The Shit List: Top 20 Non-Essential Band Members Of All-Time!

Let's face it, most bands have a weak link. Hell, more than a few great bands have included at least one member that was, to put it as kindly as possible, non-essential. We often refer to such members as "lucky SOB's" who who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, or had incriminating pictures of key band members in compromising positions. We at B.A.M.F. have taken it upon ourselves to craft the definitive list of the Top 25 Most Non-Essential band members of all time. Sadly, Chicago is twice represented!

And, as always, our choices are in no particular order because, let's face it, non-essential is non-essential.

Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols
- Sid is the all-time poster child of non-essential band members. Hell, his bass guitar wasn't even plugged in. It may not have even had strings on it, now that we think about it. From the moment he replaced Glen Matlock (a guy who actually did know how to play bass but made the career-killing mistake of getting on Johnny Rotten's bad side) in the Pistols, Sid was there for one reason and one reason only: to look the part of a nihilistic punk rocker. Apparently, to do this and play bass at the same time was too much multi-tasking for dear Sid to master, bless his gacked-out heart.

Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy
- If Sid Vicious had been born in 1984, he'd be Pete Wentz.

D'Arcy Wretsky of Smashing Pumpkins
- Sure, she had a somewhat interesting look about her (which is something that most guys seem to say about any chick who plays in a rock band, know matter how weird she looks), but she brought absolutely nothing to the table creatively. On their records, Billy Corgan played most if not all of the bass lines. In concert, she merely replicated them in the most ham-fisted, sluggish way possible.

Linda McCartney of Wings
- Sure, she had a decent rack, but was a bit of a butterface (not that she wasn't without a quiet, matronly appeal) and had no business playing keyboards and singing back-up in a band fronted by one of the freakin' Beatles. Anyone who has ever been unlucky enough to hear any of the isolated recordings of her vocals and/or keyboard playing knows what I'm talking about. Back then, Paul stuck her out there and let her plink and plunk away to her heart's content, but a smarter man would have had a real keyboardist "in the wings" (get it?) and out of view of the audience.

Nick Mason of Pink Floyd
- Apparently, Roger Waters agrees with us on this one, having long been critical of Mason's lethargic playing. Sure, he's one of the founding members of one of the greatest bands in the world, but, as drummers go, he ranks as one of the luckiest SOB's on the planet. On a bit of a side note, can you imagine Keith Moon in Pink Floyd? That would have been AWESOME!

Fiona Russell-Powell (known as Eden) and David Yarritu of ABC
- We have no idea what Martin Fry was thinking when he enlisted two non-performing members to join the band for 1985's album, How To Be A Zillionaire. Eden was eye candy, brought in to provide an appealing female visual element and, well, Yarritu was a diminutive Asian fellow with thick glasses and a shaved dome - a cartoon character come to life, it seemed. Thankfully, Martin canned these two shortly after the album was released. Our eyes are still trying to recover from the mockery that was ABC circa '85.

Janick Gers of Iron Maiden
- Granted, Janick can actually play the guitar (very well, in fact), but, let's face it, he's one of like eighteen (okay, three) guys currently playing guitar in Iron Maiden. Plus, unlike the others, he isn't an original member of the band. We bet you five bucks he could stop playing altogether and nobody in the stadium would know or care. So, based on that criteria, he is hereby ruled non-essential.

Anybody in a rap group wearing an NFL jersey onstage
- Generally speaking, these guys are there to energize the audience with constant hoops and hollering, saying shit like "Hey, Ho!" and "Get yo hands in the air!" in hopes of taking the audience's mind off of how insanely boring a rap concert can be. I mean, ten minutes of hearing some mealy-mouthed meat-head drop profanities over a beat is nobody's idea of a good time. While they try to help disguise the obvious soul-sucking boredom of such performances, these cats just make it worse!

The female guitarist in Paul Schaffer's "Late Show" Band
- Seriously, what's her fucking deal? Paul Schaffer no doubt hired her for her singing skills as well as her guitar prowess, but, come on, Sid McGinnis is all this band ever needed. Her presence is smarmy and completely fucking unnecessary. And those fucking DSr. Seuss hats she insists on wearing...give it a rest, girl.

