Kiss The Dirt

Replacing a lead singer is not easy — just ask Eddie Van Halen. But when your lead singer suffered a tragic death, it’s an even more daunting proposition. For every Brian Johnson-fronted AC/DC, we get a Doors 21st Century. However, it is 2005, and we know reality TV can get people to do crazy shit.

I should point out that the groups below insist they are not looking to “replace” the dead member. They’re just looking to “cash in” “launch the next phase” of their careers. Coming to a DVR near you, in order of increasing offensiveness…

Show: R U The Girl With T-Boz & Chilli
Dead Person: Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, died 4/26/02
Since U Been Gone: The dance-pop trio’s wildest member died in a car accident while vacationing in Honduras. Since Lisa’s death, T-Boz and Chilli have focused on acting and solo music projects, in addition to promoting a Greatest Hits CD.

Show: INXS Rock Star (Not New Sensation? Pshaw.)
Dead Person: Michael Hutchence, died 11/21/97
Since U Been Gone: The ’80s megastar was found naked in his hotel room, hanging by a leather belt. Reports of auto erotic asphyxiation were ruled out by the family. Coroner declared it a suicide. Since Michael’s passing the Farriss brothers have performed one-offs with other singers, including Terence Trent D’Arby and Jon Stevens (at the Syndey Olympics closing ceremony).

Show: Search For The Pearl
Dead Person: Janis Joplin, died 10/4/70
Since U Been Gone: One of rock’s most electrifying (and hardest living) blues vocalists overdosed on heroin before “Me and Bobby McGee” became a huge hit. Dueling biopics, Piece Of My Heart starring Renée Zellweger and The Gospel According To Janis starring Pink, are currently in production. Big Brother were superfluous even when Janis was alive; using her name to relaunch a band that’s been out of public consciousness for three decades is pretty lame in Stereogum’s opinion.

Doesn’t “Need You Tonight” have the greatest guitar hook? I just never get sick of listening to it. It’s begging to be sampled/mashed. Are there any INXS mash-ups out there? (“Never Tear Us Apart” would be good source material too.)

Continuing The Discussion: Are there any bands you would like to see replace a dead member on reality TV?