‘The Best’ Band That Never Was

YouTube, @chumania chuman.

Ever heard of The Best? They were an English-American rock supergroup that formed in the 90’s, featuring Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) on keyboards, John Entwistle (The Who) on bass and vocals, Joe Walsh (the Eagles, James Gang, solo) on guitars and vocals, Jeff Baxter (Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers) on guitar, Simon Phillips (the Jack Bruce Band, 801, the Jeff Beck Group, Toto) on drums, and Rick Livingstone lead vocals.

Who is Rick Livingstone? Great question. He was fairly unknown, and that’s what the band wanted at the time. An unknown singer in an otherwise supergroup of legends. He had released an album in Canada, produced by Jeff Baxter. They were friends, and one day Baxter invited him to Los Angeles to form a band. So he went. And the two guys played a jam band club night at the China Club that became pretty popular.

Famous musicians commonly stopped by to join the jam, including Sting and Mick Jagger, to name a few. On one particularly special night, Emerson, Entwistle, Walsh, and Phillips were all there jamming. It must have gone pretty well, because a few Japanese promoters who were in the audience asked Baxter and the band to come to play some shows in Japan. They only played five shows total on a limited tour in 1990, but eventually, the all-star members returned to their original groups, and The Best stopped playing. Read the full story and how they decided on Livingstone at RollingStone.com here.





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