For as long as I can remember, few bands can stay together for an extended period of time without killing each other. Mainly band members just can’t tolerate each other once they make it big with a huge hit. I’m going to use two examples of bands that couldn’t stay together, and then two that are anomalies and are still playing to this day.
The Beatles– For seven years, the Liverpool product dominated popular music all over the world, but then in 1970, it was all over. Why? Was it Lennon versus McCartney? Did Yoko Ono have something to do with it? Did George or Ringo do anything to cause it? It’s a combination of the three. John and Paul hated each other near the end, and the other three took offense to Yoko always tagging along in their recording sessions. And by not taking a side, George and Ringo also facilitated the breakup.
The Supremes– The greatest all-female group of all-time, the Supremes, also met a sticky end. Throughout the 1960s, the trio of Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard dominated R&B. When Cindy Birdsong replaced the fired Ballard, things started to deteriorate. Mary Wilson in particular was upset over her friend’s dismissal. That coupled with the emergence of Diana Ross as a superstar, led to factions and ultimately, the group’s collapse.
Now for the two success stories of music:
Chicago– Ever since the mid 1960s, the Windy City’s favorite group has sold records and performed for just about anyone. With the original members Robert Lamm, Walt Parazaider, Lee Loughnane and Jim Pankow, Chicago has stuck true to its roots and has been a group of great relationships and friendship. The only blemish was when drummer Danny Seraphine, who was dismissed for sloppiness and bad technique in 1990. Even when others left, they left graciously and without a fuss.
Rush– Since 1968 these Canadian imports have been making abstract, but amazingly talented music, and they have not had a single change in their history. Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee have been friends for most of their lives, and you can see it in their live shows. They are a group that has formed the bond that isn’t seen in many bands.
We can see a difference between all these groups. Now, I believe that groups can be friends and can stay together, but they have to be careful and control their egos. If they can’t do that, then they won’t get along, and their group and careers will suffer. None of the Beatles or the Supremes approached their success since their breakup, but groups like Chicago, Rush, The Bee Gees and others continue to have worldwide success because of their ability to share their lives with each other.
Wendlandt is a sophomore broadcast major and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org