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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    Default Bands missing former members

    I found an interesting article on the bbc website about bands currently touring that have only a few of their original members. It's a short but good read, mentioning the obvious bands: The Who, ACDC, Journey, Queen etc, plus of course Led Zeppelin. It focuses on the idea of a band as being a brand rather than a group of individual musicians.

    http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/201...ger-than-bands

    Personally, I'm of the school of thought that some of these guys should leave the past well alone, but when you see the money they are bringing in, you can hardly blame them for continuing. It's a different matter when a line-up changes in a group's heyday though.
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    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    in my mind it's a matter of when I got into a band and how much I liked them. But I guess it was always a matter of how much I liked the individual members. It didn't bug me as much when Peter Criss left KISS as it did when Ace did - I liked Ace better, simple as that. But Van Halen I had 5 years under the belt and at that point anything other than Dave, Ed, Al & Mike was unacceptable. I can't imagine ZZ Top with anyone other than Billy, Dusty and Frank. Can't imagine U2 with anyone but Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry. But I didn't get into AC/DC until Brian Johnson was in the band so I accept all eras, and obviously they have had bass and drummer changes over the year which I didn't care about - Cliff was already in the band when I became a fan and Phil was nothing special so when they replaced him I didn't mind. Plus, I wasn't as big a fan of AC/DC as I was KISS or Van Halen. But now I still question them continuing without Malcolm, though I think Rock Or Bust kicks ass. Led Zeppelin I was okay with them grounding it without Bonzo, though I've been okay with them if they want to go on with Jason, too. I do think there has to come a point where it's time to call it a day - certainly when there are no founding or otherwise long time members left is a start. All that "so and so has been in the band now longer than (insert past popular member here)" is bull shit - most of these bands are living off the past, so it doesn't matter if a guy has been in the band for 20 years if he wasn't part of the past that people care about. Yeah, he joined us for the corn dog circuit 20 years ago, but wasn't a part when we were on the horn dog circuit in the '70s and '80s (or whenever the band's heyday was).

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  4. #3
    Sinner's Swing! UncleCrappy's Avatar
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    I think that it's inevitable that, with such strong branding, some acts will continue with few to no original or classic members. I don't think it's anything necessarily new either. I saw the Glen Miller Orchestra in 2000 or something, and there was one guy left who had played with Miller, and that was at the tail end of their classic run. A big band is different than a rock act, of course -- members are shuffled in and out all the time, but I think the principle holds -- with a strong brand comes a long life, if the members so choose.

  5. #4
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 03:04 AM
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    My feeling is this.

    Just go see a tribute band if one must absolutely have their fix. I wouldn't waste money on a group, that only had one original member or two for that matter.

    I don't understand why people accept it.

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  7. #5
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    The reality is that bands are a brand. I think we all sort of have this idea that a band should be a group of friends who do it for the love, and that may be true to begin with. But eventually, if it gets big enough, it becomes a corporate brand.

    Only one original member of Foreigner is in the band (Mick Jones), but they sell more tickets as "Foreigner" than they would as "Mick Jones & The Expatriates." After no one cared much about Talk Show or Army of Anyone, STP has stayed STP this time with a new singer. I'd bet the vast majority of people going to AC/DC shows have no idea that only two original members are in the band anymore.

    Honestly, don't look much past Guns N' Roses. Axl gets a ton of mileage out of that name. Sure, it would be huge if they reunited some incarnation with Slash and Duff in the mix, but Axl is still better off billing his shows as GnR than Axl Rose.

  8. #6
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 03:33 PM
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    For me it's are they any good?

    I won't pay $100 to see 1/4th of Van Halen, but I would pay $25 to see it in a club.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

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  9. #7
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    Again...the question for me is not about "brand"...

    It's why we as consumers accept it?

    I'm talking about those bands that only have one original member.

    Our standards get lower and lower to where we can justify, pretty much anything.

    I wish we would send a message to these people, with our pocket books, that it's lame, but it's all about the good time...I suppose...

    Off soapbox now...

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    Sinner's Swing! UncleCrappy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaboChris View Post
    Again...the question for me is not about "brand"...

    It's why we as consumers accept it?

    I'm talking about those bands that only have one original member.

    Our standards get lower and lower to where we can justify, pretty much anything.

    I wish we would send a message to these people, with our pocket books, that it's lame, but it's all about the good time...I suppose...

    Off soapbox now...
    What is the alternative?

  12. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    The reality is that bands are a brand. I think we all sort of have this idea that a band should be a group of friends who do it for the love, and that may be true to begin with. But eventually, if it gets big enough, it becomes a corporate brand.

