by Francis ‘The Grin’ Gray
While bored and wondering through the channels, looking for anything to entertain me for some amount of time. Then I stumble on a well-known face that seems to actually play music. Upon casual research I have found a few names, which inspired me to write this piece.
I certainly don’t want to focus on the singers, but I want to toss out the more suspiring acts. Billy Bob Thornton sings for a country/rockabilly band called The Boxmasters. Jada Pinkett Smith (yes… Will Smiths (ex?) Wife), sings quite well for a Nu-metal band Wicked Wisdom.
Dennis Quaid, better known for his rolls in Dragonheart, Pandorum and even a pirate relative of Mr. Crabs in SpongeBob Square Pants, plays in a band called The Sharks. He rocks a Telecaster to Great Balls of Fire, among other tunes like L.A. Woman, and Gimme All Your Lovin’.
In the same area, Gary Sinise rocks out with The Lt.Dan Band, to tunes like Purple Haze, Superstition and Sweet Home Chicago on a Line 6 Variax Bass and I believe a Cort A4-Custom Z. If you have never seen Forest Gump, you might have seen him on C.S.I. New York, Apollo 13, or his portrayal of Harry S. Truman.
I have been watching Conan O’Brien as often as I can. The man is funny, but what I do know about him is on the show alone, I have seen him come into ownership of a few guitars. On his “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour”, he used a Seafoam green Strat on stage. The guitarist from Chickenfoot which we all know as one Joseph Satriani, gave him a signature model with the bands logo almost fully cropped on to it. Lastly, when a man by the name of Shane Smith, who was a major contributor to the documentary heavy metal in Baghdad, gave Conan a red flying V guitar if memory serves me right, which was salvaged from a bombed building. Little bits of shrapnel were embedded into the gloss and it was slightly burnt on one wing. I thought this was the most beautiful guitar I have ever seen and if anyone can find me just a picture of this guitar, I would be ever grateful.
Next a gladiator during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus. Russell Crowe is primarily a singer to 30 Odd Foot of Grunts and The Ordinary Fear of God. Few pictures can be found of him playing an Orange Gretsch.
Keanu Reeves is honestly the biggest surprise to me. I feel his acting abilities climaxed at as Ted Logan because he seemed to have such stale roles as The Matrix, Speed and as John Constantine (who was inspired by Sting). I am not saying they are bad movies, but did Reeves honestly bring anything extra? In any case, he once rocked out with a band named Dogstar, but is now (or at least, recently) with a band named Becky, which had a video on the Sharon Osbourne show. I can’t really tell what he is playing in any picture, but I suspect his one bass is a B.C. Rich, based on the headstock shape.
Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael can be found under the act “The Bacon Brothers”. They are listed as Country/folk but their song “Go my way” has a sense of funk to it and a tune called “Busboy” which is pretty bluesy. He has been seen with a Taylor and Gibson acoustic, as well as a Monteleone Radio Flyer Guitar.
Kevin Costner and modern west is an act of pure country. I find that their liveliest song was entitled “Red River”, which held some smooth overdrive and a slick line of fiddle. Costner himself has a nice blues grit voice that compliments the genre well and shows that if you play, they will come. He rocks a Taylor and a Gibson acoustic.
It is pretty common knowledge that Johnny Depp was in a band before he was a big name actor. The band was called The Kids and he seems to prefer a Telecaster. I can’t for the life of me, think of any roll that he has ever shown his six string abilities and I can honestly say I don’t like his “Crybaby” work. If you ask me though, the best roll he has ever had was as Raoul Duke.
Dead Mans Bones really only has two member. Zach Shields (who does not have much claim to fame) and Ryan Gosling. This is of course if you don’t include the Silverlake Conservatory of Music which was formed by Micheal “Flea” Balzary, among others. He has an acoustic guitar with a classical headstock, strat & tele and even a Steinberger bass on hand, but he does seem to favor keys.
I am still a huge fan of Gregory House and as I watch Hugh Laurie mess about with guitars and pianos, I knew he had to be some kind of musician. The most memorable moment for me was when “someone” held his white or cream Gibson Flying V for ransom. To heighten the threat, House received a parcel holding a tremolo bridge with the splintered wood it was ripped out of. Slightly of topic, I feel I have to remember his hilarious rolls with Rowan Atkinson. As far as I can tell, he is better known to use a Martian. His blues/jazz album “Let Them Talk” came out May 2011.
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About the Author: Started playing bass at 15. It was Danko Jones who inspired me to play at all, and in a small town I couldn't be picky on what I can get my hands on, so I bought a squire with pride. Obtained a B.C. Rich guitar months later. Moved to the city at 17. At 19 joined my first metal band as a bassist which ended at 20. Joined a bass heavy rock band, which I loved being in whole heartily. I now wait to venture into a new project. For the time being though, I am exploring my abilities as a writer.