Many bands have more than one key players...multiple dynamics that makes the group what they are. If you lose one, you still have a shot to AC/DC your way back into the hearts of music fans.
There are those bands, however, that cannot replace their lead. For example, you can't replace Jack White in, well, any of his bands. Here's a list I compiled over the past couple of hours when I should have been sleeping:
Sublime w/o Bradley Nowell - The drummer and bass player are recording new songs and making dates, and they first tried to just use "Sublime". Ugh. Really? Reading about these guys gave me the idea for this post, actually. They were actually sued by the Nowell estate when they tried to perform as Sublime saying, and I'm paraphrasing, "Hey, fuckos, Bradley was Sublime...is he making an appearance that we're not aware of? Then suck it." Rome Ramirez has joined them, so they've finally nailed down their name: Sublime with Rome. Wow...way to try to make it on your own merits. Terrible. F.
Blind Melon w/o Shannon Hoon - They're still together, trying to find a new lead singer. You know, I don't think I'd watch them if Hoon was still alive.
The Doors w/o Jim Morrison - In 2002 Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger tried to form a new version of The Doors called "The Doors of the 21st Century". Ex-drummer John Densmore sued them, basically saying, "Seriously? Knock it off." Densmore, much like Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, are all about preserving the past, "fuck the reunion tours".
Creedence Clearwater Revival w/o John Fogerty (and Tom Fogerty) - John Fogerty tours on his own...under his own name, singing the songs he wrote. You know...ALL OF THEM. "Creedence Clearwater Revisited" is a group featuring the fucking bass player and drummer. I wonder if CCR's old sound man and guitar tech formed a band too.
Morphine w/o Mark Sandman - Drummer and sax player created Orchestra Morphine, which is a group of friends and fellow musicians who play occasionally to celebrate the existing music and raise money for the Mark Sandman Music Education Fund. Let's just hope they leave it at that.
INXS w/o Michael Hutchence - Well, Andrew Farriss composed the music...and two of his brothers are in the band...sure, if you pick the right person, you could continue as INXS...I don't know if going the route of a fucking reality show was the way to go. I think I'll just listen to old albums and skip the new crap.
The Clash w/o Joe Strummer - Anyone remember Big Audio Dynamite II? Shite. It probably is the reason there's been no reunion attempt over the past 8 years.
Lynyrd Skynyrd w/o Ronnie Van Zant - They still play...I say "they"...Gary Rossington is the only original member in the band. I think the real band died in 1977. I'm not a huge fan of Skynyrd...can someone who really likes them confirm that "Freebird" in the 80's, 90's and 00's is a no go?
Queen w/o Freddie Mercury - They did a few reunion tours with Paul Rodgers, the lead singer of Bad Company. Hahahahahahaha...ahem. I suppose that's why we never heard anything about it the shows.
Nirvana w/o Kurt Cobain - never attempted. Dave Grohl proves that if you have the talent, you don't have to hang onto the past to promote yourself. You don't have to use the corpse of a dead friend as a launching pad.