To the casual fan, the rock world is comprised of the Jaggers, the Pages, the Daltreys. But serious fans know better. They know that any band that achieves greatness does so because of the contributions of a member who may shy away from the limelight but serves as the quiet glue of the entire operation.
Here are my top 3 Secret Weapons of Rock & Roll.....3. Izzy Stradlin
Yeah, Slash is great. A rock god if ever ther was one. But take Izzy out of the mix and the awesome roar of vintage Guns 'n Roses dissipates into a mild hum. Listen to "Paradise City" with the express purpose of focusing on the rhythm guitar and you'll know precisely what I mean. Great songwriter, too. For me, Izzy is the true foundation of GnR.2. John Paul Jones
How did a power trio (plus a singer) get to be one of the heaviest sounding bands of all time? How did a bass, guitar and drum end up sounding so much bigger than bands with multiple guitars, keyboards and even horn sections? Answer: they had a genius playing bass. In fairness, calling JPJ a bass player is a little like calling Mozart a songwriter. Yeah, he had a bass in his hands, but he provided more to the overall sound of his band than any bass player in any other band ever did. One of the many treats of Them Crooked Vultures is hearing the Jones sound translated into a different, modern context. Yet there it is, unmistakable and larger than life. What a musician!1. Malcolm Young
The perfect rhythm guitar player and, by far, the most indispensable member of AC/DC. His bro Angus gets the attention, but Malcolm is the sound. If it had been Malcolm that tragically bit the dust back in '80 instead of Bon Scott, you'd have never heard of the band again. This guy could pick up a ukelele, play "Bicycle Built for Two" and it would sound like an AC/DC song. And, bless his humble little Aussie heart, he's been content to stand in the back, bang his head and let the boys in front take the glory.
OK then, who are your Secret Weapons?