Which brings me to my passion for music. With the exception of Olly Murs and that guy from Kasabian (I really hate Kasabian), you don’t see musicians trying to be footballers. So let’s have a look at some footballers who have had a bash at being a rock/pop/r’n’b star.
You probably recognise Mr Lalas as “the guy with the mad hair and beard” from the ’94 and ’98 world cup sticker books:
The love child of a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, surely?
Alexi also dabbled in playing American country-rock music, and had some success having toured with ceaseless purveyors of middle of the road Dad Rock, Hootie and the Blowfish. He is a true character and is now adored by his country as a pundit on ESPN. Here is a video of him performing live, with some interesting facts about his career as a footballer. You can also find his material on Spotify (legit, right?) where there is an abominable cover of Bruce Springsteen’s If I should Fall Behind.
Let us remain on the American’s for a moment as I introduce you to the sick rhymes and mad flow of Tottenham’s Clint Dempsey:
Known to his rapping peers as Deuce, Clint busts out a series of spitting, aggressive verses on the subject of his success as a footballer since his humble origins in a trailer park in a remote corner of West Texas. Don’t tread on him. It is quite difficult to follow his rhymes, but from what I can make out, they are really, really terrible.
Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne
Everybody’s favourite loveable, wife beating, serial killer-sympathising alcoholic. Gazza was always in the headlines as a footballer, and often not for the right reasons. Surely his cover of Geordie folk eccentrics Lindisfarne’s Fog on the Tyne is the worst of his crimes.
What I said earlier about footballers not articulating well: I could not pick a better example than Gazza’s attempt at speaking/rapping/singing on this track. If ever there was a better example of someone who should stick to what they’re good at I would be astonished.
Morten Gamst Pedersen, Freddy dos Santos, Kristofer Haestad, Oyvind Svenning: The Players
It would be easy to rip into this boyband of footballers (The Players… oh ICWTDT), fronted by Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pedersen, but all the proceeds from their sales go to a very worthy charity called Soccer Against Crime. I suppose that’s good, isn’t it? The song they released is not good:
This is for Real – yes, yes it is. There was a lot of speculation that Morten Gamst Pedersen is a homosexual, even before this came out.
Note: I think homophobia in football is a massive problem, and should be addressed alongside racism, I’m just sayin’.
We are seeing a trend here. Musicians often write about what they know, and these footballers seem to be no exception as most of these songs are about how they are really great at football. Andy Cole’s attempt at pop stardom saw him perform the song Outstanding, a song that could not be more littered with 90s production. This song also has an unintentionally sardonic title, which makes me dislike it even more. What were you thinking, Andy?
Any song which includes the words “Andy Cole, break it down” is destined for failure.
Probably one of the better known attempts of a footballer to have a hit record, Kevin Keegan’s Head Over Heels in Love attempts to recreate some of the magic of disco, in the setting sun of its day. This song is seriously so bad. It sounds like the vocals were actually recorded and mixed my Kev himself as they are dripping with some dreadful effects in an attempt to amend his flat vocals. It didn’t work, Kev. It’s like a Vic Reeves club singer version of a song.
So we have proven that footballers do not make good musicians and, yet again, they should stick to what they know. Even in the example of Alexi Lalas, a seemingly “legitimate” musician, who’s music is really terrible. Seriously, check him out on Spotify.
A few honourable mentions include:
Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda: The ex-Chelsea duo started a band which featured Drogba on guitar and Malouda on drums. I can’t find any evidence of this though.
John Barnes: Featured on England’s World Cup ’90 song World in Motion by New Order. John performs a rap that is so bad I struggle to believe a human adult wrote it.
Christian Dailly: The Scotland player who was overheard (off camera) calling the German football team “f**king cheats” after they lost in a Euro Champs qualifier, and was famously identified by then manager Berti Vogts. He is the front man in a band called Hooligan, and although I cannot find any of their tracks online, I assume they are terrible.
Rory Fallon and Kari Arnasson: The ex-Aberdeen players had a band during their days at Plymouth Argyle; I believe it was Kari on drums and Rory on guitar. Rumours were rife that the pair would continue their band in Aberdeen, but the idea never came to fruition. I would totally have supported them if they did.