Thursday, March 26, 2015

Band Splits from an 80s + 90s Kid

Alright, folks.  Many reading this may know me personally, so you know my age.  Others may have read this blog long enough to know my age.  Newbies...well, you're going to figure it out soon enough (if you read this post). I was born in the 70s, grew up in the 80s, graduated high school and university in the 90s.  This post is from that fangirl's perspective.

Big news hit the airwaves today in the world of music fandom.  One of the members of the overwhelmingly popular and successful boyband One Direction is leaving the band to try to be a "normal" twenty-something.  It shocked some, it saddened others, but all One Direction mega fans are probably feeling something about this news.
It got me thinking about me as a musical fanatic.  Specifically, the bands that I loved most as a youngster (ok...admittedly, I still love the music from all the bands listed here).  My personal "Big 6" have experienced their own band splits.  These were the bands whose posters were hung on my walls (and door and ceiling), who filled my head and heart with anthems, that I've seen in many of tours (with a variety of line-ups), and still remain some of my go-to music.

It all started with KISS.  When I was 3 or 4 (yes, this young because I know it was when my aunt was a Senior in high school, I know the year my aunt graduated, so I can do the math), I was introduced and fascinated by KISS.  I remember the white 8-track tape going into my aunt's orange 8-track player.  It was KISS Destroyer.  I was drawn into the world of rock 'n' roll.  I asked for a Paul Stanley doll and got it.  KISS has very publicly experienced band splits, break-ups, reunions, non-reunions, and even a member's death (not an original member, but a beloved member).  There have been he said/he said stories, love shared and lost, feuds, and jumbles of stories that no one really knows the truth of it all.  The original duo of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are still there with current (longtime) members Tommy Thayer (in Ace Frehley's make-up) and Eric Singer (in Peter Criss' make-up).  I was thrilled to see the original four put differences aside and join each other for the induction into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame.

Judge me, if you wish.  I'm not ashamed.  My love for Bon Jovi is long-lasting and eternal.  In recent times, I have suffered some heartbreak because of it.  Originally, the one that most all remember, is a five piece band of Jersey boys.  In the mid 90s, the original bass player was excused of his duties.  I admit it.  This didn't hurt me so much, as Alec was my least favorite band member.  They hired another bass player to play on albums and tour, but he doesn't get to be in band photos.  So, four key members remained for another...oh...twenty-ish years.  Last year, during a world tour, original member, beloved to fans, seemingly right-hand man and song-writing partner to Jon, Richie Sambora stopped touring with Bon Jovi.  The tour carried on and completed with success.  In recent months, the official word came that Richie has left the band.  This hurt my heart.  This hurt many Jovi fans.  The band will never feel complete without Richie...but I will never stop loving this band with or without him.  Now, there are three still standing...

Motley Crue - it is no wonder with the debauchery experienced and egos that exist that this band as had a few disagreements.  These bad boys knew how to party, have known their fair share of ladies, know how to live the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, and have known the band split cycle.  The original boys split with their fair-haired front man, Vince Neil.  They released an album and toured with replacement, John Corabi.  It was actually good stuff, but it wasn't Motley Crue.  Vince came back...more touring...another split.  This time drummer, Tommy Lee left.  They toured with a female drummer.  That didn't work at all.  The boys finally refocused, got back together, made some more music, and toured successfully.  Their farewell tour ends where it all began - in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve 2015.

The kings (or queens) of sleaze glam pretty boy rock - Poison - dabbled with a band member leaving.  One of the few band member splits where most agree what the problem was - Bret & C.C.'s egos weren't working well together, a fist fight happened, and guitarist, C.C. was out.  They recorded one album (some say the best Poison album) and toured.  The magic of the original four came back together when fans started showing up for re-united, re-juvenated hair band packaged tours in the early 2000s.  (I may have to got *one* or *two* of these.)  When Bret feels like touring and the others don't; OR when Bret feels like getting all the money and not sharing; OR when promoters don't want to pay for all of Poison but will pay for one member, then Bret Michaels tours solo. I respect the fact that he doesn't try to put himself out there as "Poison" when it's only him as a member (unlike *cough* Axl *cough*), although he plays a lot of Poison songs at those gigs.

