Every band has drama, but these are especially notable:
- EVH played Michael Anthony’s bass parts on the Van Halen albums. Also, their songs went pop so that David Lee Roth could try to get a #1 hit.
- Smashing Pumpkins was really two different acts: Billy Corgan was the main force behind the albums, but the tours were a more equal partnership with the instrumental players. D’arcy was originally a guitar player before meeting Corgan, but he asked her to join as a bass player, which is why she’s considered an “elementary bass player.” Corgan often re-did D’arcy’s bass parts on the albums.
- Bon Jovi’s record label contract was only with John (his uncle owned a studio, so John had access to pro-level facilities, session musicians and business advice while still a teen.) The other Bon Jovi band members were his employees. You can hear that in his interviews, as every sentence starts with “I …”.
- Journey’s Steve Perry fired their bass player and drummer in favor a drum machine. Original founding member Neil Schon later said, “A drum machine? I still don’t get it.” and Jonathan Cain said, “If you’re a band, be a band.”
- The Go-Go’s, the first commercially successful all-female band, broke up because their main writer, Jane Wiedlin, made all the money.
- Before Dave Grohl joined as their drummer, Nirvana was known as “2 musicians and a drummer.”
- Guns and Roses replacement members like Gilby Clarke were contract players. Later Axel told the original band members to either sign over the band name or he’d walk, so they did.
- Peter Cetera left Chicago because the band mgmt. wanted to keep members as anonymous cogs, and as lead vocalist he was obviously the frontman.
- Iron Maiden has a 4-part series on how difficult it was to maintain a full line-up. Truly epic drama.