One of my photos

Sheryl Crow??

October 16th, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Music · 16 Comments · Music

There is an advert on the BBC TV for Radio 2 where Elvis Presley introduces his band, drawn from various icons and legends of music. Thanks to the wonders of film editing they all look like they are playing together and it is an all-star line-up.

On drums there is Keith Moon, on guitar Jimmy Page, on keyboards Stevie Wonder, Noel Gallagher on rhythm guitar, Marvin Gaye singing and…. Sheryl Crow on bass guitar.

Is it just me or does Sheryl Crow seem a bit out of place? While you could have a really good pub argument about who best to put in an all-time supergroup (Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix or Clapton? Keith Moon or Cozy Powell? etc.) most of the band are legends, even if they might not be your first choice, but Sheryl Crow? She might be well-known, but until I saw this I didn’t even know she played the bass guitar.

Nice work by Blue Post Production in putting the ad together, but haven’t they heard of any other bass players? Surely it could not be hard to find someone who is actually known for their bass playing and/or is considered to be one of the best? I know there is a certain demographic the ad is aimed at so Jaco Pastorius, Chris Squire, Robbie Shakespeare or Steve Harris would not be sufficiently famous for it, and Sid Vicious or Nikki Sixx would give the wrong vibes, but even so.

You don’t have to resort to the Wikipedia list of bass players to come up with more suitable names, who would meet the legend criteria much better and still be within the Radio 2 ethos. Bill Wyman maybe, or Flea, or, Jack Bruce, or Roger Waters, or Paul McCartney (how can they have an all-time supergroup without a Beatle?). Even Sting or Mark King would fit the bill better.

An obvious choice would be John Entwistle, but they already had Keith Moon from the Who. (Put Ringo in there instead of Moon and problem solved – though I like Keith Moon). If it was a case of needing to have a female in there somewhere they could have just gone for Tina Weymouth, who is at least known for being a bass player.

Every time I see the advert I can’t help choking at the inclusion of Sheryl bloody Crow on bass. The good thing is that it distracts everyone from wondering whether Noel Gallagher really belongs on rhythm guitar – why have a Beatles wannabe when you could choose the real thing and go for John Lennon?

And don’t get me started on the Sugababes on backing vocals!

Good job I didn’t have any say in the advert: I would have had Neil Peart or Prairie Prince on drums, Nick Seymour on bass, Rick Wakeman on keyboards, and Carlos Santana on guitar. Maybe with Joe Walsh as a second guitarist if needed – and thats if I didn’t get carried away by my theory that a decent live band has to have at least 4 drummers/percussionists and a brass section! I probably would have dropped Elvis too…

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16 Comments so far ↓

  • Nightowl

    I thought this too, it is very odd I never knew she played the bass guitar either! Perhaps we’ve both been living under rocks..

  • Garen

    Glad I’m not the only one who thought that about Ms. Crow – and I’ve been a bass player for 16 years! Despite also scoffing snobbily at Noel Gallagher and the Sugababes (and I’d have put Brian Auger on keyboards) – it’s a great ad (but I don’t like the short version as it skips Jimmy Page!)

  • Jane Skudder

    Although some of the short versions I have seen omit Ms Crow – do you think they got the hint?

  • Skuds

    I’m still waiting for someone to come along and stick up for Sheryl Crow. I would love to see how they can justify her as an iconic bass player.

  • Danivon

    Well, she’s a good songwriter and she looks quite good. Not sure why not Geddy Lee on Bass though. Or Les Claypool.

  • Skuds

    Are you carrying a torch for Sheryl Crow…. or is it just the way your trousers are hanging?
    (boom boom! Thanks to Bottom for that joke)

    If cornered I would have to admit to liking a couple of her songs

    Geddy Lee is like Chris Squire. Not enough of a household name. Same for Les Claypool. Wouldn’t register with the Radio 2 target audience. But here’s a thought: Phil Lynott. Not sure he was a virtuoso bass player but very much a legend.

  • Danivon

    Look, you wanted someone to defend her, and I tried my hardest. It’s not like she’s ugly.

    The bloke out of Level42 – is he R2 material? Of course, I don’t know his name, but he’s a darn good bass player.

  • Skuds

    Full marks for street cred to Danivon! Mark King is the Level 42 bloke with the rubber thumbs. I did mention him in the original post.

    Peter Hook – good call.

    Mind you… finding bass players who are more suitable than SC is like shooting fish in a barrel 🙂

  • Skuds Sister

    the late, lamented, John Entwhistle is the best suggestion Rob and I could come up with (since Rob’s first choices were Geddy Lee & Chris Squires, naturally….)

  • Garen

    How about, if they wanted a female bass player…. Suzi Quatro!

  • Rob Glover

    I’d put John Entwistle on bass, but it would be unfair to have 2 member of the Who in the band, so I’d have to drop Keith from the drumstool. How about a female drummer? Meg White anyone?

  • Skuds

    Meg White… unconventional but effective and prefable to the most famous female drummer of the lot – Karen Carpenter.

    I think these bands are a lot like fantasy football though. If you picked the best 11 players in the world they would not necessarily perform well as a team. In the same way the whole premise of the advert is a bit silly as it has Elvis Presley introducing a band for which one of the least appropriate singers is Elvis Presly.

  • Udathunkit

    Phil Lynott – may not have been what you would call a virtuoso by any means, but he was vastly underrated on bass and a superb writer and showman – maybe he would have overshadowed the King if he’d been included in the advert???

  • merkur

    If they wanted a female bass player, they should obviously have gone for the mighty Me’shell Ndegeocello. Except nobody would have recognised her (which is in itself a crime).

  • cblock

    Although absolutely nobody would have recognised her, the great Carole Kaye should have been the female bass player if they were going to have one. But session musicians never get that sort of publicity.
    For those who don’t know her work, you’ve already heard it! Beach Boys, Frank Zappa, Paul Simon, Motown, Phil Spector etc. etc.