Thursday, April 21, 2011
Idol Insider: Idols Before Idol
Even after 10 seasons, Idol's fast track to fame is still a strange concept for many legendary musicians. Their careers moved at a slower pace. But it raises an interesting question: Could these "Idols Before Idol" have made it on the show?
WSVN -- Imagine the "King," Elvis Presley, on the "Idol" stage, singing for America's vote.
Elvis Presley, singing: "You ain't nothing but a hound dog."
It's tough to picture, because America had never seen a pop sensation like "Idol" B.C.: Before Clarkson.
And even farther back, many up-and-coming artists of the 50s, 60s, and 70s did not have a national TV audience to showcase their budding talents.
Neil Diamond, Musician: "I had to start somewhere in the hinterlands, you know, and play tiny little places first for years."
It's quite possible a young Neil "Diamond in the Rough" could have been passed over by judges, if he ever tried out at all.
Neil Diamond: "I don't think I'd have the nerve to try out for 'American Idol.'"
Face-painted shock rocker Alice Cooper was pulling off his "Off the Wall" stage antics before glam rocker Adam Lambert was even born.
For Cooper, the thought of dealing with "Idol" producers' theme choices seems, well, odd.
Neal Smith: "What if you showed up on 'American Idol?'"
Alice Cooper, Musician: "They'd say, 'OK, we're doing Barry Manilow tonight,' and I'd go, 'Really? Mandy?'"
Even "Idol" judge Steven Tyler, who has decades of legendary rock credentials, is not quite sure how he'd do if "Idol" was his make-or-break in the biz.
Steven Tyler, "Idol" Judge: "Today, I'd probably be kicking (expletive). Back then, I was afraid, I didn't know what I wanted to be. I would've been out the first round."
But the thought of a 70s-era Steven Tyler rocking Aerosmith's "Dream On" as a contestant: Wow.
Steven Tyler: "Different era. They're singing everyone else's stuff. I had to write my own and sing my own tunes."
This Insider says he might have just won the whole thing.
Louis Aguirre: "Hard to imagine how the course of music history would have changed if those artists, and their vast music collections, never made it to the mainstream."