As you’ll see in the following list of bands with no original members, not everybody can be U2. That sturdy group never reshuffled bandmates, but others have experienced so much change over the years that they share no connection at all with their co-founding lineup.
For some, change has actually been the norm, rather than the exception. Blood Sweat and Tears and Renaissance, for example, seemed to be breaking up as soon as they formed. The Little River Band have been in flux ever since the end of their hit-making hey day back in the early ’80s.
For others, the personnel shifts have been dramatic. No one in Blackfoot, which was co-founded by Rickey Medlocke in 1969, has a tenure dating back further than a few years. Guitarist Scott Gorham hooked up with Thin Lizzy just before they hit it big with “The Boys Are Back in Town,” but continues with a group where most of the members joined in 2010 or later.
Then there are bands like Quiet Riot, GWAR and Ratt, which slowly whittled down to their final original member – Kevin DuBrow, Dave Brockie and Stephen Pearcy, respectively – before he left or passed on. Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra has been with Canned Heat since 1967, but he’s had to endure the deaths of Bob “The Bear” Hite and Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson, the band’s co-founders.
Defections and deaths have also altered career trajectories of groups like Heart, the Hollies and Yes, but they add a wrinkle to things since the current lineups still boast prominent members from their best-known eras – including Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart, Tony Hicks of the Hollies and Steve Howe and Alan White of Yes.
Keep scrolling to find out more about bands with no original members.
Bands With No Original Members
A Look Back at Rock’s Forgotten Supergroups