Breaking up the classic lineup

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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Quaco » 12 Mar 2018, 16:21

Bent Fabric wrote:Some great shouts on here - Alice Cooper, Mothers, Elton John Band, Replacements, Love, Spiders, Velvets: all probably 100% unsustainable on some level (see Pink Floyd), but it's difficult not to lament the seemingly abrupt end of the original magic.

In the actual act of cooperation/collaboration/interdependence/shared space, you do get the sense that there's some basic finite feasibility to certain working relationships - one can easily look back and ask "How could ____ possibly think they'd be any good without ____", but the byzantine nature of those actual dynamics typically means that "the best version" was grinding to a halt in all sorts of other ways (so much that we don't know about one or more person's limited ability to coexist past some particular point/not self sabotage).

Still, I'm sure I look at these things as naively as anyone else - the picture of "the original four members" of any given thing (certainly, if they are all still living) carries with it some very unrealistic portent of long lost alchemy just magically kicking right back into gear. Never mind any number of factors (the good songs being long gone, the chemistry being dead as a doornail).

From the point of view of the band members, or the band leader when appropriate, so-and-so is never "classic", he's just the guy who is always complaining, who can't learn his parts quickly, or is an asshole. When you're in it, these interpersonal things take immediate precedence over whatever magic that particular group of individuals may have. And how do they know that the asshole guy isn't actually their Pete Best, whose sacking will actually lead to greater chemistry with someone else?
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Eddie Shah environment » 12 Mar 2018, 16:25

We need a word or a short phrase which means ‘artist’s lack of awareness of their own greatness’.
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Bent Fabric » 12 Mar 2018, 16:28

Quaco wrote:From the point of view of the band members, or the band leader when appropriate, so-and-so is never "classic", he's just the guy who is always complaining, who can't learn his parts quickly, or is an asshole. When you're in it, these interpersonal things take immediate precedence over whatever magic that particular group of individuals may have. And how do they know that the asshole guy isn't actually their Pete Best, whose sacking will actually lead to greater chemistry with someone else?


Sure - quality of life, ability to proceed/continue. There's all sorts of things that snowball to bring these things to an end - "total gridlock" with "the classic lineup" is no more useful than ANY other option. Taking ANY chance would seem like a massive relief, and - ultimately - the only way forward.

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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Bent Fabric » 12 Mar 2018, 16:41

The big one, of course, when I was a little boy was the epidemic of basic boomer "Beatles reunion fantasies". Based on such flimsy and short sighted premises. Lennon gives an interview towards the very end of his life (with an intelligent and insightful interviewer whom he clearly respects) where he addresses the question with some real patience and willingness to calmly elaborate on the "We're not actually those guys" realities of the present day.

But, people are funny with this sort of thing - there have always been people who should know better who insisted that "if we just got _____ and ____ back together...(after some combined total of 75 albums/decades since either of them was worth a damn...)".

To my own irrational fetishes (and, I assuredly know better) - I tend to feel like in any sort of "fine - we'll get back together and play the hits" scenario, it just looks super half assed not to have every living alumni ("classic", as we say) on board. Never mind that the musical result would probably be in no way better for it - it's still a real "three legged table" in some way. Especially, if what you are ultimately selling (and fair play to you if you are) is pure nostalgia.

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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Quaco » 12 Mar 2018, 16:52

The nostalgia thing can work. There is definitely some power to seeing all (or most) of the great version of a band onstage together -- especially if someone in the band has still "got it" to any degree. The Mott the Hoople reunion in 2009 (even though Buffin was in failing health) was wonderful. There's something there, and I'm not sure it's not actually real. What's amazing is how real a reunion can be even if the members are dead (the Barry Gibb concert where the film of Robin came in for part of a song hit me like a lightning bolt).

Getting the old band together for actual creative work seems almost never to work.