The chick who sang and "played percussion" in Kevin Eubanks "Tonight Show" band
- Lordy, was that chick obnoxious. It got so you couldn't go to or come back from a commercial break without either hearing her incessant caterwauling or watching her tossing some lame-ass fucking gourd in the air under the guise of "playing percussion". We know Eubanks left, but have no idea if she's still there, as we haven't watched "The Tonight Show" in ages.

At least one of the Jonas Brothers
- Seriously, near as we can tell, two of those cats are not pulling their weight (which can't be any more than 98 lbs), so of the two, one of them must be a total waste of space. I mean, Nick's the only Jonas that's really doing anything and, even then, that's being generous. The Jonas Brothers are like three really smudged photocopies of Pete Wentz.

Dizzy Reed of Guns 'n' Roses
- Imagine being some Sunset Boulevard hair metal poser on the verge of going broke and getting kicked out of your apartment. Now imagine you also happen to be buds with Axl Rose. Not only does he loan you some cash to make rent, he makes you a fucking member of what was at the time one of fucking biggest and most dangerous bands on the planet. Only thing was, GNR needed a keyboard player like John F. Kennedy needed another hole in the head. That he is still with the band to this day is astounding. The dude must be one of the best ass-kissers in all of humanity not to get kicked out of the band by "Mr. Mood Swing" Axl Rose.

Andrew Ridgely of Wham!
- To this day, we're still trying to figure out what Ridgely's purpose was in the band. I mean, near as we can tell, George Michael seemed to have all the bases covered. We still haven't laughed as hard as we did the day we walked into the local record store and saw, of all things, an Andrew Ridgely solo album. Thankfully, there would be only one.

John Oates of Hall & Oates
- Sure, he plays the guitar and sings back-up. Okay, we aren't sure that the guitar is actually plugged in or the microphone is on, but we do know that even if they are, his contribution to the band is so minor. He's even less essential than that without the mustache. If he's going to insist on remaining part of the equation, he needs to re-grow the 'stache. Without one, he looks like a horse jockey going under-cover as a substitute teacher (or vice-versa). Dude's a punch line, for crissakes.

Any Bangle not named Susanna Hoffs
- They like to hype the fact that they can sing three-and-four-part harmonies and shit, but the truth of the matter is that the only Bangle that ever mattered was Susanna Hoffs. Hell, their albums featured more session players than a Britney Spears joint.

Joe Leeway of the Thompson Twins
- If you don't know who I'm talking about, Leeway was the "multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist" in the band. In other words, he tapped on a bongo that wasn't mic'ed and sang into a wireless headset plugged into his underwear, near as we can tell. His role in the band was to be the, uh, reggae-looking guy with the dreadlocks. Now, that we think about it, his actual role must have been to make Allanah Currie look good by comparison because we never quite figured out what she was doing in the band, either.

Siobhan Fahey of Bananarama
- Seriously, for three gals, you'd think one of them would have tried to sing harmony or something. As it was, all three members of this British vocal trio sang the same exact vocal part over one another, making songs such as "Cruel Summer" and "Venus" sound like grade school sing-a-longs. Seeing as how the current version of Bananarama consists of the duo of Keren Woodward and Sara Dallin, looks like Fahey's presence was superfluous at best. She was married to Eurythmic Dave Stewart until 1996 when, one could surmise, he found her non-essential as well.

Patti Scialfa of the E Street Band
- Do we even need to discuss this one? Didn't think so.

Fergie of Black Eyed Peas
- From the minute we became aware of her existence, we've been trying to figure out how a gal this non-essential found herself in one of the most popular pop acts of the modern age. I mean, as far as gals go, Fergie's a C+ on her best day and a little long in the tooth to boot. Additionally, her vocal skills are "karaoke-level" at best and her butt-crack sweats a lot. So, what gives?

(thanks to my buddy Willard for reminding me of the Thompson Twins and Patti Scialfa.)

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

1 comment:

  1. What is also interesting about Siobhan Fahey is that her own group Shakespear's Sister had one humongous hit, "Stay" and even that mostly featured onetime member Marcella Detroit, and may have been more of Detroit and Dave Stewart's composition. Now SS is just Fahey again as a one-person "group". (P.S. Disagree about Hoffs in The Bangles. Their best song, "Hazy Shade of WInter" does not feature her too-girly voice--not that there's anything wrong with female vocals--prominently.)