Saturday was Siblings Day, which we celebrate by posting photos on social media of siblings harmoniously pretending to get along, not trading blows and not throwing a deceased parent’s false teeth at each other at a funeral home.
I didn’t meet my sisters until I was an adult. Thankfully, I was raised in a household where my mom’s youngest sister dutifully beat on me as we grew up, so I didn’t feel left out.
I was a child in the 1970s, when my first LP was the Jackson 5 Greatest Hits, my first 45 was from The Osmonds and my first favorite TV shows were “The Partridge Family” and “The Brady Bunch.” I know they weren’t real families. Bear with me. I was young.
I always envied the concept. It seemed like magic, all these people coming from the same family, with the same people teaching them how to walk, talk, sing, dance and play. The Osmonds definitely had the same dance teacher, and I’m guessing an accordion was involved.
It made so much sense. The best music is powered by love, and hate; both of which siblings have plenty for each other. Households have their own sounds and their own cadence of language. That probably explains the harmonies from The Everly Brothers, The Beach Boys, the Finn Brothers, the Wilson sisters of Heart, etc. Same goes for the music. The Van Halen brothers’ musical background–their father was a big band musician–obviously factored into how dialed in they were to each other while playing music other musicians might find difficult. Just listen to “Girl Gone Bad” with headphones a couple times; it’s phenomenal.
So here’s to the world’s greatest musical siblings.
The Van Halens: One changed everything about how rock and roll’s most important instrument was played. The other was/is a virtuoso drummer who could’ve routinely been named among all-time greats if everyone wasn’t otherwise busy watching his brother blow the world’s collective mind.
The Jacksons: Weirdness and possible criminal behavior aside for the purpose of this conversation, the Jacksons may take the all-time cake for sheer talent. Even Randy can sing … mostly.
The Beach Boys: Listening to Beach Boys harmonies is a great way to believe in a higher power.
The Isley Brothers: One of those groups that one forgets just how many incredible records they made until you actually go find a list. Every human being on planet Earth has danced to an Isley Brothers song, whether they knew it or not.
The Youngs: One of my favorite things is repeatedly hearing the two AC/DC guitarists play off–and with–each other. It’s not complicated, nor does it need to be. They were just in lock-step with so little effort.
The Allman Brothers: Only two were actually brothers, but they were so good, the whole band became Allman Brothers.
The Stones: Sly, Freddie and Rose Stone of East Bay musical titans Sly and the Family Stone led one of the first mainstream acts to integrate people of different colors and gender. It all started with the siblings.
The Doobie Brothers: Just kidding. Though I kind of wonder if they observe.
The Fogerty Brothers: More East Bay representation from Creedence Clearwater Revival, the classic rock band founded by John and Tom Fogerty.
The Carpenters: You love them and you know it. You should.
The Davies brothers: The original on-stage sibling rivalry of two incredibly talented and hard-headed brothers, Ray and Dave. As much credit as the Kinks get, I still don’t think it covers how good they really were
Follow music critic Tony Hicks at Twitter.com/TonyBaloney1967.