It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that there are some very strong rumours circulating the music world that the classic (i.e Appetite For Destruction-era) lineup of Guns N’ Roses are reuniting. This claim comes as a massive shock to most because of the string of insults that have been thrown between the old band members, especially between vocalist Axl Rose and iconic guitarist Slash, for many years, following their split in the mid-nineties.
In addition to Rose and Slash, the classic lineup is considered to be bassist Duff McKagan, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin and drummer Steven Adler. However, the rumours seem to suggest it will either be Matt Sorum (who joined in 1991) or current member Frank Ferrer on drums and that current rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus will keep his place too.
A classic lineup reunion for Guns N’ Roses has been almost unthinkable over the past two decades, however if the rumours can be believed and we are on the verge of a historical announcement, then I want to indulge myself in musical fantasies and discuss what other conflict-fraught lineups could yet reunite if their differences were put aside.
The Smashing Pumpkins
When it comes to being an arrogant dictator in a band, it’s hard to look past Billy Corgan. Their original and classic lineup consisted of Corgan on guitar and vocals, James Iha on guitar, D’arcy Wretzky on bass and Jimmy Chamberlin on drums, but by 1996, five years after their debut album, the band was on the brink. It was well known that Corgan controlled the recording process, rarely letting Iha and Wretzy perform their parts, however the initial catalyst for their breakup was touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin’s fatal overdose. On the same night Chamberlin also overdosed and was subsequently fired from the band, before Wretzky was fired for similar reasons several years later, resulting in Iha walking out too. The band was well and truly over by the turn of the millennium.
After a five year hiatus Corgan eventually continued on with the Pumpkins names, reuniting for one album cycle with Chamberlin, before quickly hiring new members into the fold, whom have mostly gone their separate ways too. From an outside perspective it seems that the relationships between the classic lineup have been completely severed and that Corgan is still unable to maintain a healthy atmosphere within the band. Combining this with the fact that, since the breakup, the only other member to be musically active in the mainstream has been Iha with A Perfect Circle, it looks unlikely that the Smashing Pumpkins would ever reunite. But who’s to say it couldn’t ever happen…
I personally can’t stand Oasis, which coincidentally is exactly how the Gallagher brothers view each other. Liam and Noel Gallagher formed one of the most iconic songwriting duos in British rock music, writing eight number one albums and singles together, coming the closest to replicating the media obsession over the Beatles. However their increasingly fragile relationship finally snapped backstage in August 2009 where a fight broke out, which quickly culminated in the band breaking up. Since then there has been no effort to reunite the band and Liam’s subsequent group Beady Eye has also disbanded. However Slash and Axl’s relationship was reportedly as frosty as the Gallagher’s brothers, so is there still some hope for Oasis fans yet?
Marilyn Manson has a habit of aggravating band members, almost as much as Axl, Billy and the Gallaghers do. One such incident was the on-stage spat between then-guitarist John 5 and Manson himself during their Golden Age of Grotesque album cycle (shown below), which is one of many fall outs between Manson and various band members. The original lineup, or any lineup for that matter, was short lived, with original members Gidget Gein and Daisy Berkowitz leaving due to repeated drug overdoses and frictions respectively before the band could even record their second album. Since then a whole cast of members have been hired and often quickly deposed of, leaving lineups confused and continuity non-existent, turning what was once a band into very much a solo project for Manson. An original ‘Spooky Kids’ reunion, performing their original material would be almost impossible, but would undoubtedly draw the crowds.
My final impossible reunion is that of Queensryche, the American progressive metal band. The original and classic lineup that existed around their most successful album, Operation: Mindcrime, consisted of singer Geoff Tate, guitarists Michael Wilton and Chris DeGarmo, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield. The first of this lineup to leave was DeGarmo who departed in 1997 due to growing dysfunction within the band, however the remaining four members stayed together until 2012, when one of the nastiest band splits occurred.
Growing tensions within the band finally boiled over when the band fired their manager, who unfortunately was also Tate’s wife. This apparently led to a brawl, which ended up with two different versions of Queensryche existing, one with the band and new singer Todd La Torre and another with Tate and a brand new collection of musicians. What followed was a lawsuit which amongst other rulings, resulted in Tate’s band being renamed Operation: Mindcrime and the other members keeping the Queensryche name. The chances of a full reunion are practically zero. But hey, just look at Guns N’ Roses…
What bands would you like to see reunite that have little chance of doing so? Let me know by commenting below and as always like and share if you have enjoyed this RockAtlantic blog.
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