Even knowing that reunions rarely work and the magic of the "classic lineup" rarely exists 30 years later, is there anybody you actually think could do good work together again at this late date. I honestly think Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne could work together again and it has a chance of being interesting.
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby bobzilla77 » 12 Mar 2018, 17:33

Bent Fabric wrote:
Quaco wrote:From the point of view of the band members, or the band leader when appropriate, so-and-so is never "classic", he's just the guy who is always complaining, who can't learn his parts quickly, or is an asshole. When you're in it, these interpersonal things take immediate precedence over whatever magic that particular group of individuals may have. And how do they know that the asshole guy isn't actually their Pete Best, whose sacking will actually lead to greater chemistry with someone else?


Sure - quality of life, ability to proceed/continue. There's all sorts of things that snowball to bring these things to an end - "total gridlock" with "the classic lineup" is no more useful than ANY other option. Taking ANY chance would seem like a massive relief, and - ultimately - the only way forward.


It's an interesting point. I think sometimes bands get less good when they change members but maybe they would have done the same even if that member had stayed in.

I don't deny that the Replacements are much better with Bob Stinson than without him - his lead guitar playing was a big part of their special sauce - more technically advanced than most punk rockers, WAY more unhinged than most guys who really know how to play. A winning combination for that band.

But I still think the last three Replacements albums would be my least favorite even if they had him playing lead. The songs aren't as good, or at least they aren't what I like from them. Wouldn't that have happened anyway, since Bob didn't write songs?

I wonder the same thing about the Who, had Keith Moon lived through the eighties.

Sombody pointed this out about REM. Bill Berry was a good drummer but not all that unique or distinctive. You might not notice he's been replaced on their later albums. But somehow, they never made a record without him that was as good as any of the ones they made with him. Maybe he was the secret bullshit detector that said "I'm not fucking playing that" every time one of them brought in a lame song. Or, maybe it's a coincidence.
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby bobzilla77 » 12 Mar 2018, 17:44

To my own irrational fetishes (and, I assuredly know better) - I tend to feel like in any sort of "fine - we'll get back together and play the hits" scenario, it just looks super half assed not to have every living alumni ("classic", as we say) on board. Never mind that the musical result would probably be in no way better for it - it's still a real "three legged table" in some way. Especially, if what you are ultimately selling (and fair play to you if you are) is pure nostalgia.


I think your homeboys the Smashing Pumpkins are feeling some of that resistance right now!

It's funny, all I ever used to heard about Darcy was that she didn't play on the records and had trouble being reliable. Now, her absence is given as the reason those shows are undersold.

Although if I'm getting correct information, it's also possible that people would be reluctant to pay what's said to be between $100 and $500 to see them in a sports arena even if she was gonna be there. I don't think the bands of that generation get to charge $500 a ticket and sell the place out. You have to be from the Stones' generation to do that, if not Streisand's.
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Bent Fabric » 12 Mar 2018, 18:27

bobzilla77 wrote:
I think your homeboys the Smashing Pumpkins are feeling some of that resistance right now!


Right - so many factors there.

Could "spend the money" nostalgia for that particular band in 2018 be anywhere near what they forecast in terms of venues and ticket prices? Radiohead (a far bigger act with no "membership issues") are playing the same venues this year for a far smaller ticket price.

And, yeah, a lot of the abundant "they promised something that they couldn't actually get it together to deliver" publicity surrounding this particular reunion definitely adds to an overriding (some might say "ongoing") sense of half assedness. No one really knows or cares if she can play - it's more about creating that perceptibly authentic "You said you were going to make it look like it looked when we were teenagers/twentysomethings!" MTV-era nostalgia for the audience. You, me and Jim all say it in our ways - the placebo stuff isn't negligible.

Add to this the fact that Corgan has already been trading on/flogging one version or another of the name for the past 11 or 12 years (my granny may have been on bongos at one point), only letting the stage get cold for...what...maybe a full 6 years after the initial anticlimactic breakup?

