Dec 152011

Workin' overtime!

In a secret second overtime period The Blockheads eked out a victory over The Furious Five for the final slot in the second round of Rock Town Hall’s tournament to determine—once and for allRock’s Greatest Backing Band. The decisive shot, with time expiring, was a 12-foot baseline jumper by bassist Norman Watt-Roy off an inbound pass from Chaz Jankel. With only 7 seconds remaining the Furious Five briefly took a 1-point lead following a steal and tomahawk dunk by producer/”The Message” cowriter Ed “Duke Bootee” Fletcher. “In retrospect,” a dejected Fletcher said after the contest, “I could have slowed it down, taken a few more ticks off the clock, and laid it in. Probably would have been fouled in the process.”

The updated brackets leading into tomorrow’s Round 2 games among the Legacy and Rebel Conferences can be downloaded here: Round 2, Rock’s Greatest Backing Band Ever Tournament. Round 2 games for the Expansion and Classic Conferences will follow beginning Monday, December 19.


Tournament play to determine—once and for allRock’s Greatest Backing Band will continue with staggered Round 2 conference matches beginning tomorrow. First, an overtime period between The Blockheads and The Furious Five in their Round 1 Rebel Conference match must be completed! The overtime winner will be determined by the collective best comments provided by Townspeople through 12:00 noon EST today, December 15. You may provide your comments in the Round 1, Rebel Conference thread or here.

To review the Round 1 games for each conference, click on the following links.


  18 Responses to “UPDATED: Round 2 of Rock’s Greatest Backing Band Ever Tournament Set as The Blockheads Eke Out Double-Overtime Victory Over The Furious Five!”

  1. Will anyone attempt to break the tie? Tonyola, here’s yout chance to participate!

  2. The Furious Five were more groundbreaking, historically significant, and had a hand in some of the best social commentary music of the early ’80s.

    And this isn’t really relevant, and certainly not fair, but I recently caught the last half-hour of the Ian Dury biopic starring Andy Serkis (a.k.a Gollum, not to mention Martin Hannett in 24 Hour Party People) and it was awful.

  3. I somehow made it through that entire Ian Dury biopic. The Furious Five just hit a huge 3-pointer to pull ahead with 33 minutes left in overtime!

  4. cliff sovinsanity

    For me it comes down to the criteria set out earlier in the rules. The Blockheads contributed a lot to the overall sound of the band, whereas the individual members of the Furious Five were assembled on circumstance. I initially voted for the FF based on adding a little diversity, but based on the fact there was little musicianship involved I’m switching my vote to the Blockheads. Dare I say that the Blockheads could be just as funky as the hip-hop pioneers. Certainly Hit Me With Your Rhythm stick is certainly more groovy than White Lines.

  5. Ooh, the Blockheads respond with a 3 of their own! Four minutes to go, and I’ve got a lunch date with coworkers at the buzzer. How will this shake out?

  6. cliff sovinsanity

    I also thought we were eliminating vocal groups. ie The Miracles. It seems to me that FF are a vocal group. Non?

  7. The 24-second clock is winding down. Use your time wisely!

  8. alexmagic

    I’m really sad the Starlighters lost out. When this is over, or perhpas as a sidebar, I think they (and Joey Dee) deserve a quick exploration on the main stage.

    How did a backing band that could bring Jimi Hendrix and Joe Pesci to the table go out in the first round? And could anyone have predicted that they’d lose to the Delaware Destroyers, considering the beatings Thorogood has taken in the Hall in the past? I wonder if there’s a Delaware Destroyer message board that mobilized a voting bloc to take down Joey Dee in the tourney. Totally fair play if so, but worth monitoring for future rounds and something the Texas Playboys better take into account.

    Round 2 predictions: Realizing their mistakes, voters course correct allowing the Famous Flames to bounce the Jordanaires, while the TCB Band picks up support and steamrolls the Mindbenders, by far the weakest of the #1 seeds.

    Also, as it was my strategic move in withholding my vote until it was able to break the tie in the Blackhearts/Asbury Jukes battle, sending the Blackhearts through (I am a kingmaker), I will urge all voters to really, really think the Blackhearts vs. Silver Bullet Band battle in Round 2 through. Let’s get some discussion going and some evidence on the table before votes are cast too quickly!

