Thursday, February 1, 2007

Question of the Week: When is a band no longer the band?

I've been posting about all of the band reunions announced in the past two weeks, and most of them are really great news. The key factor being that in almost every case, all of the key players are involved in the reunion. Sting and Copeland are there for the Police, Dinosaur Jr. has its founding members. Van Halen has DLR and Eddie, but no Michael Anthony. Some people say it is not VH without Michael Anthony, but most will say that DLR and Eddie are the two key ingredients.
So many times in the past we have seen bands reunite without certain key members. It gets to the point sometimes, where it is almost an insult to keep the band name without those people. Journey without Steve Perry? When I was a kid, my mom took me to see the Beach Boys and Chicago at Jones Beach. The Beach Boys without Brian Wilson, and Chicago without Peter Cetera.
As a side note, New Jersey is trying to pass a law against tribute bands who try to pass themselves off as the real thing. There are several versions of The Four Tops going around right now. Sometimes an oldies group will recruit a new member. He leaves the band and starts his own band with the same name. You could potentially have dozens of versions of the same oldies group playing casinos in A.C.
Article about NJ law
So tell me your opinion on the issue in the comments section of this post. When is a band no longer the band? What bands can you think of who have tried to make a buck by continuing on without key players involved? I have a bunch of bands in mind, but I'll add more in the comments section if you all don't beat me to them.


Domestic Goddess said...

Besides Journey and the many versions of Van Haggar? I mean Halen?
Well, let's see, there is:
-Styx (no Dennis DeYoung and no Pazzano brother)
-Black Sabbath
-Guns and F'in Roses
-Smashing Pumpkins
-Pink Floyd (many versions)
-The Squeeze
-Lynard Skynard
-Spinal Tap (just kidding)
-Jefferson Airplane. Jefferson Starship. Starship. Who?

I guess they cease to be a band when there are no original members? I mean, technically they are always a band. The music lives on. A whole new generation hears them as time goes on. The original audience may move on but they will always be, to me.

Anonymous said...

Peter Cetera wasn't the singer of the original Chicago lineup.

Kurt C. said...

True, but at the point in time that I saw them, and the age I was when I saw them, Cetera was pretty much all I knew of the band. Plus, he was the voice between many of their big hits.

Dave Till said...

A Canadian example: the Guess Who recorded and toured without either Burton Cummings or Randy Bachman.

Christian said...

Bands usually die after one of their members enter's rehab, gets married or shortly after their second or third album is released. J Mascus should be on his knees slurping the protien out of Barlow's nut sack. Billy Corgan should consider bending James Iha over his arsanal of distortion pedals and fuck him in the ass untill songs that resemble anything off of Gish shoot out his urethra. Music is a painful industry.

isadorable said...

When the spirit of the band is compromised, the band she is kaput.

Axl + new face + singing old songs = cover band?