What were the Blues Brothers (with Jim Belushi) doing headlining the Super Bowl’s halftime show in 1997 — while most of the actual soul and R&B singers they imitated were alive and well? (James Brown was there — as a “special guest.”) Why in the world was E.T. hanging out with Gloria Estefan and Stevie Wonder two years later? How did Beyoncé, Prince, Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen and others figure out how to turn a tricky gig into a triumph? Did the Who really think it was a good idea to barely rehearse for their performance in 2010? And did they quite understand the importance of the moment? And was Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s wardrobe cataclysm really an accident?
The latest episode of our podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, attempts to answer these questions and more, with host Brian Hiatt joined by Rob Sheffield (who wrote an entertaining, definitive ranking of halftime performances), David Browne and Andy Greene. To hear the whole discussion, press play below or download and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.
Download and subscribe to Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on iTunes or Spotify, and check out two years worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Ice Cube, Neil Young, the National, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Fleetwood Mac, Donald Fagen, Phil Collins, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, Gary Clark Jr. and many more. Tune in Fridays at 1 p.m. ET to hear the show broadcast live on Sirius XM’s Volume, channel 106