Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow
We shed a tear more than once when our favourite bands break up. Whether it's because of fatigue with each other like The Beatles, or a death in the band family like Led Zeppelin, it's hard to see bands go their seperate ways. But there is always one question that plagues us when we hear the horrible news, "Why did they break up?" Well we here at boom decided to investigate with a few of the bands we love.
Tension seemed to grow amongst band members as Nigel Harrison (bassist) and Frank Infante (guitarist) became jealous of lead singer Debbie Harry for gaining most of the spotlight, and in 1982 Harry and guitarist husband Chris Stein finally decided to end the band. In 2006 Harry (still bitter over a former lawsuit) snubbed Infante’s request to perform with Blondie during their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
If there was an award for most theatrical band breakup it would definitely go to the Sex Pistols with best performance going to front man Johnny Rotten. January 14th, 1978 was the date. The Sex Pistols were finishing off their US tour at the Winter Ballroom in San Francisco, Rotten decided he was finished with the band telling the audience, ‘Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?’ But who could blame him, it’s surprising that that Rotten could even spend a year with the newest band member Sid Vicious whose antics on the tour include smashing his bass guitar on the head of an audience member and being found in a Tennessee hospital with the words ‘Gimme a fix’ carved in his chest. The band responded by leaving Rotten stranded in Los Angeles with no ticket home and no place to stay. The breakup may have been bitter but it sure made for a great story.
The Clash originally formed by Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon Terry Chimes in 1976. Chimes left the group after the release of their debut self-titled album The Clash, only to be replaced Topper Headon. The band was able to experience five years of success together before being forced to kick out their drummer (Topper Headon) due to his heroin addiction.
So the band replaced their replacement with their original drummer Terry Chimes. However, Chimes didn’t last long he was fired from the band one year later and once again replaced this time by Pete Howard in the summer 1983.
Members seemed to change as quickly as the seasons and by September Mick Jones had been fired due to the fact that (according to Strummer and Simonon) he had “drifted apart from the original idea of the band The Clash”, and was replaced by not just one but two guitarist; Vince White and Nick Sheppard. With a brand new lineup The Clash released another album but received repugnant reviews. This time the original members, Strummer and Simon decided to end the band for good and in 1985 The Clash disbanded permanently.
Pink Floyd was formed in 1965 by four British university students Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Roger Waters (David Gilmour joined in 1967). Suffering from mental illness and drug use led lead singer and guitarist Syd Barrett to leave Pink Floyd, and in 1979 Wright was removed by Waters due to his cocaine habit.
Tension began to grow amongst the band in the early 1980’s, as Gilmour and Waters suffered from personal and creative differences. Gilmour wanted to focus on producing great music while Roger used the band to push his socialist ideas.
During the making of The Final Cut Gilmour asked Waters to delay recording the album so he could write some songs but Waters refused and when the album was released in March of 1983 all the credit for lyrics and production went to him. Rolling Stone magazine gave The Final Cut a five star rating calling it, “…essentially a Roger Waters solo album”.
The strong headed band members could no longer work together and Waters went on to release a solo album with the belief that Pink Floyd could not function without him. He was proven wrong of course with the successful release of the Pink Floyd album A Momentary Lapse of Reason.
In a recent interview with Howard Stern, Water admits that he was wrong to fall out with Pink Floyd and blames money for being the root of their problems.