I am a huge reality television junkie. So when VH1 created a Sunday evening block of television called Celebreality (reality TV with celebrities), I was psyched.
There have been plenty of hits (any show with Flavor Flav, most Surreal Life seasons) and misses (Celebrity Fit Club, that show with Tori Spelling), but VH1 has really struck gold with their new program Supergroup.
Supergroup is about the forming of well a super-group. If you don’t know what a super-group is, let me tell you. A super-group is a band comprised of established solo artists and members of other bands. The most famous super-group of all time is The Traveling Wilburys (Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and others). Sometimes the combination of differing styles doesn’t work so well, but often the results are thrilling (or at least interesting).
On VH1’s Supergroup there are two major catches. One, the band only has 12 days to come up with a set’s worth of music and one original song. The other catch, and here’s the zinger, is that the five members couldn’t be more different. Let me give you a rundown of the musicians of Supergroup.
Ted Nugent, lead guitar – solo artist
Ted Nugent is probably the most famous person on the show and he’s also one of three Supergroupers who seem to have some kind of a contract with VH1. Nugent had his own show on the cable network called Surviving Nugent (a Survivor type show, only it took place on Nugent’s Michigan ranch and he could kick anyone off at any time for any reason). Nugent is the most “classic rock” of any of the people on the show, and his conservative personality is already causing some major conflicts.
Sebastian Bach, lead singer – Skid Row
Sebastian Bach was the lead singer of metal outfit Skid Row in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He is a gigantic goofball with a heart of gold. His undying love for “the music” is simultaneously funny, sad and encouraging. Bach has held a wide variety of jobs since hair metal collapsed in the mid 90’s. He briefly hosted a rock video show on VH1 and has toured the country with various incarnations of his solo act. On a side (and personal) note, I always felt that Skid Row was kind of underrated and could shred much harder than a lot of their cheesy metal counterparts (I also met Bach at the East Brunswick Guitar Center once).
Jason Bonham, drums – Foreigner
Bonham is most famous for being the son of rock legend Jon Bonham (Led Zeppelin) but is a fine drummer in his own right. It seems that he has played with every aging classic rock act in the history of music (from a reunited Zeppelin to The Who to his current, inexplicable gig with Foreigner). He also played some original music with his aptly named band Bonham. Bonham is the only English guy and the show and in the second episode he had to leave for a couple of days to play a gig with Foreigner. No word on whether this left his band mates feeling “cold as ice”.
Scott Ian, rhythm guitar – Anthrax
The next two players in the Supergroup (which the band decided will be known as Fist) are the show’s true wildcards from a musical standpoint. Scott Ian is as famous for being in the classic speed metal group Anthrax as he is for being a talking head on VH1’s I Love the (fill in the blank) shows. You know Ian, he’s the guy with the completely bald head and long chin beard dyed red. Ian is a good guy who idolizes Nugent. I found this strange since his band, Anthrax, is a heavy speed metal group (pretty much the antithesis of Nugent’s deal).
Evan Seinfeld, bass – Biohazard
Evan Seinfeld is the true odd man out (musically and personally) in this bouillabaisse of rockers. His band, Biohazard, was kind of an early Limp Bizkit, rap rock thing (only meaner and heavier). He owns a pornography production company with his porn star wife and is on a completely different schedule than workaholics Bach and Nugent. One of the previews for an upcoming episode shows him punching Bach in the head, I can’t wait.
VH1 is really on a roll with their quality programming. May had been their “Metal Month”, and frankly I wish “Metal Month” could last all year. Along with their superstar concert Rock Honors, VH1 wheeled out a killer four part documentary called Heavy (article coming soon) and plenty of forgotten (but beloved) metal videos. I also saw a commercial for a drug related rock n’ roll documentary coming out later in the summer that looked tremendous. Somebody must have taken over as program director as something because the network looks and feels completely different. They need to stay on this path; it kicks the shit out of anything on MTV.