    Only one original member of Foreigner is in the band (Mick Jones), but they sell more tickets as "Foreigner" than they would as "Mick Jones & The Expatriates." After no one cared much about Talk Show or Army of Anyone, STP has stayed STP this time with a new singer. I'd bet the vast majority of people going to AC/DC shows have no idea that only two original members are in the band anymore.

    Honestly, don't look much past Guns N' Roses. Axl gets a ton of mileage out of that name. Sure, it would be huge if they reunited some incarnation with Slash and Duff in the mix, but Axl is still better off billing his shows as GnR than Axl Rose.
    I saw Foreigner a few years back, and even though Mick was the only original member, it was a fine, fine, show.
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  13. #10
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleCrappy View Post
    What is the alternative?
    The alternative imo, is "just say no".

    "I'm not going to see Axl Rose in his GNR tribute band"...

    That's my opinion but if it makes one happy. I guess I'm at a point in my life where I won't settle for less anymore...

  14. #11
    Sinner's Swing!
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    12.17.17 @ 01:28 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleCrappy View Post
    I think that it's inevitable that, with such strong branding, some acts will continue with few to no original or classic members. I don't think it's anything necessarily new either. I saw the Glen Miller Orchestra in 2000 or something, and there was one guy left who had played with Miller, and that was at the tail end of their classic run. A big band is different than a rock act, of course -- members are shuffled in and out all the time, but I think the principle holds -- with a strong brand comes a long life, if the members so choose.
    I think that's right. They become kind of like sports teams. You may become a fan during a stretch where some team is on top and has iconic players that will always be associated with that team, but years later even when few or none of those coaches or players are there it's still "that" team with that "legacy" when you see that uniform and logo. It's not like they take down championship banners when the players who won them are no longer there. Nobody challenges that the Dolphins are still the Dolphins just because Shula and Marino haven't been there in ages. I think a lot of these bands are like that. Some bands like Yes and Deep Purple have always been revolving doors of lineups, even in their "classic" days. People these days say about Lynyrd Skynyrd that almost no one is left so it's not the same as the old days, and that's true, but even in the 70s almost every one of their classic albums had a different lineup. Other bands tend to be specific guys and that's it but they're almost always the rare example. ZZ Top, Rush, U2, and others are not going to continue as soon as any one of their members is done. But most of those others, they just bring in the next wave like in sports.

    I've said this before, and I don't think many people take it seriously, but I think it's entirely possible that we will still see "Van Halen" on albums and billboards long after Ed and Alex retire. The band name and legacy will simply be inherited by Wolfgang like any other family business.
    Last edited by snowdog; 04.14.15 at 05:55 PM.

  15. #12
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaboChris View Post
    Again...the question for me is not about "brand"...

    It's why we as consumers accept it?

    I'm talking about those bands that only have one original member.

    Our standards get lower and lower to where we can justify, pretty much anything.

    I wish we would send a message to these people, with our pocket books, that it's lame, but it's all about the good time...I suppose...

    Off soapbox now...
    I think a lot of people accept it because it gives them the opportunity to say, "I saw (insert band name here)" and feel cool about it, regardless of the fact that the band bore very little resemblance to the band that recorded the songs that brought the band the original notoriety. Like the Guns 'N Roses thing or when Mike Love tours as The Beach Boys without a single Wilson in the band. Hey, if it makes you feel good to say you saw Guns 'N Roses in recent years, good for you. You want to impress me, tell me you saw them in '86, '87, 88 or whenever back when Slash and Duff and hell, Izzy were in the band.

    I was thinking about it earlier, and really I think it's a phenomenon that is pretty much really only a factor, and it started pretty much with, here we go again, The Beatles. But seriously, who cared before that? You either went to see a band - Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and you didn't care who was in it. Or the Pops, or New York Philharmonic type orchestra - "hey, that ex-cello player was a class act - can't believe he's not with them anymore". No - no one cared. Or you were a singer - Frank, Dino, Torme - no one cared who was playing behind you. Even on into the early days of rock - did anyone care who was in Danny And The Juniors? Hell, if someone played a song by the Crickets, the listener would probably say "that's Buddy Holly". Who cares about the other guys? But John, Paul, George and Ringo - they were The Beatles - accept no substitutes. And there are some bands that have to be that way. Then there are others, as were mentioned, where it was always a revolving door - Jethro Tull, Yes, Deep Purple, The Doobie Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc. Still, for me, there needs to be some kind of anchor. I wouldn't pay to go see Lynyrd Skynyrd - bet they put on a great show, but without Ronnie Van Zant, I'm not interested. I might pay to see Tom Johnston And Patrick Simmons as The Doobie Brothers, but I'd be more willing to go if they had Tiran Porter with them. And so on. I think there is a point when some of these bands retire, but since I'm not their manager (and even if I was) they don't care what I think. I hope Van Halen would not continue without Ed or Al. I hope Gene and Paul don't go through with their threat to keep KISS alive even after they no longer can or want to perform. But even like that pitcher who can no longer get people out, it's hard to give it up when you've been doing it so long, I'm sure.

