As an office full of narcotically-enhanced uncontrollable gamblers, this may well be the last ever blog on NME.com as our ten-quid-each-way bet on Elton John appearing on the next QOTSA album AND Jack White working with Butthole Surfers in the SAME WEEK has actually come in after all these years, at such stratospheric odds that the entire staff can now afford to retire to St Lucia and follow our morning-long dreams of teaching sea turtles to pout like Lana Del Rey. But as our Insanely Random Bet-Placing Ed. rummages through his pockets for the slip, we’re celebrating by remembering 10 other shit-cray guest appearances by rock legends.
The inimitable sound of grey jelly wobbling that is Lou Reed’s voice has cropped up unexpectedly on records by everyone from The Killers to Metric to Gorillaz of recent years. All relatively credible appearances made in a futile attempt to rub from memory his cringe-worthy appearance amidst the cheesy canyon guitars and synth-funk wankery of Simple Minds’ ‘This Is Your Land’ in 1989.
He’d rented his genius plank-spanking ass out to The The, The Pretenders, Pet Shop Boys, Tom Jones, M People and Crowded House, so it was clear Johnny Marr’s Will Not Play With list essentially just reads ‘David Cameron’ and ‘Morrissey’. But still, we were shocked to find him cropping up on not one but TWO tracks on, gulp, Girls Aloud’s 2008 album ‘Out Of Control’.
At the peak of his 1980s comeback a man who was once in The Beatles – THE BEATLES, I say – supplied reedy slide guitar to a soppy chart hit by Belinda Carlisle called ‘Leave A Light On’. Not just a major musical backstep but the sort of selfish and irresponsible incitement to energy wastage that should have seen everyone involved arrested and executed by the global warming police.
You’d recognize the sound of those Macca molars anywhere, right? Recreating his veggie-munching percussion antics on The Beach Boys’ ‘Vegetables’, MacCartney chowed carrot once more for Super Furry Animals ‘Receptacle For The Respectable’ in 2001, prompting speculation that he may be the first rock superstar to get his fillings insured for millions.
We knew Bradley Wiggins was rather nifty at propelling himself up mountains at significant speed but we didn’t know he could do the same with rock stardom too. Yet there he was, stealing the encore of Paul Weller’s recent Hammersmith Apollo by strumming along to ‘That’s Entertainment’ while 5,000 people chanted his name.
If anything was going to stop the government exterminators heading out into the forests and hedgerows with nail guns on the UK’s biggest ever badger cull, it was the news in January 2012 that, with the express intent of halting the slaughter, Brian May was doing a song called 'Rockstar' with Dappy. I mean, could you cold-bloodedly murder an innocent woodland creature while laughing that hard? Impossible.
When compiling their list of dream guest guitarists on ‘Be Here Now’, Oasis presumably spelt ‘Johnny Marr’ wrong and somehow ended up with Captain Jack slide-guitaring all over the three-hours-too-long country blues rocker ‘Fade In-Out’.
Hearing that these two were close friends was a bit like finding out Tony Montana and Mary Whitehouse were pen pals, but when Chris turned up on Jay’s 2006 album closer ‘Beach Chair’ – an open letter to his as-yet-unconceived daughter – the oddest couple in music made for some pretty syncopated sounds.
The whole entire world went WTMegaF when word leaked out that last year’s Meat Loaf album ‘Hell In A Handbasket’ was set to feature guest rhymes on a track called ‘Mad Mad World/The Good God Is A Woman And She Don’t Like Ugly’ from none other than Chuck D. And there was us thinking Chuck had vowed to fight the power ballad and Meat would do anything for love, but he won’t do rap.