Hollywood Rockers — Stars including Billy Bob Thornton, Russell Crowe, and Andy Dick try their hand at music

By Laura Morgan
August 11, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Who wants to be a rock star? (A) Billy Bob Thornton, (b) Russell Crowe, (c) Jeff Bridges, (d) Andy Dick. Actually, all of the above. It seems screen fame can’t compete with pop stardom, and increasingly, Hollywood heavyweights are rockin’ out. We played an anonymous sampling of musical moonlighters for Richard Sweret, Arista’s senior A&R VP (and the guy who inked Sarah McLachlan and Ace of Base). See who made the cut.

30 ODD FOOT OF GRUNTS’ ”What’s Her Name?” featuring Russell Crowe on vocals
”This is all about the singer’s charisma. He’s got a dark, slightly self-absorbed personality. If he’s a mesmerizing Nick Cave type, it’s promising. You might break this artist through a more intellectual means than Top 40 radio, like by placing a song in a Jim Jarmusch film.”

DOGSTAR’S ”Enemies” featuring Keanu Reeves on bass
”This is very mainstream. It’s a little out of date, particularly the rhythm section and guitar parts. It’s not applicable to radio right now.”

THE BACON BROTHERS’ ”Ten Years in Mexico” featuring Kevin Bacon on vocals and acoustic guitar
”This is folksy and introspective. He has good phrasing, a pleasing voice, and sets a nice tone. Overall, though, it needs more interesting instrumentation. There’s a singer-songwriter coffeehouse niche for this. He could sell this at Starbucks.”

JEFF BRIDGES’ ”September Brings” featuring Bridges on guitar and vocals
”In that Grateful Dead genre. They probably slug it out playing locally every weekend. They might draw crowds touring but, on record, they have a long way to go. A label would fear they’re too faceless: Any Band, USA.”