In a recent post about the closing ceremonies concert of the 2012 London Olympics, I mentioned the segment performed by “The Who,” whose name I put in quotes because I am not sure this is really The Who any more with half the band now deceased. Townsman mockcarr called them Who Are They? and 2000 Man referred to them now as The Two.
If they make another album it could be titled Who’s Left.
When a rock band member departs for whatever reason, whether the departure is fatal to the group continuing in any useful form depends on many factors. One may no longer find much interest in the current Who, but surely with Townshend and Daltrey still onboard as principal and front man, the two most important ingredients remain. Surely, had either of them had passed away rather than Moon and Entwistle, the band most definitely could not have continued.
What about the Stones? We still have Mick and Keith and Charlie and Ronnie. Is Charlie “expendable” in this context? I think Ronnie is. I take no joy in considering this.
This subject also reminds me that Shatner and Nimoy are the last of the four main original Star Trek actors left. There’s still a feasible Superbowl MMXVI-1701 Halftime Show to be had there. Rocket Man!
What other bands are in need of a home care rock nurse or actuarial study? Is there a formula for declaring it over? I think the Who example is a good basis: the main songwriter and the front person are required and probably sufficient to continue. If they are one and the same, everyone else might be expendable if their roles are not too prominent. Of course, the non-casual fans know it all and have their own calculus for a particular situation.