Who Makes The Band?
Now that summer concert season is over I thought I’d do a bit of reflection and put the ball in your court for some feedback.
When you think of a band, which piece of the puzzle is most important? Better yet, specifically which member can a band live without? Is it the singer, the Drummer, etc…? Is there really difference who plays guitar? Do you ever ask yourself this question, “are these the original four or five members from ’88 that got the ball rolling? Is this something that you think about when you shell out your hard-earned cash, wait an hour in line for the doors to open? While then, drinking $10 beers in the blistering sun.
I don’t ask that question. Never have, Never will. But… there are millions of fans out there that do. You know who you are. Every concert has “that” select, special group that walks around spouting off about how Metallica hasn’t been the same since Cliff Burton died or the one that I just recently heard. “Dude, Slayer sucks without Hanneman and Lombardo!” We all have strong opinions about our favorite bands but the sad truth is that most bands go through some sort of turnover. Whether its death, drugs or just plain hate Things change. Some for the better and some are catastrophic.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Motorhead (Lemmy is the ONLY original member),AC/DC (Bon Scott died in 1980 and went on to release Back In Black with Brian Johnson and now Axl Rose WTF!); Metallica (fired Dave Mustaine, Cliff Burton died & Jason Newsted quit). David Lee Roth quits Van Halen after a #1 selling record to pursue a solo career and then there’s the train wreck that is Guns N Roses! It again begs the question, what members can a band “afford” to lose without copious amounts of backlash. If I asked fifty people, there would most likely be as many answers and reasons.
I’ll switch gears on you for a minute. I think the real question is….. Who can’t you afford to lose? My answer is…. the singer. Before you get all goofy, I know that I gave two examples of bands that lost their singers and went on to have greater success. Those bands are something you’d call “exceptions to the rule”. Is U2 still the same U2 without Bono or is Metallica the biggest band in metal (I use that term loosely) without James Hetfield? On the flip side, were Stone Temple Pilots better or even equal with Chester Bennington instead of Scott Wieland or does Slayer not have the same ferocity with Gary Holt on guitar instead of Jeff Hanneman?
Now I’ll pass the mic in your direction, let us know what your opinion is.