Band member vs. cast member.

yammyfan

Senior Member
This has long been one of my pet peeves. I'll hear of some 80's band I liked coming to town only to learn that zero of the original members remain - just some bass player who joined them in the late 90's touring under that name. :poop:
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
It’s already happening. Check out the current Jefferson Airplane, The Grass Roots
Paul Revere and the Raiders. Zero original members.
Molly Hatchett hasn't been original for a few decades.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Seems this happens inversely to the vitality of the project.

Anyone here seen a project like this that they would dare say is as valid as the original?(specifically, when the original project had definitive nailed members?)
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
I think a lot of the opinions on this matter are whether the band is a legacy act or not.

There's plenty of bands during their heyday, selling out stadiums and having hit records, that'd go through plenty of members. Deep Purple were one of the biggest bands in the world in 1975, but they only had two original members at that point, one being the drummer. They were on their third frontman. But nobody considers David Coverdale or Glenn Hughes or Tommy Bolin to be cast members.

I think once a group is in the 'legacy' period, or becone the 'nostalgia' act, is where things get dicey with some people.
 

felonious69

Well-known member

Apparently Paul and Gene were mulling this over 6+ years ago. One could make a case that Kiss is half Band Members, half Cast Members with Singer and Thayer donning Criss’s and Frehley’s Make-Up.
I have NEVER been a kiss fan, but that made me think..."REALLY?!?!?!? You can't even come up with original makeup?!?!"
Ridiculousness at it's finest regarding this subject in my opinion.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Oh, good topic. I wish I had clicked on this topic earlier.

I know when I was much younger, when a band lost a key member, I would think the rest just need to give up, and call it a day. I mean, what's the point?

Then as I got older, I realized that it's not fair to the rest of the members to have give up their dream, and their means of living just because 1 key person leaves. I mean, if you've always been a touring musician in a band, you can't just go get another job all that easily. And it's not fair to lose whatever you have with the band just because someone else can't deal.

But, now, I admit it's getting ridiculous what some "bands" are doing.

When Perry left Journey, I got why Neil, Jon, and Ross wanted to continue. And I initially supported them, bought the albums, and saw them on tour.
But then they switched singers too more times, and I couldn't hang (Arneil may be technically correct single, but I don't think he's that good of a singer, and I can't believe they get away with charging a premium ticket price for shows). And now with the more recent line up changes, forget it, it's not a band anymore. It's just Neil's ego and friends.

What really bugs me is the lack of transparency.
A case in point, maybe 2-3 years ago, Nick/Livingdeaddrummmer had a gig opening for Dokken. Now, I'm not a Dokken fan per see, but I enjoyed a few songs from the 80's, and they had recently (at the time) announced a reunion of the original 4 members. So I went to hang with Nick and check it out. Well, it turns out the reunion was a limited few shows in Japan, and this was 1/2 the band with 1/2 fill-ins. Thankfully I didn't pay to get in, because I would have felt ripped off there was NO announcement anywhere this wasn't the reunion line up. Either way the band was awful.

Queensryche, OK, I was on board with 4/5 members. Ok, I was torn when they went down to 3/5 members, but I eventually got on board with that line up's 2nd album, I enjoyed it, and I wanted to see them on tour. But when they were coming through town the next time, they were down to 2/5 of the original band, and I just couldn't bring myself to buy a ticket.

QR jumped the shark when they continued without Kevin Dubrow. And now it's just stupid with zero members.
I love many Jefferson Starship songs but I'm not going to see them with zero original members.

On the other hand, sometimes it's just reality. I love Katatonia, and they are just 2 of 5 guys now because they're not a huge band, they have had multiple people leave because the band just doesn't make enough money. But at least the 2 original members are the principal songwriters, so it makes sense. Lacuna Coil is down to 1/2 of their original line up, and they don't even have a permanent drummer right now, but they have all the same songwriters, and their last albums was actually an improvement.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Sometimes bands improve with lineup changes. Take Red Hot Chili Peppers, for instance. Only Anthony Kiedas and Flea are original members. Guitarist Hilal Slovak expired in 1988, and drummer Jack Irons fled in turn, citing that the tragedy was just too much for him. Since then, however, I'd argue that RHCP have written and performed the best music of their career. They've evolved quite a bit, but that's not a shortcoming. Their courage to plow forth back in the '80s was admirable in my opinion.
 
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felonious69

Well-known member
Oh, good topic. I wish I had clicked on this topic earlier.

I know when I was much younger, when a band lost a key member, I would think the rest just need to give up, and call it a day. I mean, what's the point?

Then as I got older, I realized that it's not fair to the rest of the members to have give up their dream, and their means of living just because 1 key person leaves. I mean, if you've always been a touring musician in a band, you can't just go get another job all that easily. And it's not fair to lose whatever you have with the band just because someone else can't deal.

But, now, I admit it's getting ridiculous what some "bands" are doing.

When Perry left Journey, I got why Neil, Jon, and Ross wanted to continue. And I initially supported them, bought the albums, and saw them on tour.
But then they switched singers too more times, and I couldn't hang (Arneil may be technically correct single, but I don't think he's that good of a singer, and I can't believe they get away with charging a premium ticket price for shows). And now with the more recent line up changes, forget it, it's not a band anymore. It's just Neil's ego and friends.

