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The Guess Who (and other classic bands carrying the torch)


LC

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The age-old question: Can a "classic" band still tour under its original name if the only original member is the drummer? See this Guess Who new tour announcement:

https://norwoodstage.com/the-guess-who?fbclid=IwAR0fSZSUhd2vIiMkI9FhW6ZI6kygdHqp1IUCsyez1Jn7KWme_QOWG_5i558

It notes that the lineup includes original drummer Garry Peterson. Period. Otherwise, it's a wholly different cast. So really, it's a Guess Who Tribute Band, featuring the co-founding drummer. Maybe it's a great show — I haven't seen 'em so I can't pass judgment. But wouldn't this be like, you know, a Raspberries tour featuring only Jim Bonfanti from the original lineup? Jim just wouldn't do it....

While I'm not a huge Guess Who fan, I do like some of their '70s blasts of rock'n'roll, and I know there are some Guess Who/Burton Cummings fans here. So... a vintage classic:

 

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IMHO, even if they perform live better than the original guys, they are not the Guess Who, it´s phony what they are doing...likely for financial reasons...I don´t like it. Same happened with Foghat...when Lonesome Dave died and Rod Price soon thereafter, Foghat was done.  But for years a band called themselves Foghat, sometimes with the original drummer also...they toured, even put out some records.....and some of the players were stellar well known players...but it was phony because they were not Foghat.

I do think if a band gradually changes its line-up and after some years has evolved to be very different than the original line-up, ....for me it could still be legit. Example the Eagles of today. Only Henley exists from the original line-up but I´ll still see them as the Eagles, albeit not my favorite version of the Eagles.

REO Speedwagon has only its keyboard player from the original band, but also has  Kevin Cronin who joined in the mid 70s and has been its co-leader and then leader throughout the years, and their other players have gradually replaced the original members. REO is clearly legit....though I prefer the classic line-up(s) from the late 70s.

Good thread Señor LC.

 

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I saw the Eagles last September 16, 2023, at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ I will say first of all that they were fabulous. Every song was performed perfectly. And the surprise opening act was Donald Fagen of Steely Dan.....also fabulous. However, Don Henley addressed the subject of original members. To paraphrase, Don said the current members of the Eagles are the best f***ing Eagles tribute band ever! The place went wild laughing. Obviously this is a touchy subject. I feel the same way about Elvis impersonators. 

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The ELO reference is interesting. Don't forget that there was an "ELO II" band touring and releasing albums without Jeff Lynne in the 1990s/2000s.

Sorry, but that is not ELO — even though it had the original drummer (Bev Bevan) and keyboardist (Richard Tandy) along with a late-arrival-but-still-important voice, bassist Kelly Groucutt. And on tour, they played all the classic ELO songs and deep cuts. But... Jeff Lynne wrote pretty much all their songs and was almost always the lead singer. (Groucutt took lead vocals on a couple of songs). So without Lynne, it was a stretch.

We all remember a similar situation when Wally Bryson, Dave Smalley, and Scott McCarl released an album as Raspberries. It was really an interesting development — especially because Scott replaced Dave in the original Raspberries run. But without Eric, could it be the 'berries? 

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Badfinger is another example, although the fact that the remaining member is Joey Molland makes it at least a little more legit, because Pete Hamm and Tom Evans aren't around, and Molland had a big role in their original output.

But still... you'd never have seen Paul McCartney touring with his excellent band as The Beatles. 

 

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It´s really a function of integrity, imho. If Bev Bevan listened to his conscience, he´d not have toured ELO without Jeff Lynne. But he listened to something else not as deep, whored out a little, and thus worked to cheapen the ELO name.

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Right. That sort of situation is hard to defend as being something other than a money-making machine.

On the other hand, we're open-minded about cases where a lead singer and key instrumentalist are on board.

  • Mick Jagger and Keith Richard touring as the Rolling Stones? Fair enough, especially with Ron Wood (even though he wasn't an original) still in the band. 
  • Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey touring as The Who? Also fair enough — though I think they've finally called it quits (I see some Daltrey solo dates billed as "Roger Daltrey/The Voice of the The Who"). 
  • And, as James and Batman noted, Don Henley touring as the Eagles? I'm fine with that, too, considering that Henley was the co-voice of the group... and that the touring band includes Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt, who, though not originals, became key contributors... and that Glenn Frey's son Deacon took his dad's place... and that they drafted Vince Gill... and that they enlist guitar ace Steuart Smith (even if they don't give him the honor of being an "Eagle").

 

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