What if you were a talented musician, so good that you got a record. Now, what if you had a relative that was also good…but maybe a little bit better, and they got incredibly famous? Here are a the stories of the almost famous.
Starfighters were a British heavy metal band that formed in the late ‘70s. Despite having released one single called “I’m Falling” that didn’t sell very well, they were signed by the manager of the popular British heavy metal group Krokus and got a spot as the opening act on tour for AC/DC in 1981, one of the world’s most popular bands at the time. How did they pull that off? The Starfighters’ lead guitarist, Steve Young, is the nephew of Angus and Malcolm Young of AC/DC. Starfighters released two albums in the ’80s, and when Uncle Malcolm briefly left AC/DC in 1988 to check into alcohol rehab, Steve Young filled his spot. What did Starfighters sound like? If songs like “Alley Cat Blues” are any indication…a lot like AC/DC.
If you had a famous last name or were related to one of the most famous people in the world, you’d probably want to find your place in the world on your own merits, without leaning on the name. That’s exactly what Michael McCartney did. He’s Paul McCartney’s little brother, and he’s had a relatively successful music career. You’ve never heard of him because professionally he uses the name Mike McGear. In the ‘60s he was in a comic band called Scaffold, which had a #1 hit in England in 1968 called “Lily the Pink.” As a solo artist, he released a string of albums, the last in 1974. McGear is now a photographer…just like his brother’s first wife, Linda McCartney.
James Taylor defined the smooth, laidback, “singer-songwriter” sound of the early 1970s. Lots of people who collaborated with Taylor went on to successful careers in music, including Carly Simon, Jackson Browne, and his own brother, Livingston Taylor. He’s released more than 15 albums of soft rock, and had a top 30 hit in 1978 called “I Will Be in Love With You.” James Taylor even once covered Livingston’s song, “Going Round One More Time”— so no sibling rivalry there.