Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Who’s Your Favorite Guy in the Band?

As the eloquent John Mellencamp once said, “Forget all about that macho shit and learn how to play guitar!” It’s true, one key to most women’s hearts is membership in a rock band. I had a blast writing about a rock band in my novel The Resurrection of Captain Eternity, especially Fritz, the lead singer/guitar player. Swoon.

So let’s have some fun and talk about rock band archetypes. Who’s your favorite guy in the band, and what might it mean that you find him to be the sexiest?

The Lead Singer: There are several possibilities here. One is that this guy is the front man, the designated leader. Could be you go for the take-charge type, the most capable, the fellow who is a natural leader of men. It could also be that you are a romantic, and therefore a softie when it comes to singers. You like the guy who pours his heart out in his voice, who touches you with the music of his soul, the apparent “poet.” Lastly, you may be attracted to communicators, guys who are articulate and open--sensitive and expressive guys.

The Guitarist: The man who plays lead guitar is probably the one who is the most overtly sexy. It’s that stance, you know? You may also like him because he is the often the most aggressive musically: he gets those powerful solos where the music tears through you. Due to the connotations of being a rock ‘n’ roll guitar player, you may think of this guy as a dangerous, bad boy type. Of course, the flip side is the acoustic guitar player, the singer/songwriter type who is a modern minstrel. In this case he’s a romantic balladeer, attractive more for sweetness than spice.

The Bass Player: The bassist plays an instrument whose low notes are subtle, almost subliminal. Nevertheless, by focusing a little more intently, you can pick up on the very powerful influence his music has on the overall sound--and especially feel--of the band. You’ll go for the bass player if you like the mysterious sort, the type who works his influence subtly. Or if you are a fan of shy men, or of guys who work hard in the background, this is the band member who will appeal to you.

The Keyboardist: The piano, traditionally, is more a classical instrument than guitar and drums. The man who plays it may strike you as more of a “classical” musician, perhaps more technically talented, more conservative in disposition, or more cerebral. If you’re a little scared of conventional rockers, you may think of the keyboardist as the most trustworthy and responsible guy in the band, the one man who makes you feel safe and secure.

The Drummer: Drumming requires a certain amount of flamboyancy and energy. It is not for the faint of heart. Consequently you’ll go for the drummer if you like guys who are wild, adventurous, eccentric, or powerful. Drums being the most primitive and elemental instruments of sound, the drummer suggests a sort of primordial masculinity. If you like your men rough, driving, and unrefined, this is the guy for you.

To be honest, on different days I will be drawn to any and all of these archetypes. Among my crushes/attractions in the five categories:

Lead singer: Jon Bon Jovi
Guitarist: Rick Springfield
Bass player: Sting
Keyboardist: Bruce Hornsby
Drummer: Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater)

But wouldn’t that make for a really weird band?


Mel said...

I've been trying to think of bands, in the classic sense of the term, that I like. It's strange, but there aren't that many that I gravitate towards these days. The ones that come to mind have all been established for some time. I guess I'm gettin' old.

First and foremost, I've always loved The Police, even more so than Sting's solo work. Strange, because he's my favourite guy from that band. So I guess that's one bassist/lead singer.

Then, there's Depeche Mode, which I discovered with their 1990's album Violator. Frontman David Gahan is my favourite there. *sigh* He just keeps looking better as he ages. So, add another lead signer to my list

I also love U2. That Bono, he's just somethin' else! That's 3 lead vocals... Hmmm, I'm beginning to see a pattern, here.

And last but not least, Canadian band Blue Rodeo. No question there, my favourite band member is Jim Cuddy. Why, look! Another lead singer!

From your descriptions, I would have thought I was a bass player girl. Funny how these things work out...

Diana Laurence said...

I'm not familiar with Blue Rodeo, but as for the rest, I like your taste, Mel! Both in music and in front men. Another fun game to play is "casting" non musicians in an imaginary rock band. I did this back in the day when I was a big Dallas Stars fan. Fun picking out which team member should have which role...