bands Started?
Everyone Had To Start Somewhere
You’ve heard of bands getting their start right in their very own garage (or were you just watching too many movies?) and those whose members met under unusual circumstances. Well, here are some of your favorite classic rock bands and how the legend began:
Aerosmith is popularly known for their bluesy and raunchy swagger owing mostly to Steven Tyler’s stage antics. Surprisingly, it all began in the humble ice cream parlor in Sunapee, NH. Steven was eating French fries and he wanted to meet the cook who made it. The guy in the kitchen was Joe Perry. At the time, Steven was in a band called Strangeurs (which eventually became Chain Reaction) while Joe and Tom Hamilton formed the Jam Band. When they played at the same gig, they decided to fuse the bands as a power trio with Steven on drums. Joey Kramer, who was a student at the Berklee College of Music, quit school to join them. Brad Whitford completed the original lineup. Steven, who used to be the backup singer in Chain Reaction, became the lead vocalist what with his trademark shriek. For the next two years, the ‘Bad Boys from Boston’ shared a small apartment and played gigs almost on a nightly basis. And the name? It stuck after Joey said he used to write it all over his notebook.
2. The Eagles
Some may call them overrated but they will always be one of the greatest classic rock bands of all time. Besides, very few musicians can boast of having songs which are still much-loved decades after their release. So here, Glenn Frey once lent his voice as back up on Bob Seger’s “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.” It all started in early 1971 when multi-awarded singer Linda Ronstadt and John Boylan recruited both Frey and another local musician, Don Henley, to join her band. Randy Meisner also signed up for Ronstadt’s summer tour. It was during this tour when Frey and Henley decided they ought to form their own band and they even told Ronstadt about it. In fact, it was her idea to ask Brian Leadon to come on board. And later, they got Meisner to join them. There was a documentary on how it all began for them but according to Don Felder, it wasn’t accurate and lots of things were omitted.
3. Guns ‘n Roses
Guns ‘N Roses may still be rockin’ hard in their 60s and Axl may have transformed into this punctual, kinda-cool guy BUT let’s go for a quick trip down memory lane to see their humble (or not) beginnings. In 1984, Izzy Stradlin shared an apartment with L.A. Guns guitarist Tracii Guns. When the band needed a new vocalist, Stradlin suggested Axl Rose who was their singer in Hollywood Rose. The following year, Guns ‘N Roses was formed with Rose on the vocals, Stradlin on the rhythm guitar, Guns on the lead guitar, Ole Beich on bass and Rob Gardner on drums. After 2-3 shows, Beich was replaced by Duff McKagan. After an argument, Guns left and Rose hired Slash from his former band. Soon after, Gardner resigned and it was then that they brought in another Hollywood Rose member, Steven Adler. In June 1985, this became the final lineup. They then embarked on the ‘Hell Tour’ which McKagan spoke of: “This trip had set a new benchmark for what we were capable of, what we could and would put ourselves through to achieve our goals as a band.”
Some bands are just so perfect individually that it makes you wonder, “What if they never got together?” or “What if they had a different vocalist or bassist? Would their music still be the same?” Take Queen, for example. It’s like they were just meant for each other right from the start. It was in 1968 when Brian May and Tim Staffell decided to form a band. They were still students at the time so May placed an ad on a notice board in their college looking for a Mitch Mitchell or Ginger Baker type of drummer. Roger Taylor, then studying dentistry, auditioned and of course he landed the job. They named themselves ‘Smile.’ Staffell met Farrokh Bulsara (a.k.a. Freddie Mercury) while he was attending Ealing Art College and he instantly became a fan of the band. In 1970, Staffell left to join another band and it was during this time when Freddie encouraged the members to change their name to ‘Queen.’ They may have performed their first gig ever on July on the same year but it wasn’t until February 1971 that John Deacon signed up.
5. The Rolling Stones
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger are friendship goals. You know why? They didn’t just meet in Rolling Stones, they go way back. They were childhood friends and even classmates. After Jagger’s family moved to Wilmington, they only saw each other again in 1960 at the Dartford railway station with Jagger carrying Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records. At the time, Richards was in a band with Dick Taylor playing the same music. Jagger joined them and had meetings held at his house and eventually recruited Alan Etherington and Bob Beckwith forming ‘The Blues Boys.’ They went to Ealing Jazz Club in 1962 where they met Brian Jones who was playing for Blues Incorporated. Jones and Ian Stewart started an RnB band and attracted Jagger, Richards and Taylor into joining. In June 1962, drummer Tony Chapman was added to the lineup. The name was inspired by one of Muddy Waters’ LP tracks “Rollin’ Stone.”