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  17. #13
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hagarfn View Post
    I saw Foreigner a few years back, and even though Mick was the only original member, it was a fine, fine, show.
    Oh I'm sure the band is good. You have to be able to back up the brand, if that makes sense. Coke doesn't get to be Coke by putting out a product that tastes like cat piss.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaboChris View Post
    The alternative imo, is "just say no".

    "I'm not going to see Axl Rose in his GNR tribute band"...

    That's my opinion but if it makes one happy. I guess I'm at a point in my life where I won't settle for less anymore...
    I just think the average person doesn't care. I've played guitar over half of my life and I love music. So I read about it, I play it, I discuss it with friends, I discuss it online, and I cherish the time I get to listen to it. But the average fan of Paradise City would, if given the choice, hear the original singer and a replacement guitarist play the song than the replacement singer and original guitarist. Since the singer is so identifiable, often the singer can pull an Axl and be successful.

    The other part of it is that there is a particular expectation. If you're billed as Guns N' Roses and not Axl Rose, you're likely to hear all the hits and you're going to hear Guns N' Roses material. You also expect a certain amount of musicianship.

    If you're billed as Axl Rose, I'd expect to hear a bunch of solo songs, a few hits (maybe), and the band likely won't be of the same quality.

    Now, maybe it's a chicken and egg scenario, but I think John Fogerty could charge more and play bigger venues if he decided to call himself "Creedence Clearwater Revival." But he'd be expected not to play John Fogerty songs. And while his band is great, you're expecting him to bring it each night if he's going to use the name of the famous band.

    So part of it is, I think, people getting "burned" at solo shows. I have seen Scott Weiland live and he played maybe two STP songs. Chris Cornell has a long and varied career, and he played for three hours when I saw him, but he played a lot of songs Soundgarden fans wouldn't know.

    But when Soundgarden plays, you get Soundgarden songs. Now, I like their solo work, so I had a great time at each show. The people chanting, "STP! STP!" at Weiland's shows are not getting what they want out of him when he plays an obscure unreleased solo song, however.

    So maybe it really just is the expectation of hearing the songs you love played by good musicians when they use the "b(r)and name."

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  19. #14
    Baluchitherium
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    There's some "branding" in there but I think it has more to do with who's still in the band. Bands like AC/DC, VH, The Who, the most important people are still their. Take one away and it's over. A few exceptions. Journey got lucky cuz the guy sounds like Steve.

    Foreigner...that shouldn't be called Foreigner.

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    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    Oh I'm sure the band is good. You have to be able to back up the brand, if that makes sense. Coke doesn't get to be Coke by putting out a product that tastes like cat piss.



    I just think the average person doesn't care. I've played guitar over half of my life and I love music. So I read about it, I play it, I discuss it with friends, I discuss it online, and I cherish the time I get to listen to it. But the average fan of Paradise City would, if given the choice, hear the original singer and a replacement guitarist play the song than the replacement singer and original guitarist. Since the singer is so identifiable, often the singer can pull an Axl and be successful.

    The other part of it is that there is a particular expectation. If you're billed as Guns N' Roses and not Axl Rose, you're likely to hear all the hits and you're going to hear Guns N' Roses material. You also expect a certain amount of musicianship.

    If you're billed as Axl Rose, I'd expect to hear a bunch of solo songs, a few hits (maybe), and the band likely won't be of the same quality.

    Now, maybe it's a chicken and egg scenario, but I think John Fogerty could charge more and play bigger venues if he decided to call himself "Creedence Clearwater Revival." But he'd be expected not to play John Fogerty songs. And while his band is great, you're expecting him to bring it each night if he's going to use the name of the famous band.

    So part of it is, I think, people getting "burned" at solo shows. I have seen Scott Weiland live and he played maybe two STP songs. Chris Cornell has a long and varied career, and he played for three hours when I saw him, but he played a lot of songs Soundgarden fans wouldn't know.

    But when Soundgarden plays, you get Soundgarden songs. Now, I like their solo work, so I had a great time at each show. The people chanting, "STP! STP!" at Weiland's shows are not getting what they want out of him when he plays an obscure unreleased solo song, however.

    So maybe it really just is the expectation of hearing the songs you love played by good musicians when they use the "b(r)and name."
    With a band like Guns, yeah, maybe they don't care, but if it's VH, AC/DC or the The Who....they're gonna care.

 

 

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