First Name = Last Name: Top 5 Artists (Part 1)

The #1 video on VH-1 this week is “Home” by Phillip Phillips. What were his parents thinking naming him Phillip? Then again, George Foreman, the ex-heavyweight champion of the world had five sons. He named each of them, “George”. A college professor of mine was named Ivan Ivanov. You would imagine the parents would have a little more creativity.

When it comes to unique rock and roll names, it got me thinking about bands and musicians that have the same name repeated twice in their name. How many can you name? Here’s a list of the top five musicians, and tomorrow I’ll list the top five bands with repetitive names: If you have any to add to the list, let me know! My honorable mention was: Vinnie Vincent of KISS and Randy Rand of the 80’s hair metal band, Autograph. All of my top 5 are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Last Waltz was the first great concert film. Robbie’s band, The Band, toured with Dylan and his solo career produced the sexiest swamp music song ever!

4. JACKIE JACKSON from the Jackson Five
Oprah confessed she had a childhood crush on Jackie. He was the second oldest Jackson and the falsetto voice that countered Michael and Jermaine’s lead vocals on so many epic Motown songs. He was in many ways the leader of the group.

3. MITCH MITCHELL Drummer for The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Rolling Stone Magazine’s #23 all-time drummer. Mitch was considered Jimi Hendrix’ right hand man. They would often record together even after the days of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Listen to a song like “Manic Depression”, “Fire”, and “Voodoo Child” and you’ll appreciate his brilliance. Even played drums for an all-star band with John Lennon, Keith Richards, and Eric Clapton!

2. STEVE STEVENS Guitar Virtuoso
Jagger had Richards. Ozzy had Randy Rhoads. Steven Tyler had Joe Perry. When you list Singer/Lead Guitar combos, you have to mention Billy Idol/Steve Stevens. The guitar superhero to counter balance out the flamboyant lead singer. Steve was one of the flashiest, technically proficient rock guitarists of all-time. You remember that opening credits of Top Gun? That inspiring guitar anthem was Steve Stevens. “Dirty Diana” for Michael Jackson opened up a whole new audience for Steve.

The Kinks didn’t maintain the career longevity of their peers, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Beatles, but any rock historian will laud the influence that The Kinks had on classic rock music. Dave Davies and his brother, Ray, were the lead guitarist and vocalists on songs like “You Really Got Me”, “All Day And All Of The Night”, “Lola”, and “Destroyer”. One of the top 100 guitarists of all-time and the man who Pete Townshend and Eddie Van Halen list as their biggest influences. Listen to the insane solo on this clip: