When attending a concert, it is always a thrill to see the band perform the songs you came to see night after night. Even more thrilling is seeing a guest, whether from another band or simply one of the friends of the band perform on stage. These collaborations happen in response to a shared love of music between the musicians. They start life on the record and eventually creep their way into a live setting. The following is a top 5 list of the greatest musical cameo appearances of all time, whether on recorded form or in a live setting.
#5 Bluesy Huey Lewis
Before Huey Lewis was the anchor of a great live show with The News. He dabbled in playing harmonica and was known as Bluesy Huey Lewis. He ended up collaborating with Irish rock legends Thin Lizzy on their Live and Dangerous. Huey would end up ripping an amazing harmonica solo on the track Baby Drives Me Crazy and is even name dropped by front man Phil Lynott during the band introductions.
#4 Session Musician Jimmy Paige
Before he was known as the reason every musician were to pick up a guitar, Jimmy Paige started his career as a session musician. He made the rounds during the late 1960’s working for record producer Shel Temply. Paige performed on a version of the Who’s “I Can’t Explain”. However, Pete Townshend didn’t want Paige to appear on the final track. Paige also famously appeared on records by the Kinks as well as Marianne Faithfull’s “As the Tears Go By”. He even ripped the famous guitar solo in Ton Jones “It’s Not Unusual.” So even before Led Zeppelin, he still got inspire legions of fans, just in different genres other than hard rock.
#3 Billy Gibbons is Having Fun
Billy Gibbons with Queens of The Stone Age.
From the opening riff of La Grange, Billy Gibbons has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of guitar driven rock music. Billy over the years has taken the music side of the business less seriously. Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and lifelong ZZ Top fan hired Billy for his track titled “Burn the Witch” a song in which Gibbons played guitar and sang on. Gibbons would go on to collaborate with Homme many more times over the years and even lending some high-pitched vocals to a track on Homme’s Desert Session’s EP. Gibbons, having produced some of the greatest rock records of all time, is now at a point where he can just have fun and play music with his friends like Homme.
#2 Dave Grohl on… Just About Everything
While not a featured artist on Popradio77, you can’t turn on the radio without hearing a song Dave Grohl appeared on. Grohl is an avid music fan, having collaborated with the likes of Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Rick Springfield, Mick Jagger and more. Grohl turned in a prolific resume of cameo appearances on records. Whether just playing drum, bass, or guitars Grohl helps make a record pop and give the audience a much-needed jolt of energy on a song. This can be found on the collaboration with members of Nirvana and Paul McCartney with Cut Me Some Slack.
#1 Rick Astley and the Foo Fighters
While I just covered the Foo Fighters front man, Rick Astley’s appearance at a Foo Fighters live show will always go down as one of the greatest spur of the moment collaborations of all time. Having only rehearsed Never Going to Give You Up backstage, the group were stunned to see Rick Astley on the bill as well at the festival. Astley watched from the side of the stage and Grohl offered him to come up and jam Never Gonna Give You Up. The live performance below was one for the books.