What really bugs me is the lack of transparency.
A case in point, maybe 2-3 years ago, Nick/Livingdeaddrummmer had a gig opening for Dokken. Now, I'm not a Dokken fan per see, but I enjoyed a few songs from the 80's, and they had recently (at the time) announced a reunion of the original 4 members. So I went to hang with Nick and check it out. Well, it turns out the reunion was a limited few shows in Japan, and this was 1/2 the band with 1/2 fill-ins. Thankfully I didn't pay to get in, because I would have felt ripped off there was NO announcement anywhere this wasn't the reunion line up. Either way the band was awful.

Queensryche, OK, I was on board with 4/5 members. Ok, I was torn when they went down to 3/5 members, but I eventually got on board with that line up's 2nd album, I enjoyed it, and I wanted to see them on tour. But when they were coming through town the next time, they were down to 2/5 of the original band, and I just couldn't bring myself to buy a ticket.

QR jumped the shark when they continued without Kevin Dubrow. And now it's just stupid with zero members.
I love many Jefferson Starship songs but I'm not going to see them with zero original members.

On the other hand, sometimes it's just reality. I love Katatonia, and they are just 2 of 5 guys now because they're not a huge band, they have had multiple people leave because the band just doesn't make enough money. But at least the 2 original members are the principal songwriters, so it makes sense. Lacuna Coil is down to 1/2 of their original line up, and they don't even have a permanent drummer right now, but they have all the same songwriters, and their last albums was actually an improvement.
1st: Why at some point don't they just get a different name? Tribute bands are different.
2nd: Has nothing to do with name, but when I finally got to see Pink Floyd (This was without the ass), they played NOTHING off the Animals album, because...the ass. I realize he wrote that album, but THEY all played on it. He would not allow it...ASS!
 

drummingbulldog

Active member
1st: Why at some point don't they just get a different name? Tribute bands are different.
2nd: Has nothing to do with name, but when I finally got to see Pink Floyd (This was without the ass), they played NOTHING off the Animals album, because...the ass. I realize he wrote that album, but THEY all played on it. He would not allow it...ASS!
Maybe they should have written more songs & contributed ideas & they would have more songs to play that represents the band Pink Floyd. Roger was the songwriter & lyricist. Jeez. If you wanna hear his songs you should go see him in concert. His band was better overall anyways.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
Oh, good topic. I wish I had clicked on this topic earlier.

I know when I was much younger, when a band lost a key member, I would think the rest just need to give up, and call it a day. I mean, what's the point?
I think it is because an audience still wants to hear the songs. As musicians, we likely have a different perspective than just the music and wanna see the players. Frankly for most bands the general public probably only knows the name of the lead singer so they couldn’t tell anyway.

Sometimes tribute bands are better than the originals. But hearing the songs with only a few of the original members works for a lot of people.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I don't quite get the idea that bands that aren't touring with the full slate of original members is doing something deceptive. I'm also not one of the kinds of people that feels that some members are more important than others, as if when the singer leaves it's supposedly time to call it a day but if it's "just" the bass player (or whoever) it's not that big of an issue.

Maybe it's bad blood or retirement or someone passing away but most bands' lineups are fluid, and I'd guess that many bands have had lineup changes one member at a time, so what are they supposed to do? It reminds me a lot of the "Ship of Theseus" dilemma, if one board at a time is replaced until no original boards remain, is it the same ship?

I've recently seen a couple of bands already mentioned, Journey and Queensryche. I saw Journey in the "Escape without Steve Perry" lineup because I figured it was the closest to the "classic" lineup that is realistic. I'm really glad I did, because they were fantastic. Same with Queensryche. The current lineup puts on a great show, and while I'd especially love to see them with Scott Rockenfield on drums that isn't likely to happen.

For me personally it depends on the band and the situation, but in general I go to a show for the music.

Personnel changes that occur organically over time usually get a pass from me. I'm at an age where a lot of my favorite musicians either aren't around anymore or don't want to tour. In cases like that I'd rather support the band and the members that are still out there putting on a great show and keeping the music I love alive.

It's the nutjob and ego trip situations where I'm a lot less forgiving. Sticking to Queensryche I'm just not interested in seeing Geoff Tate's "solo" outings. I think he did the rest of the band wrong and in spite of his "lead singer" status I'm not interested in supporting him at a live show even though he is the original singer. With Journey, I hate that the money and the egos forced Steve Smith and Ross Valory out of the band, and while it would be cool to see Randy Jackson and the "almost Raised on Radio" lineup that whole situation is a bit of a turn off.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
It reminds me a lot of the "Ship of Theseus" dilemma, if one board at a time is replaced until no original boards remain, is it the same ship?
The neat question the SOT dilema poses is... What if you kept all of the old rotting pieces, individually refurbished them, and re-assembled a whole ship out of the original pieces.. Would that ship also be the SOT, despite there already being an existing one?

The wikipedia you linked has a good writeup of the most common answers.
 
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