There are two kinds of all-star jams: the kind that people rave about for years and the kind that leave a bad taste in everybody’s mouth. An example of the latter category is what happens at the end of every single Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

An example of the former took place last September, when a gang of heavy metal’s tallest legends assembled in New York City to literally put on a clinic. David Ellefson (Megadeth), Kerry King (Slayer), Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Frank Bello (Anthrax) and Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob/Flying Colors) descended on the Best Buy Theater in New York City and took turns demonstrating techniques before breaking into a ferocious jam session that ended with surprise guests Scott Ian (Anthrax) and Pantera’s Phil Anselmo taking the stage for a pair of Pantera songs. Anthrax closed the festivities by delivering a full set for the 500 lucky bastards who paid zero dollars to watch history go down.

The Supergroup.  That mythical entity that carries such soaring expectations that it is remarkable that any of the bands ever make it into the studio.  It’s like the Honors Society kid who letters in three sports, dates a cheerleader, and is a top flight boxer- how can he fail, right?  Until it’s ten years later and the sheriff is tucking the eviction notice into the pocket of his work shirt while he’s passed out on the trailer floor with a needle in his arm.

What’s a Supergroup?  A gaggle of well-known musicians from different bands (and often different genres) who come together to form a new musical entity.

Just like the Honors kids, Supergroups start out with great pedigrees, lots of breaks, and doors swinging widely before them, but that doesn’t always mean that these advantages translate into something memorable.  But when they do click it can be one of the most exciting spectacles in music.

Supergroups are the embodiment of our musical fantasies come true.  “What if?” becomes reality.  This is the stuff that even casual music fans stop to ponder.  Die hard musos can come to blows over them.  Somewhere in the world right now, there is an intense, late night, cocaine-fueled debate raging about the ultimate Supergroup.