Sunday, July 18, 2010

Brotherly Rock!

Green River, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fantasy, white label promo, 1969
Near mint could be worth $75-100

I raised two sons-a set of brothers. They get on well. (We’ll save for another time what happens when we add their sister, the provacateur, into the mix). The boys have been playing music together for most of their lives. They play pretty much for their own amusement, with occasional public performances and paying gigs. And though I don’t claim one iota of impartiality, I think they’re really good.

It’s interesting to watch the boys work out a song together. They seem to communicate via some AAA narrow band of telepathy. After a few grunts, a couple of nods and maybe a raised eyebrow or barefully perceptable flicker of a grin, the song just happens. It’s definitely a brother thing. (Their sister picked up the ukulele while she was living in London and now she’s joined in too, but more on the uke invasion later as well).

As a mother it thrills me to see my adult children having fun together like they did when they were little kids. So it pains me to hear about brothers who don’t get along, especially when they’re making music together.

In the “don’t gee and haw” category four sets of brothers come to mind. The Kinks might have gone on for years had ­­­­­­Ray and Dave Davies been able to get along. Creedence Clearwater Revival’s original lineup blew up when John and Tom Fogerty’s creative differences combined with family dysfunction and proved a volatile mix. The Everly Brothers made beautiful harmony together on stage, but off stage everything went flat. It’s been reported that Don and Phil went for long stretches without speaking to one another. The Gallagher brothers of Oasis are the front runners for the Cain and Abel award. They're given to public altercations which frequently escalate into brawls.

Course, there are plenty of examples of brothers who are in harmony on stage and off–for the most part anyway. I’m happy that list is longer: The Beach Boys, The Isley Brothers, The BeeGees, The Osmonds, Nelson, INXS, Lynyrd Skynard, The Proclaimers, The Neville Brothers, The Avett Brothers, Stone Temple Pilots, Pantera, AC/DC, Radiohead, The Allman Brothers Band, The Replacements, Van Halen, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Kings of Leon, The Black Crowes, Dire Straits, Blue Oyster Cult, Styx, Collective Soul, Nelson. Okay, okay---Hanson and The Jonas Brothers.

Who are your favorite brother rockers? In addition to my own boys, I'd have to spot Christian and Andy of Shae Laurel!


  1. Your list was so exhaustive I can't think of any others at the moment. :)

  2. On the ride to work Frank Stasio from The State of Things provided me with a band with brothers to add to the list. It's the local band The Love Language. I'd heard of these guys before but didn't know much about the members. I don't have their albums (yet) but I know they are well regarded and I loved what I heard them play live on the program.

  3. Your list exhausts my knowledge and then some.

    But if you stretch your definition a bit, and do a separated at birth theme, a bald Bruce Willis, who occasionally plays harmonica and sings with a band, and a bald Michael Stipe of REM could be brothers.