This Sunday, Rocks Off will be live-blogging and tweeting this year's Super Bowl halftime show, which will feature noted scholars The Black Eyed Peas. We are diligently studying the entire BEP canon and that of all of their solo members, like the dedicated pop historians we are.
OK, not really. But we are hoping that Fergie pees her pants on live television, since she has done it before. It would make our job a lot easier, and we could use headlines like "Super Toilet Bowl," "The Black Eyed Peas Make Great Music For People Who Like To Drink Monkey Piss And It's Fitting That Fergie Pissed Her Pants," or something immature like that.
The Super Bowl halftime show didn't become the pop event that we know it as today until at least 1991, when the New Kids On the Block played. After that it was all downhill, with Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Miami Sound Machine, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Phil Collins coming in the next decade or so.
In 2005, Paul McCartney played a handful of his old Beatles songs, plus "Live and Let Die," oddly enough. Seriously, you couldn't play "Ebony And Ivory" with Usher or something? That would have ruled so hard.
Here are favorite Super Bowl halftime shows, or the ones we could find YouTube clips of.
10. Blues Brothers Bash (1997):This was more than likely the reason we had to endure Blues Brothers 2000 the next year. No, John, no Blues Brothers. Sorry. Having ZZ Top there made up for it though.
9. Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, NSYNC (2001): This was Britney Spears at about the hottest point in her career, and the beginning of the end of Aerosmith as a viable classic-rock act.
8. Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Kid Rock, P. Diddy, Nelly (2004): That dirty, dirty, dirty pierced titty ruined the world. Dirty. Pierced. Titty. Talk about Houston Proud.
Ed. Note: Where's Kid Rock?
7. No Doubt & Sting (2003): We hate Sting, but we like No Doubt, and this was less Sting-y, which made it easier to digest. Also, Gwen Stefani's abs.
6. The Who (2010): You can balk that the good members of the Who are dead, and we agree, but somewhere some kid picked up a Who album because of this half-time show, and that is alright with us.
5. U2 (2002): On the heels of 9/11, Bono and the boys became healers for a hurting nation with just a few songs.
4. The Rolling Stones (2006): During the promo push for 2005's A Bigger Bang, the Stones finally made it to the big show, playing "Start Me Up", "Rough Justice" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" for a crowd of millions upon millions. In a sign of the pervasive edginess after NippleGate in 2004, first two Stones songs were censored for lyrical content.
3. Prince (2007): The best part was Prince's guitar looking like a huge penis when it was shown in shadow against a curtain onstage.
Ed. Note: Embedding of Petty's Super Bowl performance has been disabled. See it here.
2. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (2008): Petty and the Heartbreakers stuck to the hits for their halftime appearance, delighting everyone, with Petty debuting his new beard to a worldwide audience.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
1. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (2009): This is our favorite Super Bowl half-time performance ever, with Bruce and the band firing on all cylinders, killing the world for just a few minutes. He also slid right into the stage camera, and made one of best live TV moments ever.