Brother Act: Mike McCartney

We are all familiar with younger brothers who seemingly try to cash in on their brothers’ fame. Names like Frank Stallone, Joey Travolta and Simon Townshend come to mind. However, Paul McCartney never had that problem…………….

Mike McCartney – Paul’s younger brother Mike decided to use the professional name of “Mike McGear” to avoid being accused of trying to cash in on Paul’s fame. As lead singer/songwriter of The Scaffold, the band had number one hits in England in addition to other top ten hits, but they never made it across the pond to the U.S. The Scaffold also had a highly rated variety show on the BBC for several years and their work on the show as a musical comedy troupe inspired the members of Monty Python to follow suit. The Scaffold broke up in 1971, and since then Mike McCartney has achieved success as the author of children’s books and books of photography, in addition to being a loyal brother. Mike was the best man at all three of Paul’s weddings.

Here are some other brothers of rock stars throughout history……….

Chris Jagger – Mick’s little brother tried in earnest to be a rock star. He released a self-titled debut album in 1973, followed by his second album, Adventures of Valentine Vox the Ventriloquist, in 1974. After his second album, he became disillusioned and left the music business for over twenty years. The conventional wisdom is that although he had talent, Chris bore too much of an uncanny resemblance to his brother and sounded too much like him. After leaving music, he would jokingly enter Mick Jagger look-a-like contests across Europe under a false name and always win. In the 1980’s, he tried his hand at journalism, being published in Rolling Stone and The Guardian. Also, the 1980’s saw him work as a lyricist with writing partner Frank Langdoff, contributing songs to the Stones’ albums Dirty Work and Steel Wheels. In 1993 he returned to music both as a solo artist and later with his group Atcha, with whom he has released three albums.

Greg Buckingham – The youngest of three boys who were all encouraged to swim competitively, Fleetwood Mac guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham shocked his family when he quit the college swim team to concentrate on music. However, his older brother Greg Buckingham persevered with swimming, earning a silver medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City in the 200 meter individual medley; he was also ranked as the world’s top swimmer for a couple of years and was regularly featured on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports”.

Stanley LoveMike Love, one of the lead singers of The Beach Boys, lived in the shadow of the three Wilson brothers, his first cousins who formed the band. But, Love had a famous brother of his own. His younger brother, Stanley Love, was a first-round pick of the Baltimore Bullets in the 1971 NBA draft and would play for the Los Angeles Lakers for a couple of seasons before fading away. His once promising career in the National Basketball Association did not consist of many good vibrations.

Geoffrey FiegerDoug Fieger is the late singer/guitarist of The Knack who wrote a song about a 16 year-old girl he knew named Sharona. “My Sharona” topped the U.S. charts for six weeks in August/September 1979, while the band’s follow-up hit “Good Girls Don’t” cracked the top ten. Sharona Alperin is now one of the top real estate agents in Los Angeles. Doug’s brother, Geoffrey Fieger, is a famous attorney in the U.S. who has had a list of high-profile and controversial clients such as Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He is regularly interviewed on news programs concerning controversial legal cases, and for many years was a legal commentator for both NBC News and MSNBC. He was the unsuccessful 1998 Democratic nominee for governor in his home state of Michigan.

John Pankow – Actor John Pankow is best known for his role as Ira Buchman for seven years on the NBC sitcom Mad About You. However, he has had roles in major films, including a chilling performance as Secret Service agent John Vukovich in the 1984 movie To Live and Die in L.A. John Pankow is eleven years younger than his brother James Pankow. James Pankow is a founding member and trombonist for Chicago, and is still with the band. He wrote many of Chicago’s biggest hits, including “Colour My World”, “(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long”, “Make Me Smile”, “Just You N’ Me”, “Old Days”, “Alive Again”, in addition to co-writing “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” with Peter Cetera.

Here is “Thank U Very Much”, by The Scaffold, which hit # 3 on the British charts in 1967. This great song was written by Mike McGear (a.k.a. Mike McCartney) who also provided lead vocals on the track.