Musical Mayhem…

Ok, I have to get my mind off of Johnny Depp, and the fact that Justin only sent me the first 40 minutes of the movie isnt helping. Anywho, I am curious about your guys’ opinion on something:

Last December I went to go see the Dead Kennedys live, only one problem, it wasn’t the Dead Kennedys. The lead singer, Jello Biafra, had long since left the band, and when the infamous punk icons got back together they picked up Brandon Cruz of the band Dr. Know, to sing for them… the show was really awesome and it was great to see the rest of the origninal band. I didn’t mind too terribly the loss of the lead singer, but without him it wasn’t the Dead Kennedys, Jello was the symbol of the band. In much the same way the 60’s rock icons, The Doors, are touring once again, but there is a problem with this as well… Jim Morrison has been dead since 1971. He has been replaced with a guy named Ian. On request of the drummer, the name has been changed to The Doors of the 21st Century but they still refer to themselves as The Doors. No, there is no question that this band isn’t the same one that rocked out in the late 60’s, but would it be any diffreent if the only missing part was maybe the drummer John Densmore?

What I am talking about, I guess, is if a band is no longer a band when the leader singer is gone, is it any different if maybe the guitarist is gone? I think what Dave Grohl, who was the drummer for Nirvana, did was smart, once Nirvana was dead, along with Kurt Cobain, he focused on a new band, the Foo Fighters. I’m a big Dead Kennedys fan, so I would have been just as dissapointed if the guitarist East Bay Ray, or any other memeber of the band was AWOL. So if a band looses a member, is it still the same band? Does it matter what member it was? Should the band change the name, or split up, or just keep going on their merry way… I am curious what other people think…

16 thoughts on “Musical Mayhem…

  1. I think that a band is mostly defined by the guitarist and lead singer. If the original bassist or drummer is not involved than I think the band can still keep the same name. Not both though, only one or the other.

    #1 | Comment by Dugas of eenodol — July 23, 2003 @ 6:44 am

  2. i think that this all depends a lot on tha band. i mean, there are a lot of bands that have had different members and continued on, just as successfully, or even more successfully.

    Take Nirvana for instance. Dave Grohl wasn’t in the band for every one of the albums.

    so i think this means its one of those questions where in most cases there will be no right or wrong answer, as it is all a question of opinion. in my opinion, the Dead Kennedys aren’t the Dead Kennedys without Jello. Not because he was teh front man, but partly because his voice is so distinctive, partly because his personality shone through in the songs themselves, and yes, partly because he was the front man.

    so, if you ask me, whether a band is the same or not, after losing a member depends on who you ask, who was lost, and what band you are talking about.

    #2 | Comment by alexhawker — July 23, 2003 @ 7:34 am

  3. Yeh, it depends on the band. RHCP guitarest and drummers come and go, but you gotta have Flea and Anthony

    #3 | Comment by Jacob — July 23, 2003 @ 9:18 am

  4. i think when a band loses one of its members, any one, it’s a totally different band. You can’t replace the chemistry between that group of people. The chemistry that allows them to create music together. Most bands have been playing together forever, and it’s hard to bring someone new into the mix to try to replace someone. Yeah, bands can be successful after a line up change, and they can make great music to, but it’s just not the same anymore.

    #4 | Comment by whackedska — July 23, 2003 @ 9:19 am

  5. I think all members of the band impact the make of it, if you replace a member, it is a different band… but if you replace the frontman, it is a little different…

    #5 | Comment by PacManJesus — July 23, 2003 @ 11:43 am

  6. I think the band really depends on the guy who writes the songs. There are a lot of bands where the singer doesn’t write any of the songs, he’s just the voice. I don’t think it would matter much if that band were to change singers if he wasn’t the main influence on the music, unless of course he’s some sort of super singer(which isn’t out of the question). Take the Vandals for example. They’ve been through many different members from 1980-1989, but since 89 they’ve been steady for over a decade. The Vandals are one of my favorite bands to date. Of course when I say The Vandals, I’m referring to 1989-2003 Vandals.

    I’m sure when bands form and such, they make little pacts and whatnot that sorts all the name changing crap when people leave. Even with all the, "If someone leaves, the remaining band members gain the rights and blah blah blah.", I think there should be some serious thinking when the band becomes notorious for the singer. Say, Metallica with no James Hetfield. Janes Addiction with no Perry Farrell. Violent Femmes with no Gordon Gano. System of a Down with no Serj. Or, or The Misfits with no Danzig….oh wait. Of course Kurt Cobain and Shannon Hoon are not to be forgotten. Two of the best bands, and best singers, of all time(in my opinion of course). In this kind of situation, I don’t feel it’s right for the band to go on and keep the same name. The "new" Misfits just piss me off. They’re not the same band without Danzig, and should have changed their name.

    All this preposterous crap I have scribbled down really leads to nothing, and nothing my friends is…uh….something I guess. How does that work exactly?

    #6 | Comment by Bubba — July 23, 2003 @ 12:29 pm

  7. I think it’s funny almost all these comments start of with "i think". That being said, does Guns N’ Roses count too? But they didn’t lose one member. They pretty much lost the whole band! With only original member remaining.

    #7 | Comment by Justin — July 23, 2003 @ 2:12 pm

  8. Losing just one member totally changes the nature of the band. For example, Pearl Jam fans all know that when Dave Abrusszee (an amazing drummer, and the band’s second drummer) was fired after Vitalogy, the band totally kind of lost direction musically. His replacement, well, sucked for the most part and the music suffered because they went from a precise, structured style to a loose, Neil Youngish style.

    Sometimes, though, the band can be better off. I thought (for Justin) Van Halen was a much better band musically with Sammy Hagar. Not as showy, but I liked their music much more.

    #8 | Comment by grud — July 23, 2003 @ 5:49 pm

  9. Justin, in Guns N’ Roses case, they definately should have changed their name. Most everyone just considers GNR should be called "Axle’s New Band".

    #9 | Comment by Dugas of eenodol — July 23, 2003 @ 9:39 pm

  10. The dude can sing, no question, but with Densmore and Morrison gone, it is not the Doors. Would it be any less or more the Doors iif Krieger and Mazarek were gone?

    #10 | Comment by PacManJesus — July 24, 2003 @ 1:36 am

  11. I think it’s simply two washed up old fucks who can’t seem to accept the fact that half of their band has retired and/or died.

    I don’t see Paul McCartney and Ringo running around together calling themselves the Beatles.

    #11 | Comment by grud — July 24, 2003 @ 1:51 am

  12. Good point… a band should know when to die…

    It’s not like they need the money, and they can’t be doing it for "the magical feeling of playing as a band together" because the lead singer and spirit of the group has been dead for over 30 years!

    #12 | Comment by PacManJesus — July 24, 2003 @ 1:57 am

  13. Actually, I heard from one of the guys at the bar that Ian Astbury can really wail when he’s playing with the Doors (or at least Krieger and Manzarek, as the case may be). And this doesn’t shock me in the least, seeing how Ian Astbury was the singer for The Cult. Dude can sing, man.

    #13 | Comment by Umgawa — July 24, 2003 @ 12:12 pm

  14. "I don’t see Paul McCartney and Ringo running around together calling themselves the Beatles."

    No, but you see Paul McCartney running around making really horrible music and getting praised for it. Ringo don’t play dat shit…word.

    #14 | Comment by Bubba — July 24, 2003 @ 5:02 pm

  15. … haven’t you all seen Rock Star? i mean, hello!

    #15 | Comment by lizzie — July 25, 2003 @ 1:48 am

  16. No.

    #16 | Comment by Bubba — July 25, 2003 @ 2:13 am

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