The Ramones & Toto
This is just one of those lineups that makes less and less sense the more you think about it, but The Ramones supported Toto, who were big in the ’70s and ’80s with cheesy, commercial pop/rock hits like Rosanna, Hold The Line and Africa.
They played one show together on 26 January 1979 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and when comparing the radical punk minimalism of The Ramones with the yacht rock of Toto, it’s no wonder that Toto reportedly apologised to their crowd after The Ramones’ set, with their singer Bobby Kimball calling them a “horrible band.”
Joey Ramone commented, “That was probably the weirdest show. Those people didn’t know what to make of us. We were like aliens to them.”
Jimi Hendrix & The Monkees
Although greatly admired by The Monkees, Hendrix received a less than enthusiastic reception from their fans and quit the tour on 17 July following a concert at Forest Hills Stadium in New York.
The Jam & Blue Öyster Cult
The Jam opened for Blue Öyster Cult on their 1978 American tour and the hard rock and prog-psych of Blue Öyster Cult was an obvious clash with the British mod punk-pop of The Jam – who were promoting their second studio album, This Is The Modern World.
The English trio was reportedly booed off the stage on multiple occasions by the long-haired BOC fans. Luckily, The Jam’s next album, All Mod Cons, was one of their most beloved, and their subsequent American tours had a much better response.
The Doors & Simon & Garfunkel
If you were at Simon & Garfunkel’s show with The Doors at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York, on Saturday 12 August 1967, you probably didn’t think there was anything “bizarre” about this lineup, other than the latter losing their equipment and delaying the start of the show.
At the time, both acts were in the same, albeit large, musical circle. A concert critic who reviewed this show called them both “leading exponents of two major trends in popular-folk-rock music.” Despite the late start time, this unexpected bill proved to be a hit.
Bob Seger & Queen
The Doobie Brothers & T.Rex
In September and October 1972, The Doobie Brothers opened for T.Rex at a number of live shows in the US and Canada. The Doobies were having some airplay at the time with Listen to the Music while Marc Bolan was in full glitter superstardom with The Slider.
The Doobies reportedly played louder than usual, as if they were afraid that T.Rex might obliterate them in the collective memory of the audience.
Showaddywaddy & Einstürzende Neubauten
In 1987, the rockabilly throwbacks appeared on the same bill as industrial noise experimentalists Einstürzende Neubauten. Contemporary accounts claim that The ‘Wad blew away a crowd “comprised mostly of bemused Goths”.
U2 & The Fall
The Fall opened for U2 on their Joshua Tree European tour in 1987. This combination is so strange given The Fall’s enduring underground rock cred and their provocative, rant-like punk rock that was far from the mainstream, despite the band’s efforts during this period to gain more traction.
The Fall’s 1988 album The Frenz Experiment contained one of their best-known tracks, Hit The North, and it might be more accessible than the rest of their discography, but it still seems like night and day when placed next to the anthemic arena rock of U2. Considering the dangerous wildcard Mark E. Smith was practically the antithesis of the self-righteous, agreeable Bono, this lineup probably didn’t appeal to many.
Prince & The Rolling Stones
Lots of people love The Rolling Stones. Lots of people love Prince. But the number of people who loved both acts in 1981, when the purple one opened for the Stones, was relatively small – and few of them seemed to be in attendance during the gigs, which were rumoured to include His Purpleness being booed off the stage.
Prince had the last laugh, of course; just a few years later, he was outselling his former headliners and dominating the pop charts.
The Who & Herman’s Hermits
In 1967, The Who opened for British pop band Herman’s Hermits in the US and Canada (technically The Who were the second act as The Blues Magoos opened the show). The Who blasted through a set that opened with Substitute, included Summertime Blues and ended with My Generation.
By the time the smoke cleared after Pete and Keith trashed their equipment and numerous flash pots and smoke bombs were set off at the end of My Generation, the members of the crowd who had shown up to hear Peter Noone croon Mrs Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter and I’m Henry The VIII (I Am) were stunned.