How to fill a void? Well, if you're the members of INXS ("in excess," get it?) you get the Columbia Broadcasting System to help you audition a new lead singer for you - eight years after the unfortunate if not just a little tawdry passing of their former front man, Michael Hutchence. In a very precisely dedicated rip-off of "American Idol," rock star wannabes take turns flogging the Australian band's greatest hits. Here's what CBS's web site would like you to know about the show: Celebrated rock guitarist Dave Navarro and Brooke Burke are the hosts of ROCK STAR: INXS, a new reality show executive produced by SURVIVOR's Mark Burnett. The show combines the world of rock music with relationship-style unscripted drama, performance competition and a weekly contestant elimination. The last singer standing will become the lead singer of the internationally renowned band INXS, will embark on a worldwide concert tour with the band and will be part of the group's new album." I'm not sure about this, but I don't think Ms. Burke is a celebrated guitarist.
That's one way to go about it, I suppose. Another way might be to get Sir Bob Geldof to call you up and cajole you and your ex-bandmates into getting together for one more gig after twenty-four years apart (oh yeah - to end world poverty). That's what Pink Floyd did a few weeks ago for Live 8. Asked recently if he thought the band would mend fences and go back on tour again, Roger "I'm a bigger curmudgeon than you" Waters said that he couldn't imagine it, since there was still so much bad blood and litigation pending - but hey, thanks for asking.
So, what's more rock and roll? Whoring yourself out in the memory of your past glories, or keeping the hatchet deeply buried so no one will get hurt again? Tough to say, but I did notice an eerie coincidence: at the time of his death in a closet, Michael Hutchence was involved with Paula Yates. Paula Yates was the ex-wife of one Sir Bob Geldof. Paula made her own ugly exit from the planet in 2000 from a drug overdose. Both Yates and Michael Hutchence's father insisted that "Saint Bob" was to blame for Michael's accidental hanging from his own belt in a hotel closet. Maybe I just don't understand rock and roll, but if I were the members of Pink Floyd, I'd be careful about how I answered if Bob Geldof suggests they do a reunion concert on CBS.