The Crucial Moment That Caused The End For These Classic Rock Bands
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Whilst there are numerous factors at play when a successful group decides to disband, warning signs are often present in such cases. You could hear rumors about how one member of the band doesn’t get along with another, or how the whole group is fed up with the leader who seems to dictate every move. For this reason, we’ll take a look at the decline of some iconic rock groups and the signs that preceded their breakup.
Oasis had survived for so long despite brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher fighting from the start, so it seemed reasonable to assume they would continue. But its conclusion in late summer 2009 was a surprise. Oasis’ August 23 cancellation of the V Festival’s Chelmsford, England, leg didn’t appear unusual at first. The band said Liam had viral laryngitis, then, after the Staffordshire leg, Noel blogged about a stomachache. But five days later, the brothers fought backstage before a Paris gig, with Noel throwing a plum at Liam and Liam trying to hit him with a guitar. Noel announced his departure from the band on August 29.
The Clash broke up in 1986 after a series of lineup changes and a poorly regarded last album, Cut the Crap (1985). The Clash’s 1982 sacking of drummer Topper Headon due to heroin usage was a major setback. Uncut called his firing the “beginning of the end” for the Clash. Even frontman Joe Strummer felt guilty about firing the drummer to this day.
Nirvana spearheaded grunge rock in the 90s, creating an entire generation who grew up with the genre. But in 1994, an event involving singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain acted as a chilling foreshadowing of things to come. Around 50 Rohypnol pills were found in Cobain’s hotel room after he had passed out in Rome. After 20 hours in a coma, during which time he was treated at two hospitals, Cobain made a complete recovery. But a month later, Cobain committed suicide, this time ending his life, thereby ending Nirvana.
After the publication of their 1976 masterpiece Hotel California, both the album and the title single, the Eagles were unquestionably at the top of their game. But how do you follow up a critically acclaimed record with something equally as successful? That was the predicament the Eagles were in for the better part of 18 months when they were making The Long Run. It was initially supposed to be a double album, but by the time The Long Run was released in September 1979, it only had 10 tracks. The pressure eventually broke the Eagles, and the album’s lackluster reception after its release didn’t help matters.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Tom Fogerty, the band’s senior member, initially took charge, but as Creedence Clearwater Revival began developing the sound that would make them famous—their characteristic swamp rock—in the late ‘60s, John Fogerty took over as leader. While the singles continued coming, John’s hold over CCR tightened, and by the early ‘70s, Tom, bassist Stu Cook, and drummer Doug Clifford were at their breaking point. Tom left first – but CCR continued as a three-piece band following the release of their commercially-flopped album Mardi Gras; after which, signaled the end of the group.
It was easy to blame Yoko Ono for the breakup of the then-biggest band of all time, The Beatles. But in a much more sensical view, Ono didn’t even share a part of the blame. The downfall of the Fab Four started when their manager, Brian Epstein died in 1967. For the Beatles, they didn’t just lose a friend and manager, they also lose the only person who guided the group to stardom. Which meant that his death marked the struggle for the group to decide on just about anything. It didn’t help also that Epstein was the one who sort out the internal problems of the group; therefore, with him not being around anymore, tensions started to cloud them. By 1970, the Beatles departed ways, marking the end of an era.
After Jim Morrison’s death, the Doors didn’t break up. Yet Morrison’s sad death on July 3, 1971, was the worst blow to them. Without their charismatic lead vocalist, the Doors had huge shoes to fill, which they did disastrously. The first album following Morrison’s death, “Other Voices,” was recorded by keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. The result? Poor commercial sales and panned by critics.
Originally named as the New Yardbirds, Jimmy Page’s new band eventually became known as Led Zeppelin and had a successful career until drummer John Bonham died in 1980. The drummer famously passed out during a show in Nuremberg, Germany, just which cause a significant pause before Plant apologized for the “slight technical difficulty” and asked the crowd to wait. The issue was not technical, and Bonham’s fall terminated the event early. Then, by July 7, the band performed their last-ever concert, before Bonham died on September 25, 1980, due to asphyxiation after he drank 40 shots of vodka in just 12 hours.