THE CLASS OF ’99
THE PLAYERS: Layne Staley on vocals (Alice In Chains), Tom Morello on guitar (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Stephen Perkins on drums (Jane’s Addiction), Martin LeNoble on bass (Porno For Pyros) and Matt Serletic on keyboards (producer).
THE STORY: The band members, a veritable who’s who of 90s rock gods, came together to record Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall Part 1” and “Part 2” for the soundtrack to Robert Rodriguez’s late 90s horror flick The Faculty. Far as I can tell, they only recorded these two songs and were never seen or heard from again as a unit.
While it would take a little over 10 years for me to actually see The Faculty, a movie I wound up really liking (like pretty much every Robert Rodriguez movie I see), I do have very distinct memories from the late 90s of The Class of ’99’s cover of a Pink Floyd tune. I hated it. See, at the time, I had just started getting into Pink Floyd and I was fairly close-minded purist which meant that only Pink Floyd songs by Pink Floyd were acceptable. My buddy Chad was instrumental in getting me further into the band than just the usual Dark Side Of The Moon/The Wall phases that most teenagers interested in classic rock and roll go through (though the live version of The Wall is still one of my favorite records of all time). But that doesn’t mean I don’t remember the video with most of the band footage projected in various places throughout the The Wall movie-inspired high school.
Looking back, I really like their version of the song. It’s very 90s and really worked with the movie, but most of all, I’m filled with a wish that this spectacular assemblage of musicians could have done something more before Staley passed away in 2002, which makes them similar to The Dirty Mac in my mind. It’s kind of interesting that many of the band members would go on to be members of other supergroups. Morello would be in both Audioslave and Street Sweeper Social Club among other projects, Perkins has been in Jane’s Addiction and Porno For Pyros with lots and lots of appearances on other records as has LeNoble. Even Staley was in Mad Season. All of these guys have crazy chops and it would be fun to see them get together again or, better yet, how cool would it be if there happened to be unheard studio tapes of the guys jamming on other songs or having fun in the studio (assuming they were even in the studio all at the same time)? Anyone know any more info about the recording of the tracks? The Wiki page is pretty sparse.