  9. Happiness Stan

    As I said before, I’m with the Blockheads on this one, for no other reason that they were spectacular live backing Dury, (and apart from “The Message” the FF did nothing over here of note, so haven’t really registered on the radar). Goodness me, though, the records could be dull and over-produced and twiddly in the worst faux-jazz-rock way, and I can’t get much more animated than that in their defence.

  10. Happiness Stan

    The Thorogood board one is an interesting theory. I discovered this board purely because I’d once sent an email to the Electric Prunes and about a year later they emailed me to drum up support for “I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night” in the Nuggets run-off. I’m very glad they did, (and even without their encouragement I would still vote for them in a Nuggets run-off).

  11. So that’s who we have to thank for bringing you to the Halls of Rock! Excellent!

    I think a couple of things are in play: 1) serious conversion among the faithful following our old Thorogood vs ZZ Top showdown; 2) a rabid Delaware lurker contingent (I’m having The Back Office investigate incoming IP addresses to confirm this suspicion); and as expressed by a Townsman earlier, 3) backlash against the Starlighters for their work with Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future.

    Not only did the Starlighters expose the world to young Pesci and Hendrix but I’m pretty sure the Rascals formed out of that band. I’m taking responsibility for their early exit. I didn’t provide enough explicit rock nerd fodder in support of my paisans, these proto-Goatee Rock pioneers.

  12. I’m really stuck. Time expired with another tie. A part of me wants to let the Furious Five move forward because I did love their two hits and, maybe more importantly, I do want to look like a “bigger man” for allowing a rap group of suspect qualifications (ie, was Grandmaster Flash actually the leader, or was he the most convenient namesake a la J. Geils Band?) to qualify and compete.

    On the other hand, I’m constantly annoyed by how little interest I can muster in a band beloved among all my pub rock heroes. The Blockheads are like the musical equivalent of the Benny Hill Show minus the fast-motion jiggling boobs at the end.

  13. throw it up for up in a sudden death poll for an hour.

  14. mockcarr

    That sums up how I feel about almost ALL pub rock. If it had boobs, at least I would watch it.

  15. machinery

    I’m totally bummed that the Voidoids lost to The Magic Band. Wha!!!! I think Captain Beefheart gets waaayyy to much props here in the hall. Sorry, I’m just sayin. And didnt’ they change the line-up a bit???

    And I’ll give props to Ry Cooder but bigger/badder/better than Robert Quine??? (RIP)


  16. machinery

    Delaware Destroyers win by virtue of their Power & Glory points, no?

  17. Happiness Stan

    I took the “classic” line-ups to be the relatively stable one from about Strictly Personal to Spotlight Kid/Clear Spot, and the late line-up as the post-Tragic-Band of the end 70s/early 80s. Perhaps someone could correct me if I’m wrong?

    I’m reading John French’s “Beefheart Through The Eyes of Magic” at the moment, a rivetting read (albeit flawed – it would certainly benefit from a skilful and thorough editing job) which could only be described as thorough, and reads like a gothic horror novel. There have been multiple line-up changes and I’ve not even got to the recording of Trout Mask Replica yet. (I’m a very slow reader and it is a huge, huge book).

    One thing which is gleaned early and reiterated by every member of the band he talks to in the book (which is almost everyone who passed through the ranks) is that they are all agreed that Van Vliet had imagination and charisma in spades, but absolutely no musical skills whatsoever, relying totally on the band for the entire musical input, transcribing his random thoughts and trying to turn them into music.

    For that reason, for me, of all the backing bands represented here they are the one/two/more on whom their leader relied most completely, his fame and notoriety depending entirely on the guys playing behind him (and who were not treated well in the process. I don’t think this was a good thing, but if you like the music it’s possible to make a case for it being worth it).

    The Voidoids were a great band, Bob Quine was a brilliant guitarist, but if he hadn’t been there Hell would have found somebody else. The same can’t be said of Beefheart, as he was largely dependent on those who were prepared to put up with him.

  18. I considered the early band that one that ran from the first album through stuff like Trout Mask and Lick My Decals Off. I considered the late version the one beginning with Bat Chain Puller through the end.

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