On August 19, 1974 , a little over 40 years to be precise, Harry Nilsson released an epic album entitled Pussy Cats. But what’s just as remarkable as the album itself, is the star power behind it. John Lennon produced it. Ringo Starr played the drums and the maracas. Keith Moon of The Who provided his talents on the drums, congas, and the wood block (yes, the wood block). So what brought all of this grade-A awesomeness together for one solo album? Friendship—that’s what. In fact, there are a lot of musicians whose friendships soar beyond the walls of the recording studio. That said, I think this calls for a countdown of the very best besties in music history. . . starting with these fellas:
1. Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, and The Beatles
For Harry Nilsson and the Beatles, friendship sprouted from mutual admiration. After a few phone calls and public interviews proclaiming the Beatles’ support for Nilsson’s music, they finally arranged a meeting. But when it came to John Lennon, it was, in a way, love at first sight. Nilsson claimed:
To keep a long story short, Lennon accompanied Nilsson in Los Angeles for nearly 18 months. These months were aptly dubbed the “lost weekend,” where both Lennon and Nilsson engaged in complete debauchery. However, after repeatedly running into trouble, both Nilsson and Lennon agreed that their time could be better spent making an album. The men decided to rent a beach house in Santa Monica and got to work. The house served as a workplace to legends and friends like Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, and Stevie Wonder.
This wasn’t the first collaboration between Nilsson and his best buds. Ringo and Harry made guest appearances on Keith Moon’s solo album, and also conspired on a ridiculous, but legendary musical Dracula film. Moon, Nilsson, Starr, Alice Cooper, Mickey Dolenz and honorary member John Lennon (who popped in and out), also formed a band that played no music together. They were called the Hollywood Vampires and they basically just hung out—like, all the time. But it was Pussy Cats—an album that divided critics at the time, but ultimately became a classic—which served as the glorious testament to the power of their bromance.
2. Taylor Swift and Lorde
Taylor Swift and Lorde seem to be forming quite the dynamic duo. Since last November, the two have been seen shopping, eating, frolicking on the beach and, most recently, honing in on their culinary skills. Forget the music—maybe there’s a cooking collaboration is in store? Either way, we’re happy to see that these two positive ladies have joined forces.
3. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks
Can you believe this legendary couple met all the way back in high school? I’m not kidding when I tell you that their first meeting was something out of the movies—Lindsey Buckingham was singing “California Dreamin” at a party and, as fate would have it, Stevie Nicks fearlessly joined him on stage. In an interview with MTV, Nicks gave a little run-down of their very brief conversation: “I said ‘I’m Stevie Nicks’ and he said ‘I’m Lindsey Buckingham.’ I never saw him again for two years, until he was in a band and he remembered that night and he called and asked me to join their band.”
Long story short, the lovebirds joined creative forces and released an album entitled Buckingham Nicks in 1973. Shortly thereafter, they both joined a little band by the name of Fleetwood Mac. Even though their relationship has been rather tumultuous through the years, the two have remained lifelong friends and band mates. Not to mention, they’ve produced some of the greatest music our world has seen in the last 40 years.
4. Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters)
When it comes to Dave Grohl and Josh Homme, it’s nothing but love. The two have known each other since the early ’90s and continue to stay close friends and collaborators. Much to my delight, their studio experiences seem to be exactly what I hope they’d be—half genius, half goofiness. But most importantly, they keep each other grounded. Homme told The Vine:
The guys have collaborated on several projects throughout the years, and even formed a mega group with John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin) called Them Crooked Vultures. Among other side projects, Homme also contributed to the soundtrack of Dave Grohl’s documentary, Sound City: Real to Reel.
5. Missy Elliot and Timbaland
In case you haven’t already noticed, great friendships make great music. But long before these two were blowing up ’90s airwaves with the likes of Aaliyah and Ginuwine, they were neighborhood friends just trying to get into the biz. After working for four years alongside Swing Mob, the duo created a songwriting/production machine of their own. By ’96, they were swimming in the success of Aaliyah’s second album, One in a Million. Missy and Tim went on to make legendary hits like “Work It” and “Get Ur Freak On.” To this day, I still feel like Missy Elliott and Timbaland are the musical equivalent of peanut butter and jelly.
6. Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and Michael Stipe (R.E.M.)
Seeing as though Thom Yorke and Michael Stipe are equally mysterious fellas, this friendship seems pretty fitting. But long before they ever met, Yorke had a special admiration for Stipe. It wasn’t until 1995 during R.E.M’s Monster tour that the pair finally met. Even then, Yorke was fascinated by Stipe’s stage presence, describing him as “someone [communicating] something way deeper than entertainment.” The two have since remained good friends throughout the years. Stipe even sent a courtesy text to Yorke to warn him about R.E.M.’s impending breakup. Now, if that’s not friendship, I dunno what is.
Rita Ora and Iggy Azalia
Before they were collaborating on chart toppers like “Black Widow,” Rita Ora had a distant appreciation for Iggy Azalia. Just last week, Rita Ora told Ryan Seacrest the story behind their friendship:
Indeed! I’m sure all of you Iggy Azalia and Rita Ora fans will be happy to know that the ladies are set to perform at this year’s VMAs together.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon aren’t the only set of friends to nab Oscars. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were presented with an Academy Award for “Best Original Score” for The Social Network soundtrack. The two have since gone on to score for two of David Fincher’s films, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl, which is set for release this year in October. (Oddly enough, it stars Ben Affleck, but I digress.) Moral of the story: when you find a winning combination like this one, you ought to stick with it.
Rihanna and Katy Perry
Between bachelorette parties and award ceremonies, these ladies have been seen all over the place since 2012. Seeing as though they run in the same musical circle, it’s no surprise that the two pop divas bonded years before that . . . over a purse!
Katy Perry told Elle that, “[Rihanna] had this cool studded Valentino bag that had sparkly stuff on it.” Having started a conversation between the two ladies, Rihanna offered to send Katy the same bag as a gift. Believing it was just an empty promise, Katy shrugged it off. But that Valentine’s Day, Katy got a thoughtful surprise in the mail: “I got a little Valentino bag in the mail from her,” Katy admits. “I thought, ‘Wow this is a woman of her word.'”
The last we’ve heard, both Rihanna and Katy are contenders to perform at next year’s Superbowl Halftime Show. Ladies, if you do decide to do the Halftime Show, promise us you’ll include Weird Al in at least one of your sets?
(Featured image via)