You probably don't want your shit to look remotely raggedy under those circumstances.

I didn't think Peter or Ace were anywhere near their peak of performing abilities when KISS reunited in 1996, but...all four of them sure as hell went out there and wore the makeup and did an extremely hi def version of their 70s show for a year or two. Glad I saw it.

Similarly, can't say exactly what it is that the deeply dysfunctional Aerosmith are offering in 2018, but...there they are - all five of them presumably travelling separate from each other, but most certainly showing up onstage night after night.

Conversely, Bun E Carlos may very well be an insufferable prick (this is absolutely the word surrounding the band), but I couldn't imagine bothering to go see Cheap Trick without him.

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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Quaco » 12 Mar 2018, 19:05

bobzilla77 wrote:You have to be from the Stones' generation to do that, if not Streisand's.

Streisand is only a year older than Jagger!
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Quaco » 12 Mar 2018, 19:08

The music may have something to do with it. I wouldn't pay $20 to see Smashing Pumpkins (or Marcy Playground or Third Eye Blind), whereas though I'm no fan, I would do so to see Radiohead (or Pearl Jam).
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Fonz » 12 Mar 2018, 20:40

THE NIGHT BEAK wrote:We need a word or a short phrase which means ‘artist’s lack of awareness of their own greatness’.



Or the opposite...


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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Carl's Son » 12 Mar 2018, 21:49

Quaco wrote:Even knowing that reunions rarely work and the magic of the "classic lineup" rarely exists 30 years later, is there anybody you actually think could do good work together again at this late date. I honestly think Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne could work together again and it has a chance of being interesting.


For the longest time I felt like I was telling people that a Blur reunion could actually work, creatively. Both Albarn and Coxon had kept busy, continued to create interesting work, neither seemed like a spent force needing to be propped up by the other and no one in the band seemed in desperate need of a cash injection.

I feel like I was somewhat validated by the comeback album although I wish they'd spent a bit more time on it rather than banging it out in a week...
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 13 Mar 2018, 00:19

bobzilla77 wrote:Sombody pointed this out about REM. Bill Berry was a good drummer but not all that unique or distinctive. You might not notice he's been replaced on their later albums. But somehow, they never made a record without him that was as good as any of the ones they made with him. Maybe he was the secret bullshit detector that said "I'm not fucking playing that" every time one of them brought in a lame song. Or, maybe it's a coincidence.


I don't think Westerberg would have dared to bring "Skyway" to a recording session if Stinson were still in the band, or if he had, the song would have been reformulated with Stinson's mark on it.

On the other hand, Westerberg also wouldn't have brought "Here Comes a Regular" either, and that would have been a shame. I can't see how Stinson would have any role to play on that song.

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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Pool Hall Richard » 13 Mar 2018, 00:25

bobzilla77 wrote:
To my own irrational fetishes (and, I assuredly know better) - I tend to feel like in any sort of "fine - we'll get back together and play the hits" scenario, it just looks super half assed not to have every living alumni ("classic", as we say) on board. Never mind that the musical result would probably be in no way better for it - it's still a real "three legged table" in some way. Especially, if what you are ultimately selling (and fair play to you if you are) is pure nostalgia.


I think your homeboys the Smashing Pumpkins are feeling some of that resistance right now!

It's funny, all I ever used to heard about Darcy was that she didn't play on the records and had trouble being reliable. Now, her absence is given as the reason those shows are undersold.

Although if I'm getting correct information, it's also possible that people would be reluctant to pay what's said to be between $100 and $500 to see them in a sports arena even if she was gonna be there. I don't think the bands of that generation get to charge $500 a ticket and sell the place out. You have to be from the Stones' generation to do that, if not Streisand's.


Big Pumpkins fan back in the day. Saw them a dozen times in all between '91 and when they first split. I did get a tingle of excitement when they were reuniting but that soon dipped. No way would i pay for that, saw them at their peak, also some shit shows too due to Corgans moods but happy with the memories. No need to spend a fortune, assuming they will be in the UK at some point, Europe will boost Corgans coffers.

