Who is the Kevin Bacon of the music world? Surely I am not the first to pose this question. Who exists in the music world that could possibly hold a candle to this legendary juggernaut of the silver screen? Which musician has had a career so prolific and diverse that six degrees of separation can link them to almost any other musician? An equal musical counterpart to Kevin Bacon must exist somewhere in the rich and varied history of contemporary music.
Let us begin our search by looking back to where it all started, with Elvis. Legendary, definitely, but who did he work with? He was in the Million Dollar Quartet with Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. Respectable, no doubt, but too niche. We need someone who has become bigger than his or her genre.
Maybe someone who reached unsurpassed levels of fame and critical success? The Beatles? There were four of them, they all had successful solo careers, McCartney even sang a duet with Michael Jackson on the highest selling album of all time! But apart from the occasional collaboration the Beatles were so insular, working almost exclusively with the same groups of musicians and producers. Wait! What about the Travelling Wilburys, the coming together of George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and Bob Dylan? If we are serious about our quest for musical Bacon then this is certainty a great place to start looking. Or is it? Bob Dylan? He’s always been too far outside of the mainstream. Tom Petty? Meh. Jeff Lynne? Who? Roy Orbison? Maybe Roy, maybe.
Perhaps I am casting my mind too far back? Maybe we need someone modern, someone who we have watched grow and develop, someone who we all respect, and someone who is as well known to your mum as they are to your niece. Jack White? Nah. Kanye West? Nah. That guy from Coldplay? Nah. I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I believe I have found someone. And that someone is Dave Grohl. Think about it; a legendary drummer, a serviceable frontman, a veteran of music for almost twenty-five years, a member of Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, and Probot. The loveable dag with the shit-eating grin has played on over fifty albums, including records for David Bowie, Slash, Tenacious D, and Puff Daddy. Combine the careers of those individuals with the careers of the other members in his bands and I believe you have yourself the beginnings of a very tidy musical network. Dave Grohl can be linked to all the musicians I’ve already mentioned in this post. Heck! You can link him to William S. Burroughs! Or The Byrds! Or even fucking Snoop Doggy-Dogg! Congratulations David Eric Grohl, you are the Kevin Bacon of the music world.
Oh wait, never mind any of that, it turns out Kevin Bacon is in a band called The Bacon Brothers. I guess Kevin Bacon is the Kevin Bacon of the music world after all. Sorry to have wasted your time.