What: The long-rumored (since 9:30 this morning), once-in-a-lifetime uniting of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr—the surviving members of The Beatles—and Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey—the surviving original members of The Who—for a whizbang supergroup megaconcert dubbed “The Who-tles.” Or, if you prefer, “The Beat-Whos,” or maybe “The Who-Be’s.” Whatever. Here’s a photo of the New Fab Four in their nonexistent younger days, crafted in Photoshop by my handsome and sophisticated Loonbucket Brigade co-conspirator, Corey Macourek. Will you still see them, will you still feel them, now that they’re 64?
Why: With apologies to the Kinks and Stones, these are the two biggest bands of the British Invasion. With their success has come tragedy at every turn. An assassin robbed us of The Beatles’ rhythm guitarist, John Lennon; drugs took The Who’s drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle; cancer silenced The Beatles’ lead guitarist, George Harrison. Despite this week’s Super Bowl halftime show, The Who isn’t real without a massive rhythm section; The Beatles can’t even imagine reuniting without their legendary guitar and vocal duo. But if The Who had The Beatles’ backbone, they’d rock much harder; if The Beatles had The Who’s frontmen, they’d blow everyone’s minds. It is time for these bands to realize their mutual losses are an opportunity for the greatest rock act of all time. It is time for The Who-tles.
Impact: What could you imagine paying for that ticket? Three hundred dollars? A thousand? Five thousand? Even in this economy, that band could fill Wembley for a month at those prices. What if it were a charity benefit to reconstruct Haiti? The gate could build an entire hospital from the ground up. How long would the album stay at #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart? That’s not measured in weeks, it’s measured in years. Do The Who-tles go into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, despite its members being in already? I say yes. Paul, Roger, Pete, Ringo: It’s too good an idea not to do.
Personal Connection: Let’s be clear: This is the best idea I’ve ever had*. But it goes nowhere unless the rock star royalty hears about it. At last count, these senior citizens don’t have Facebook accounts. We need a groundswell so loud that even Pete Townshend can hear it. Leave a comment even if you don’t have a LiveJournal account. Start a Facebook group. Tweet it all day long. If you’re going to unite around something that doesn’t matter, this is it. Bang the drum.
Other Contenders: It’s hard to put anything else in this conversation, but can I interest you in New Order and Lou Reed forming a new Joy Division? How about Barenaked Ladies fronted by Brian Wilson? Axl Rose accepting his destiny and joining Queen full-time? Feel free to dream out loud.
*Inspired in part by a throwaway comment by muskrat_john. All hail the Muskrat King.