I think I’ve got it: the Hall’s shortest Last Man Standing topic ever! I happened upon a Cowsills documentary while flipping channels last night. I knew almost nothing about that band. It turns out I knew a couple of their songs, but I’d never put the song titles and tunes together. I knew they were somehow the inspiration for The Partridge Family. It wasn’t covered in the two thirds of the doc that I saw, but I’m pretty sure I knew that sister Susan Cowsill was once married to The dB’s’ Peter Holsapple. That’s correct, right? Although that fact likely means something to us, I’m sure it was not deemed important for regular people who might be watching the documentary.
Anyhow, I tuned in just when the band’s lead brother pissed off the dad and got fired from both the band and the family. Pops Cowsill sounded like a complete asshole. The oldest brother, the “Brian Wilson” of the group, as one of the brothers described him, got a raw deal. The band’s career quickly went down the tubes. Pops Cowsill sounds like he was an even worse person than Murray Wilson. The family crap that followed was horrendous. Somehow Mama Cowsill, in classic tyrannical father/dysfunctional family lore, was almost completely glossed over. It bugs me when mothers are glossed over in these screwed-up family tales, even though I’m sure the message was that Mama Cowsill was as brutalized as the kids were. This from a guy who grew up with a Mom fond of letting me know that “Everyone’s guilty…of something.” But I digress…
I got to thinking: are there ANY family bands that were not driven by a tyrannical dad and/or a fundamentalist religious background, in which God, it might be argued, serves as the stern father? I’m not trying to beat up on all family bands and all family bands with religious backgrounds, mind you. I hope Pops Staples and his clan, for instance, lived as functional lives as any of us might reasonably expect. And if it doesn’t already exist the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame should create a special “rock ‘n roll chapel” to pay tribute to the essential roll the church has played in the devil’s music.
For the purposes of this Last Man Standing, I’m hoping we can cite family bands that, to our knowledge, were not driven by a tyrannical dad or were not rooted in a fundamentalist religion. Can’t families just sing and play music together? Can’t they all just get along more often than not?
Also for the purposes of this thread, we shall define “family bands” as bands containing at least 3 family members. Family duos and bands containing only 2 family members will NOT count. Sorry, Kinks. Sorry, highly dysfunctional Everly Brothers, assuming you grew up in a relatively stress-free family.
I can think of at least 3 possible entrants, but probably no more…unless you spoil my quest for The Hall’s Shortest Last Man Standing Ever!