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My students at the college were buzzing the other day about G'N'R coming through and how they needed to go see them. I mentioned that it really wasn't G'N'R as there was only Axel (and the voices in his head) left. So when does a band cease to be "the band" they were?
 

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Case in point.

They are not GnR

Floyd ain't without Waters,

The Band is not without Roberstson (the Prick)

The Who with just Roger and Petie the Peddo are not The Who.

The Stones without Brian, Mick T. or Andrew are still the Stones.
 

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Probably a case by case thing. There are always the stand-outs. A few good examples above. What about a band like Led Zep? Almost had to have them all. I did see the Page and Plant tour several years ago and dug it. But at least they did not bill themselves as Led Zep.
 

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I think if the band has lost a key member or members, they really cease to be anything other than a marketing name.

IMO, the Who was an ensemble cast - they managed to get by without Moon, but now with half the cast gone, they are no longer the Who.

For G'n'R to be G'n'R still, I really think it needs to be Axl & Slash at a minimum.

Would Rush be Rush with any of the 3 replaced? No.
 

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I think it's case by case too . Slash was obviously a big part of gnr , but if a band like gwar changed one band member every year until the whole band was changed , it would still be gwar .
 

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Would Rush be Rush with any of the 3 replaced? No.
i just finished watching RUSH:beyond the lighted stage...and they address this...and Geddy and Alex both agree that if any ONE of them were to stop or be gone...that would be the end of RUSH...the three of them ARE rush...

if only other bands to be like that (GN'R, FUEL)
 

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When Ian Curtis passed, the remaining members of Joy Division started New Order and good on them for not trying to ride the coattails of Joy Division's increased popularity.

On the other hand, INXS, a band I absolutely love, did a silly thing with the whole reality-show to find a new frontman. First of all, it's not like the members of INXS not named Hutchence were household names themselves. As awesome as that band was, it was Hutchence who was the face and voice of the band. Replacing him with some 20yr old kid was pathetic.

When Richey Edwards disappeared, the remaining members of the Manic Street Preachers weren't going to continue as a band until the bereaved family of Edward convinced them to keep on truckin. At least their hearts were in the right place, and it's not like the band was huge and they were cashing in on the brand name cachet.

Axl retaining the G'n'R name is ridiculous. They're basically a tribute band who is lucky enough to have one of the washed-up original members in their lineup.
 

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This is really a 'moot' argument. A 'band' is a term used (in this context) to describe a group of musicians. That's it...No other definitions really. There are ALL kinds of bands, some of which are larger than others and they can be of many forms. Some examples of 'bands' which can change many members and still be reasonably considered as the same 'band' are: The Mothers of Invention, Steely Dan, Yes, The Eagles and Genesis. There are also many more.

In a small band (like a trio or a quartet), changing one member is a big deal. It's also a big deal if there is a change of one of the 'big' stars in a band...but still, many bands can survive major changes and even thrive. Two great examples of this are Pink Floyd after Syd Barrett left (until Roger Waters called it quits) and The Rolling Stones, who were originally put together and led by Brian Jones.

But, when all you have is one of the original 'headlining' band members (like GnR is now), then that really is not the same band at all. I like the story of the The Light Crust Doughboys, a Texas Western swing band first put together in 1931. The band is still playing, billing itself as the longest-running country band in the world. You wanna talk about personnel changes?!?!?!
 

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I think it's case by case too . Slash was obviously a big part of gnr , but if a band like gwar changed one band member every year until the whole band was changed , it would still be gwar .
man this forum is on a roll today. that was a great lol as well, thanks! :wave:
 

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The Doobie Brothers were still the Doobie Brothers when Tom Johnson left and Micheal MacDonald took over....just different.
Genesis....Not as good with Phil Collins
 

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If Gord Downie found all new members, how would you feel if he still toured and put out records as "The Tragically Hip"?

I think it depends on how the band is presented, and how long they went on for with the same lineup. Look at the Guess Who - most people think, "Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings", but in reality, Randy Bachman left the band in the early 70's and they continued on with Kurt Winter, with whom they had some very successful years.

Also, I think you have to factor in whether there was a gradual turnover of members, allowing the band to continue and evolve as a cohesive unit, or if there was a complete breakup and stop. Now, in the case of a breakup, if, after a time, one member takes the name and then recruits a whole slate of new members, it really does seem like a cheat or marketing ploy.

