Bands That Replaced Irreplaceable Members (And Those That Shouldn't Have)
Obviously, there have been some relative success stories from mainstream rock 'n' roll. Brian Johnson has done a passable job filling in for Bon Scott in AC/DC, so credible in fact, there are probably AC/DC fans in their 30s who have no idea who Bon Scott was. Ronnie James Dio convinced legions of Black Sabbath fans there was life after Ozzy Osbourne, although the band was never at its best unless Ozzy was doing the singing.
The dudes from Journey flew down to the Philippines when Steve Perry talked about quitting and purchased a boy off the streets, Armel Pineda, then groomed him to become their new eventual Perry clone. (Not really....but my version is more interesting that what actually happened.) Journey has done pretty well since then, and even if nobody cares, they're still more significant than Air Supply and will forever be remembered when folks watch the last episode of The Sopranos.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers did a great job in replacing the late, great Hillel Slovak with the slightly crazy, but amazing John Frusciante, and Will Farrell lookalike Chad Smith is every bit as good as original skin pounder Jack Irons. Even current guitar play Josh Klinghoffer is super-talented (but a bit of a show off). Singer Anthony Kiedis grows an awesome mustache and Flea is still great on the bass, but their recent albums have lacked the flair of everything prior to Mother's Milk.
Mainstream failures to replace key members include, but are not limited to:
Guns and Roses = Fail. Obviously, Slash and Duff were very talented, while Axl is just bloated.
INXS = Fail. Michael Hutchence choked the life out of the band, as well, when he went for the big O with auto-erotic asphyxiation.
The Doors (of the 21st Century) = gross. Ian Astbury was great in the Cult, but as a replacement for Jim Morrison, he was just a buffoon. John Densmore was right to sit out this train wreck.
The New Cars = Super Fail. Todd Rundgren taking the place of Ric Ocasek and featuring Prairie Prince of the Tubes? I hope these guys made a few mortgage payments before they sobered up and pulled the plug.
Audioslave = hilarious money grab. I've always wondered why the other dudes from Soundgarden didn't do a project with Zack de la Rocha? Could've been a decent rock 'n' roll trade.
The Phony Boner Colons*, err, Stone Temple Pilots replaced spastic drug fiend Scott Weiland with local boy Chester Bennington for an ill-fated tour and nobody cared. *[The Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes renamed STP this while the bands were on tour together in the early '90s and I can't think of a better way of describing them]
Velvet Underground "Squeeze" record = fail. Doug Yule is, at best, a cool answer in Trivial Pursuit. This record is probably the sole reason for the extinction of early 1970s hipsters.
Apologies for ignoring important genres like polka and tex-mex, and I'm sure there have been country bands and hip-hop groups who have attempted this sort of thing as well. Hell, the Rolling Stones have replaced a legion of geriatrics, but none super important. And again, please remember this is only my opinion. Hope you enjoyed it. Until next time.....
Tom Reardon has been an angry Phoenix punk rocker in four decades now. His highlights include Religious Skid ('80s), Hillbilly Devilspeak ('90s), North Side Kings ('00s), and now The Father Figures. He loves small furry animals, playing soccer with his kids, and skateboarding.
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