Did someone mention Axl?  Oh, I did.  Absolutely, part of my Big 6 is/was Guns 'N' Roses.  Most rock fans and music critics agree that Appetite for Destruction is a gift from the rock gods.  Those songs personify the essence of the grit, grime, spit, sweat, sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.  Too bad drugs, egos, more drugs, and I suspect some possible mental illness got in the way of this band continuing to make sweet music together.  Axl owns the rights of the name (to the unhappiness of other band members) and continues to tour as GNR.  I am not happy about this.  Tour as Axl Rose...your name is big enough to draw crowds.  Slash makes new music.  Slash tours as Slash.  Slash draws crowds.  Slash still plays GNR songs that he had a significant part in writing.  So, Axl, tour, make music, play GNR songs, but don't try to tell me that you are GNR.

Van Halen, oh Van Halen.  To me, Van Halen was, is, and will always be Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth, and Michael Anthony. That being said Van Halen/Hagar was probably one of the most successful frontman replacement stories in the history of rock music.  Anyone remember the third lead singer attempt with Gary Cherone?  Yea, it was bad.  Now, when VH presents themselves as a band, they've cut Michael Anthony, brought back DLR, and inserted Wolfgang Van Halen (Eddie's son).  He's a talented young man, but when I've seen (many) shows since they've reunited, I miss Mike. 

Of my Big 6 - three bands are in the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame - the duo of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora are in as songwriters - Motley Crue should be (yes, I'm biased) but don't expect to be - Poison shouldn't...but should not be disregarded.  I have many other band loves from this time that I could have talked about (ex: Aerosmith without Joe Perry), and I specifically did NOT include bands that experienced a death (Def Leppard losing Steve Clark).

For all massive music fans who have experienced a band split, a band break-up, or a loss of a member...I have felt your pain.  You can continue to change and evolve with your favorite bands (and band members that leave and involve themselves in other projects).  The magic may escape, or it may feel different, but there can be new magic found. 

P.S. Good luck Zayn


  1. I still cannot believe Richie left Bon Jovi.

  2. Yup, every single one of those bands are great & WAY more influential than One Direction. Ha! However, I'm not going to lie, I MAY have a One Direction tune or two on my Spotify. Tee hee!

    Mandie ~

  3. Amazingly I actually knew about the One Direction split, but I was a little confused if it was just temporary or permanent, This was an interesting post to read! I've always loved Bon Jovi and Poison.

  4. I think it was Izzy Stradlin who left GNR first and I remember being upset by that (I don't think I count Steven Adler as leaving because didn't they kick him out?) because they wouldn't be the same. Then they started leaving one by one and Axl is such an ass, I can understand why. However, they left Appetite behind and that's all fine with me. I remember the great Poison breakup and the Warrant one and Skid Row and Metallica and now most of them are back together which is just bizarre.

    My favorite band is Rush and they've had the same lineup for 40 years so I haven't had the same shock/upset/whatever.

  5. Oh how I know you had me in mind while writing this post ;) I have to say, I'm still just...unsure of everything. I've seen other bands separate in my time, but this was the first band I put (maybe too much) of my heart and soul into for years. I just didn't see it coming? It's just another crazy piece in the behind the scenes ongoings (boy are those juicy) and while those are what brought me to the band in the first place and kept me intrigued, I have to say this one is disheartening. Through years of bts bullshit this is the first one in five years where I kind of want off the boyband train. I'll still love the band and know I will support them, but it's going to take a while to come to terms with. The downfalls of being a music lover eh?

  6. Is it weird that I know nothing about One Direction? They seem to be really famous but I cannot name a song. But I agree, it is always so sad when a band you love splits up. I always loved a band named Kula Shaker and I went to one of their concerts and a couple of weeks later they split up. I was sad but also happy that I went to one of their last concerts. I think they are back together now though.

  7. My love for Bon Jovi runs deep. Richie Sambora should never have left.


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