Another good example of the "Axl" effect would be what is currently called the Smashing Pumpkins. D'arcy quit as bassist and was replaced by Melissa Auf De Mar - which was fine at the time. But, then the band broke up. Years later, Billy Corgan decided to get the band back together but neither D'arcy or James Iha wanted anything to do with him. The only other original member who agreed to come back was Jimmy Chamberlain, and then he went and quit because he just couldn't continue to support the project. So, now it's Billy Corgan and a bunch of radom musicians that he's hired to call the "Smashing Pumpkins".
 

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this can be said about a lot of bands now adays though...fuel only has the original singer, buckcherry is the guitarist and the singer, shinedown just has the singer, ac/dc has a new singer, drowning pool changes singers more than i change socks...i love the band thornley, but now its just ian in the band...its just the way of the world
 

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Case in point.

They are not GnR

Floyd ain't without Waters,

The Band is not without Roberstson (the Prick)

The Who with just Roger and Petie the Peddo are not The Who.

The Stones without Brian, Mick T. or Andrew are still the Stones.


I'll go along with that.
 

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Depends. The Doors w/o JM died when he did. Ten Years After is NOT TYA w/o Alvin Lee.
 

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Of course, the cynical answer is that a band ceases to be a band when the lawyers involved in the lawsuits and injunctions say so, and a judge backs them up.

that has happened before, in various permutations.
 

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Well, there's the Led Zeppelin approach, ie, what's LZ without Bonzo? Not LZ.

Then there's the Rolling Stones approach, ie, a core group (Mick & Keith) and the very gradual adoption of replacement players as others leave, even to the point of not really including the latest bass player in the corporation. Secong guitarists come and go, bass player gets replaced when he leaves, keys players are adjuncts...what would happen if Charlie leaves?

Then there's The Preservation Hall Jazz Band approach. Preservation Hall Jazz Band - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Revolving door of players based on availability, want, and need.

All these are acceptable if the players (and I suppose legal teams) say so. Fan and audience acceptance is not always a consideration. Though the band needs to be able to play as an ensemble, they don't have to do business that way.

On a much lesser scale, I've been in 3 incarnations of a local little old cover band over the years, spending as much time out of the band as in it. The only common denominator as far as I know is the bass player who doesn't sing, doesn't choose the material, doesn't own the PA, doesn't own the name, doesn't hire or fire, etc. There have been some other members common to some of the various versions of the band, and there have been as many as 8 and as few as 3 members in my history with the band. The name remains the same. Hell, last time I joined they did way too much country for my liking, but they've come around again to more blues. None of this would have washed if there'd been a recording and/or performance contract.

When does a band cease being a band? When the money stops flowing. When the players say so. When the management/contracts say so. When the fans stop buying the product and the band/management gives up. When whoever owns the name quits. Any or all of the above and more.

When do we stop recognizing a band as the band? When it becomes a self-parody, imitation, self-tribute, embarrassing joke.

Peace, Mooh.
 

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this can be said about a lot of bands now adays though...fuel only has the original singer, buckcherry is the guitarist and the singer, shinedown just has the singer, ac/dc has a new singer, drowning pool changes singers more than i change socks...i love the band thornley, but now its just ian in the band...its just the way of the world
maybe i'm going down a rabbitt trail on this one, but i would hardly call brian johnson a "new" singer. he's done more with the band and been with them longer than scott, who was also not the original singer.



Well, there's the Led Zeppelin approach, ie, what's LZ without Bonzo? Not LZ.

Then there's ...
i may be the only one, but i really think that zep could have survived the loss of bonham if they immediately got back on the horse. i think they fell victim to their own hype that time. he was good, but he wasn't led zep any more than john fogerty was credence.
(side note, i have much respect for fogerty, because of an interview he once did with VH-1. he said "i thought i was credence clearwater revival, and i was wrong." not everyone in the entertainment industry has the humility to say something like that to the world.

funny you should mention the cover band thing. ages ago i was in a cover band called "bottoms up"
after the van halen song. the other guitarist and the drummer were guys i grew up with. they regularly replaced other members based on wether or not they had a van, or equipment they liked,
or some connections that would get them gigs. locally, people called them "the lenny and eddie band".
 

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i may be the only one, but i really think that zep could have survived the loss of bonham if they immediately got back on the horse. i think they fell victim to their own hype that time.
I assume you didn't think I was suggesting otherwise. It's just that it's what they did. I agree that LZ could have carried on, but maybe they lost their will and desire. My guess is they never emotionally dealt with Bonzo's death and it's not that they didn't want a LZ with some other drummer, but that they couldn't face a LZ without him. By the time I saw Plant and Page at the Skydome, they weren't that overblown blues rock band with that garage band solidarity that they once were. They were good, even great, but it was less spirit and more spectacle.

Peace, Mooh.
 
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