Six degrees of the Bacon Brothers

You’ve probably heard of the Kevin Bacon game. The theory is that any actor can be linked to Kevin Bacon; inevitably, they’ve appeared in a film with him, or they’ve been in a film with someone who’s been in a film with him, and so on. It’s said that, due to his extensive filmography, any actor is no more than six degrees of separation away from Bacon. When I was first told of the game years ago by Joey DeVilla, it was said that Bela Lugosi was the only actor who couldn’t be linked to Bacon. In fact, according to the Oracle of Bacon at Virginia, Lugosi can be linked to Bacon in only three steps, which just goes to show that Bacon really is the star around which all other Hollywood luminaries revolve.

But this is all old news. What’s new, relatively speaking, is that besides acting, Kevin Bacon has a second career as a musician, teaming up with his brother Michael to record and perform as The Bacon Brothers. (Where do the musical acts of today get their cockamamie names?) So a question is raised: Can you play a musical version of the Kevin Bacon game?

Let’s set rules: A musician must have performed on a recorded track of music with the Bacon Brothers, or have played on a track with someone who played with them, and so on. And just as directors are not considered fair linkages in the film version of the game, that means that record producers, engineers, and knob-twiddlers don’t count (that is, unless they also actually perform on the track as musicians).

To demonstrate, since Bela Lugosi was once judged the most challenging person to link to Bacon, perhaps an appropriate choice to begin the musical version of the game is to find the connection between the Bacon Brothers and the song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus:

So Daniel Ash (to pick just one of the three members of Bauhaus mentioned above) played with Peter DiStefano, who in turn played with Daniel Lanois, who played with Emmylou Harris, who played with Jonathan Edwards, who played with Kevin Bacon. That’s only five degrees of separation between “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” and Kevin Bacon. Success!

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