Here’s a piece of classic rock history I was unaware of until recently. It’s about what may have been the shortest-lived supergroup ever: The Best.
The members included Joe Walsh (The Eagles), John Entwistle (The Who), Keith Emerson (ELP), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers), and Simon Phillips (Toto). The only unknown was vocalist Rick Livingstone.
At about the same time, Ringo Starr was touring with a similar show, backed up by the All Starr Band, which was full of other rockers who also did some of their own hits. Joe Walsh had the distinction of playing in both supergroups. Unlike The Best, Ringo kept his road show going, with new groups of musicians each time, right up until COVID-19 brought live performing to a stop in 2020 (read more here).
In 1990, The Best played four shows in Japan and one in Hawaii, full of cover versions of well-known songs each guy had written and performed with his original group. Entwistle did “My Wife” and “Boris The Spider.” Walsh did “Rocky Mountain Way.” Emerson did “Fanfare For The Common Man” and “America.” Baxter did “Reeling In The Years,” “Taking It To The Streets,” and “Bodhisattva.”
After those shows in Japan and Hawaii, but before they could plan concerts in the US and elsewhere, Entwistle, Walsh, and Emerson had to depart because their fellow members of The Eagles, The Who, and ELP all announced reunion tours. So, The Best broke up after just five shows.
Fortunately, part of their 9/26/90 performance at the Yokohama Arena was captured on film, then digitized, and preserved on YouTube. I have embedded nine of the songs below…