Dec 122011

Don't discount the Jukes!

As the Rock Town Hall community—if not the music community at large—prepares for a Battle Royale of epic proportions, the seedings for the upcoming tournament to determine—once and for all—rock’s greatest backing band have been released! A PDF of the seeded field of 64 is available for viewing and download when you click on the following link:

Best Backing Band Tournament Field of 64

At the strike of midnight EST Tuesday, December 12, the first round of the tournament will begin, allowing Townspeople to argue for and vote on the opening matches in each conference. Please use this space to study the matches, reflect on the selections, and speculate on the battles ahead.

Rock Town Hall is not responsible for any wagering placed on the outcome of this tournament.


  25 Responses to “Rock Town Hall Tournament Seedings Released to Determine…Once and For All…Rock’s Greatest Backing Band Ever!”

  1. machinery

    The Pipps? And no “The News” ???


  2. I believe no one suggested the News, and they somehow slipped my mind!

  3. You son of a bitch! You have Paul Kelly’s Messengers going up against the Silver Bullet Band? You’re purposely setting them up not to make it out of the first round. In fact, it looks as though you are paving the way for the Silver Bullet Band to sail into the Sweet 16 and possibly into the [whatever it is] 8. I smell a set up. I’ll be watching you like a hawk…

  4. The Silver Bullet Band does not need anyone’s help. A case could be had for the Messengers. Opening-round upsets are possible.

  5. tonyola

    A few minor gripes:

    Derek and the Dominoes – there was no “Derek” per se.
    Mindbenders – The group initially used just that name without “Wayne Fontana and the…” appended to the front.
    Mothers of Invention – see Mindbenders.
    Big Brother & The Holding Company – never officially Janis’ backing band, she was just a member of the group.

    If we’re allowing these artists in the running, shouldn’t Parliament/Funkadelic be in there somewhere? After all, they were George Clinton’s backup band.

  6. You knew it was coming, right?

  7. The top seeds are going to be tough to knock off — but I smell some upsets!

  8. machinery

    I’m a bit confused as to the criteria. Is “Best” which back-up best contributed to the overall sound? The look? Or the was it their ability to really push the front man’s musical agenda/vision?

    Or can we just vote to the dumbest name?

  9. First of all, thanks for splitting hairs – seriously. It’s important work. I know not everybody can be happy with the seedings. Surely we’re overlooking a few tremendous backing bands – and some killer bands were excluded according to the RTH Games Commission’s guidelines. As for your minor gripes:
    1) It was known that Eric was Derek, though, so they count.
    2) Fontana’s leadership clearly made the backing band what it was, didn’t it?
    3) Was there ever the slightest believe that Zappa was “just a member” of Mothers of Invention?
    4) See 3).
    5) I would love to have included Parliament/Funkadelic, but this case was not made and I didn’t think of it myself. Maybe I would have allowed them in the way I allowed the Mothers, but I also wonder if Bootsy’s prominence and all the gimmickry would have made them more like post-Roy Wood ELO, in which the backing musicians were almost as recognizable (or indistinguishable) as the band’s mastermind.

  10. I think all of the above can come into play. The rules of play will be announced later tonight, but please consider all you’ve listed and then some while preparing your support of any of the combatants.

  11. The Blue Caps vs The Rock and Roll Trio. That is the toughest one on the board.

  12. Happiness Stan

    Need to pince-nez you on the Mindbenders, I own copies of the original (UK) “Um um um um um um” and “Game of Love” singles, with Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders printed on the labels, he left in ’65, with “GKOL” being the first record credited just to the band.

  13. tonyola

    I realize we’re wandering around in a fuzzy area here, but neglecting Parliament/Funkadelic is a really serious omission if we’re giving some other groups the benefit of the doubt. As you say with Zappa, there is no question that Clinton was the leader of P-Funk, and leaving them out is like voting on “Great British Groups” and leaving out the Rolling Stones. It’s a huge hole that throws the validity of the whole exercise into question.

  14. cliff sovinsanity

    The Revolution VS The Evolution Revolution. Tears of joy are streaming down my face.

  15. alexmagic

    In fact, it looks as though you are paving the way for the Silver Bullet Band to sail into the Sweet 16 and possibly into the [whatever it is] 8.

    That section of the tournament is called “The Seg-leet Eight”, but Mod assures everyone that it’s a coincidence and no guarantee that the Silver Bullet Band will make it that far.

  16. alexmagic

    I thought about Parliament and/or Funkadelic – I also considered trying to sneak a nomination for “The Guitar Army” in there – but as they didn’t release under “George Clinton & Parliament” or “George Clinton & Funkadelic”, I didn’t consider them eligible and declined to put them forward for consideration.

    Instead, I suggested “The P-Funk All-Stars”, who would count, but I’m not terribly upset that they didn’t make the final cut. I do, however, consider the lack of Dawn (Tony Orlando &…) and Dave (Sam and…) to be almost as damning as the baffling slight to the MGs, so I’m with you in considering this entire exercise to be a complete sham.

    The lack of The News is telling, as was the fact that a very high seed only made the final cut due to a last minute entry. But I’ll hold off on details there pending further instructions from The Mod.

  17. Whew, I feel so relieved…

  18. Please, feel free to keep raising hell without further instructions!

    Listen, I know hard choices were made, and I bet the commission has made oversights not yet identified, oversights almost as bad as forgetting Dawn, not to mention Cher (Sonny and…). What I hope you find most valuable in this exercise are the spirit of the games and the awe-inspiring thought of possibly overcoming the Silver Bullet Band in the International Championship round.

  19. Some worthy group is gonna get screwed matchups:
    The JBs vs Bluesbreakers, The Heartbreakers vs the Dominoes, The NPG vs Bad Seeds (are you trying to pit Townsman vs Townsman here?).

    And you couldn’t lose a cartoon band to fit in the Mescaleros?

  20. Play begins at midnight, with Legacy Conference games followed by Expansion Conference games at 1:00 am EST. At 5:00 am EST the Classic Conference games get underway with Rebel Conference games launching at 6:00 am. Round 1 play will run through 12:59 pm on Wednesday, December 14.

  21. BigSteve

    Have I mentioned that my first ever rock concert was Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders opening for Herman’s Hermits?

  22. You may have; that’s pretty cool.

  23. Obviously, I can’t predict how people will vote in this but the final four SHOULD be:
    the Texas Playboys;
    Mad Dogs and Englishmen;
    the Heartbreakers (after a tough battle with the Spider from Mars);
    and, in a stunning upset, the Wailers over the Attractions (like that’s really going to happen on this site).

    And the Texas Playboys should ultimately prevail based on Roly Poly alone:

    Check out the lead starting at 1:15 and particularly at 1:24.

    The Texas Playboys were a huge band that included a fiddle section, a horn section and, I believe, the first drum kit used in country. The only potential downside to the Texas Playboys is their leader’s tendency to talk over the recordings in his goofy-assed voice. I found it off putting at first but now I genuinely like it.

  24. The fact that the “Roly Poly” video kicks off with a Wrangler ad may hurt the Playboys’ cause. Can you present a clip that doesn’t thumb its nose at rock ‘n roll?

  25. Here’s a version without an ad in the front:

    And by the way, I got an ad for Legos not Wranglers, which leads me to believe that they are somehow tailoring the ads to the individual who is view the video, which begs the question: why did you get a Wrangler ad? Is there something you’d like to get off your chest?

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