Uncle John’s new book, Lists That Make You Go Hmmm… is available now. Here’s another list to tide you over until your order arrives.
After its third lead singer, Jeff Scott Soto left the arena rock band in 2007, guitarist Neal Schon was messing around on YouTube one night when he found videos by Arnel Pineda, the front man of the Zoo, a Filipino band that specialized in covers of Journey. Schon was so impressed, he asked Pineda to audition. He got the job.
Drummer Keith Moon had a serious drinking problem, but rarely did it get in the way of his ability to perform. But before a November 1973 show in San Francisco, he was too drunk to play. With little option, the band asked if anyone in the crowd could fill in. A 19-year-old sitting near the stage named Scott Halpin offered. He knew all of Moon’s parts, and filled in admirably as the drummer for one of the biggest rock bands in the world…for one night only.
When the groundbreaking California punk band played in Washington, D.C. in 1981, a super-fan named Henry Rollins in attendance asked them to play their song “Clocked In.” They agreed…provided he sing it. Singer Dez Cadena was considering a switch to guitar, which he did, when the band hired new lead singer Henry Rollins.
Rob Halford left the group in 1996 after nearly two decades fronting the British heavy metal band. Who did the band get to replace him? Tim “Ripper” Owens, the lead singer of a Judas Priest cover band called British Steel. He kept the job for a decade, only losing it when Halford returned. (The 2001 Mark Wahlberg movie Rock Star is a loosely fictionalized account of Owens’ story.)
In 2006, 16-year-old drummer Mike Byrne started a YouTube channel to show off his skills. He named it “MarquisinSpadez,” a reference to an obscure B-side by the alternative rock band Smashing Pumpkins. Three years later, he successfully auditioned to become the new drummer for…Smashing Pumpkins.