5 coolest (Janet Jackson!) Super Bowl halftime shows
When Bruce Springsteen hits the stage for the Super Bowl Halftime Show Sunday, he'll be marking the fifth anniversary of Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” -- the nipple ring that nearly brought down live network TV in a hail of FCC overreaction.
In honor of that illustrious benchmark (don't even think about a joke on Springsteen, 59, having a similar moment), The Feed offers a list of Coolest Super Bowl Halftime Shows Ever.
It's a subject I'll also be discussing on public radio station WNYC-FM's show Soundcheck at about 2 p.m. today. Click here to listen live.
(UPDATE: When I wrote this, inspired by the WNYC gig, I didn't realize Times pop music critic Sean Daly was pulling together a similar list for today's paper. No matter -- we've got a lot of the same stuff on our lists, but in a different order, so you can decide for yourself which is cooler. Ain't the Internets grand?)
And as much as I wanted to put The Boss in this tally on G.P., we’ll just have to see how he does on Sunday.
No. 5: U2 (2002) -– The first Super Bowl after the 9/11 attacks featured a majestic tribute to the near-3,000 dead, a heart-shaped stage, a rousing “Where the Streets Have No Name” and Bono’s American flag-lined jacket.
No. 4: Michael Jackson (1993) -- Intro by James Earl Jones, fake MJs popping up on the Jumbotrons and dance numbers ripped straight from MTV’s heart. Back when we still saw him as the King of Pop and not an awful punch line.
No. 3: Tie -– Paul McCartney (2005) and the Rolling Stones (2006) -– McCartney, because it was the closest we’ll ever get to the Beatles playing the Super Bowl; The Stones, because they are the only superstars left who could have played the first Super Bowl, if the NFL had dared.
No. 2: Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake (2004) –- For making us forget Jessica Simpson was on the bill and introducing the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” to our pop culture lives.
No. 1: Prince (2007) -– Anybody who could get away with stroking a guitar the way he did three years after Janet deserves the big prize. Doesn’t hurt that his Purple Rain rocked the joint hard, reminding everyone that this midget in high heels and purple scarves can really play that guitar.