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5 Sports-Like Trades That Would Rock the Rock World

Dave Navarro Polyphonic Spree
Jordan Strauss / John Li, Getty Images

This week’s arrival of the annual NBA trade deadline got us thinking: What if rock bands, like pro sports teams, were to swap members? It seems ridiculous on first blush — and sure, it is ridiculous — but it would yield some pretty interesting results. Don’t believe us? Check out our list of 5 Sports-Like Trades That Would Rock the Rock World.


Radiohead and Pearl Jam Swap Guitarists

 
 
 
Kevin Winter / Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Kevin Winter / Rick Diamond, Getty Images

The Deal: Looking to tone down the scorching, Hendrix-like solo fretwork on their still-in-the-works 10th album in favor of a more experimental sound, Pearl Jam trade lead guitarist Mike McCready to Radiohead for avant savant Johnny Greenwood.

The Logic: Best known for his lush guitar soundscapes and masterful command of dynamics, Greenwood is expected bring to his innovative approach in time for Pearl Jam to hit the studio. Meanwhile, with McCready, Radiohead dig deeper into the bluesy hues they touched on with tracks like the slide guitar-driven 'Amnesiac' jam 'I Might Be Wrong.'

The Outcome: Singer Eddie Vedder will definitely dig the weirdness, but will PJ's faithful fans come along for the ride?

Weezer's Multi-Player Deal With Dinosaur Jr.

 
 
 
Bryan Haraway/ Roger Kisby, Getty Images
Bryan Haraway/ Roger Kisby, Getty Images

The Deal: Weezer send drummer Patrick Wilson and bassist Scott Shriner to Dinosaur Jr. for Lou Barlow and Murph.

The Logic: Dinosaur frontman J Mascis gets two solid veterans with arena-rock experience out of the deal as his band makes a final push for the mainstream success, while Weezer regain some emo-tinged indie cred after a string of throwaway major label albums.

The Outcome: Will the notoriously difficult Barlow clash with Cuomo and jeopardize Weezer's next record, or will the rejuvenated band drop another 'Pinkerton' on the world? Stay tuned.

Fun.'s Controversial Trade With Guided By Voices

 
 
 
Christopher Polk / Jason Kempin, Getty Images
Christopher Polk / Jason Kempin, Getty Images

The Deal: Struggling to pen tunes for their eagerly awaited 'Some Nights' follow-up, fun. toss guitarist-songwriter Jack Antonoff and a future first round draft pick to Guided by Voices for prolific frontman Bob Pollard.

The Logic: The move is a bid to jump-start recording sessions for their next album, but fun. worry that Pollard's love of cheap beer will be a virus in the studio. Meanwhile, will GBV fans ever get over the loss of their aging icon and accept the Grammy-winning, million-selling phenom Antanoff as something other than a bid to increase the band's mainstream marketability?

The Outcome: If the trade falls flat, will Matador Records actually follow through on their threat to relocate Voices from Dayton, Ohio, to New Orleans?

Jane's Addiction and Polyphonic Spree Singers Swap Bands

 
 
 
Dave Navarro Polyphonic Spree
Jordan Strauss / John Li, Getty Images

The Deal: Mirroring the controversial 1989 NFL trade that sent Dallas Cowboy Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for 11 current and future players, the Polyphonic Spree deal all two-dozen-plus backing singers to Jane's Addiction for guitarist Dave Navarro and the outfit's oft-changing rhythm section.

The Logic: With the switch, Spree frontman Tim DeLaughter gets to relive his early days fronting the '90s alt-rock band Tripping Daisy -- a Texas-fried version of Jane's Addiction. Meanwhile, Perry Farrell, now the sole remaining member of JA, can fulfill his aspirations of mounting an avant-garde rock musical, complete with a choir.

The Outcome: Jane's Addiction finally break up for good.

U2's Bono and Coldplay's Chris Martin Switch Teams

 
 
 
Mike Coppola / Brendon Thorne, Getty Images
Mike Coppola / Brendon Thorne, Getty Images

The Deal: In hands-down the blockbuster trade of the century, Coldplay part with Chris Martin and $10 million cash in exchange for none other than U2 singer Bono. Massively insane tidal waves reverberate through all corners of the rock world. Can either band survive?

The Logic: Because Martin and Bono are captains of their respective teams, it's like they are trading themselves. Regardless, this swap has a major ramifications on each band's sound -- but we won't even bother try to guess what those are.

The Outcome: Can you imagine what U2 would sound like with Chris Martin sitting at a piano at the center of the stage? Or if Bono were weeping his way through some downbeat Coldplay ballad? Neither can we.

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