The one that really was a classic line-up for me was The Fall with Hanley and Scanlon. Once they went so did I, Last show i saw was the disasterous London show in the mid 90s when Brix returned. Drunken, an utter mess, covered in Hanleys book. Never saw them again, but in the early 90s saw them many times and they were bloody ace. Great era with Extricate/Code Selfish. It wasnt just those 80s albums that were special.

Quo? Did see the reformed Frantic Four twice, the 80's onwards line-up is efficient enough but everyone wants that 70's era, some want the 60's but the 70's was superb. Never quite as good after that.

The Stranglers - only Burnel and Greenfield left now. Jet Black has retired. All we want is Hugh to return. Less likely than The Jam reforming to be honest, would be nice though. Never saw the original line up but the later versions arent too bad. Far too much bad blood for a reformation to happen, a shame.

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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Charlie O. » 13 Mar 2018, 00:33

take5_d_shorterer wrote:I don't think Westerberg would have dared to bring "Skyway" to a recording session if Stinson were still in the band, or if he had, the song would have been reformulated with Stinson's mark on it.

On the other hand, Westerberg also wouldn't have brought "Here Comes a Regular" either, and that would have been a shame. I can't see how Stinson would have any role to play on that song.

Firstly, Bob was still in the band when "Regular" was recorded; he didn't play on that song (nor very much on the rest of the album, apparently), but he obviously didn't veto it.

Secondly, Bob had his soft side. I once watched him onstage as Paul sang "If Only You Were Lonely" solo, and it was nakedly plain that Bob utterly adored the song and was proud to be in a band with the guy who wrote and sang it. So I'm not so sure he would have resisted "Skyway" (even if Westerberg was afraid Tommy and Chris might).
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby The Slider » 13 Mar 2018, 08:59

fange wrote:Alice Cooper, after Vincent decided the name was him and him alone.


They bowed out with a stinker though
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby fange » 13 Mar 2018, 09:35

The Slider wrote:
fange wrote:Alice Cooper, after Vincent decided the name was him and him alone.


They bowed out with a stinker though

Hard to argue against that as a whole; i've always enjoyed the singles though.

The band was really at a crossroads by this time, i guess - 6 albums i think within the space of 3-4 years, as well as the grind of touring, Ezrin leaving as producer and struggles over what they should sound like and what was coming up next. The typical rock and roll story. As Bent says, we can often naively think that i could have gone on forever, when of course life has any fucking number of obstacles to through in the way of this happening. Some things just die. In fact, everything does, eventually. Some just sooner than later.
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Eddie Shah environment » 13 Mar 2018, 14:21

So it’s less that the ‘classic line-up’ were responsible for the greatest records, more that they just happened to be together at that time?
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Charlie O. » 13 Mar 2018, 14:24

THE NIGHT BEAK wrote:So it’s less that the ‘classic line-up’ were responsible for the greatest records, more that they just happened to be together at that time?

The two aren't mutually exclusive.
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Re: Breaking up the classic lineup

Postby Bent Fabric » 13 Mar 2018, 14:34

THE NIGHT BEAK wrote:So it’s less that the ‘classic line-up’ were responsible for the greatest records, more that they just happened to be together at that time?


It depends on the act.

Most of the sort of alpha examples here (certainly Alice Cooper Band, Replacements, Mothers) were absolutely a unit where the chemistry was crucial to the work. Often with some less than prominent member or members just sort of gluing the whole thing together.

But, yes - there is also the placebo effect where "No, I absolutely expect to see the three/four/five people from the record jacket/YouTube clip".

(I've also sat out any number of partial reunions because of some halfway-between-those-two-scenarios "not enough classic personnel" induced apathy - what's rational and what isn't...obviously a movable feast and imperfect system)