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Chuck Cunningham Syndrome—Music Edition

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by indigovic, Feb 22, 2021 at 2:40 PM.

  1. indigovic

    indigovic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    Over in the Visual Arts forum, there’s a thread about TV characters who disappear from a series without ever being properly written out, and are instead just never referred to again (like Richie Cunningham’s brother Chuck from the first season of Happy Days, who was wiped from existence so thoroughly that Richie’s dad later said he had two kids rather than three).

    My question is, are there bands who have effectively done the same with former members? To qualify, after the musician in question leaves, the band must never again play live any song that featured (or was written by) the former member, and never includes any of those songs on later compilations. And of course, the shunned musician is never invited to make guest appearances, or show up at award ceremonies, or the like.

    Got any?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021 at 2:49 PM
  2. CHIP72

    CHIP72 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    Maybe this thread should be renamed "Pete Best Syndrome - Music Edition" to join the other, active threads that "honor" the world's most famous ex-Beatles drummer.
     
  3. indigovic

    indigovic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    Nice work getting the obligatory Beatles mention in on post #2... but they did continue to play songs Pete originally played on, and Pete himself even appears on Anthology 1. Not a Chuck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021 at 2:51 PM
    pscreed, Paul J, artfromtex and 3 others like this.
  4. MikeM

    MikeM Senior Member

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    Your criteria are pretty restrictive. I think it's asking too much to never have a musician who left a band early ever show up again on a later compilation, or to never again play a song he/she originally played on (I can see if it's a song he/she wrote, however).

    I'm not at all an expert in Zappa matters, but when I saw the thread, the first guy I thought of was Elliot Ingber, who was on Freak Out! but was cut loose from The Mothers very early on. I think it would be a lot to ask of any musician that he decree that no material a former member played on would ever be gathered for future compilations. Why should the overall auteur suffer just because one member had to (I assume justifiably) be let go?
     
    blastfurniss likes this.
  5. I think various well known bands have gotten close with airbrushing members out of pictures and possibly royalties.
     
  6. ibanez_ax

    ibanez_ax Forum Resident

    Mick Abrahams from Jethro Tull?
     
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  7. blastfurniss

    blastfurniss Forum Resident

    Location:
    Marion, OH, USA
    I figured Chuck Cunningham was written out of Happy Days because they had more than enough characters to write about. Something similar happened on the first season of MASH when the unfortunately named Spearchucker Jones was written out after someone informed the producers that there weren't any black surgeons in Korea. A couple musicians who come to mind:

    Suki Lahav-credited on Springsteen's Born to Run on violin. Made at least one onstage appearance with the E Street Band. Not sure how strongly she was considered for full band membership.

    Davis Manning-one of the original members of The Tragically Hip. Left early on and pretty much forgotten.

    Mark Stone-original Van Halen bass player. Gone long before they scored a record deal.

    Blues Saraceno-by the time he joined Poison as their 3rd lead guitar player no one cared about Poison.

    Mark St. John-3rd KISS lead guitarist. One album. Gone.
     
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  8. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Larry Gelbart claimed they wrote out the Spearchucker Jones character after discovering there were no black doctors serving in the Korean War. But either he was misinformed or he was making up a fake rationalization after the fact, because there were in fact black doctors serving during the war, including a Captain Miles who was stationed at the 8055th with Richard Hornberger (the author of MASH). Most likely the Jones character was simply written out because they wanted to pare down the cast. Several other characters were eliminated over the course of the first season, including Ugly John and Lts. Cutler and Dish.

    Back to to the topic at hand, I'm skeptical there is any band who fits the restrictive criteria set by the original poster. I can think of instances where a band member left and they no longer played songs written by that member. But not ever playing any songs on which the ex-member appears, or including them on compilations? That seems pretty unlikely. If such a case exists, it seems like it would have to be an instance in which someone was in a band for only a short time and only played on a couple of tracks, with their "omission" from the band's subsequent history being more happenstance than deliberate.
     
  9. JoeRockhead

    JoeRockhead Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Murry Wilson tried, and for a while had some degree of success, in writing out David Marks
     
  10. indigovic

    indigovic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    It may indeed be too restrictive—that’s what I’m curious to find out. But without those restrictions, this becomes “name people who left bands.”
     
  11. indigovic

    indigovic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    She actually toured with them for about 4 months. She only played on some songs, but she was heavily featured on most of those, giving her brief “era” with them a really unique sound. The radio broadcast from The Main Point on February 5, 1975 is well worth searching out. (Her significant contributions on record are violin on “Jungleland” and—in a very distant second place—backing vocals on “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).”)
     
    Steve Litos likes this.
  12. indigovic

    indigovic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    Airbrushing people out of photos is a pretty good argument for “Chuck” status...
     
  13. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    I always go with The Guess Who (for one thing, it's the one rock band I'm perfectly comfortable getting into the details, and one that everybody pretty much knows their story).

    To say Allen Kobel was "written-out" too early is a given. Here he is, the "Chad Allan" of the band Chad Allen And The Reflections, finally got a big hit with "Shakin' All Over"...and, the record promoters instead write "Guess Who" on the promo 45 labels.
    Then, New Guy Burton Cummings needles and essentially shoves him out of the spotlight, takes the lead role, and "Chad" is gone...without even being connected to his first really big hit, because of the band-name thing!

    Okay, maybe he did get a "summer replacement series" gig (actually once a week hosting Canada's Lets Go! music series)...but, who does he get to bring onstage every week? His old band! :doh: This is Pete Best territory!

    Then, just as "American Woman" hits #1...another major character written-out (but that's okay, he got another "series"...called "Overdrive" ;) ). But, they have to sign two different cast members just to replace him (let's call them, "Lenny" and "Squiggy").

    This shuffling of cast goes on for a few more seasons, until finally...like when MTM moved Lou Grant from Minneapolis to L.A...here comes an established actor from The James Gang...and now the whole show sounds different! The audience isn't bonding with it...gets "canceled" in two years.

    And now, Burton's back on the prime-time schedule, headlining his own variety show.
     
    Steve Litos likes this.
  14. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    Was there anybody ever more "Chuck Cunningham"-ed than Al Kooper, out of Blood, Sweat & Tears...?
     
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  15. JuanTCB

    JuanTCB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Great call. In this case, though, BS&T Chuck'd the Fonz!
     
    Dillydipper likes this.
  16. popcorn1

    popcorn1 Forum Resident

    here's one for you---alice stuart---mothers of invention
     
  17. Cummings' an insufferable tool at times.
     
  18. SoporJoe

    SoporJoe Top 5 Reviewer

    Location:
    British Columbia
    Fripp tried to Chuck Cunningham Gordon Haskell.
     
  19. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    Best bet is someone like John Corabi in Motley Crue. They replaced someone who was gone from the band, then came back.

    None of the songs from the Corabi era have been played after the original tour, and none were on the Greatest Hits compilation I looked up.

    I thought about Johnny Edwards from Foreigner, but there's a double disc comp that has some of his songs.
     
    Matthew Tate and Zoot Marimba like this.
  20. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group

    Location:
    Savannah, Georgia
    Corabi is a solid pick for this premise, though he has one or two writing credits on Generation Swine which may or may not discount him.
     
  21. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group

    Location:
    Savannah, Georgia
    Elliot probably wouldn’t count since everybody involved still acknowledged him afterwards, songs he was on still appeared in the set and on subsequent releases, and Elliot himself was still included in Video From Hell and some retrospective releases.
     
    Instant Dharma likes this.
  22. Billy Infinity

    Billy Infinity Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Good catch. That 1991 Crimson boxed set had GH’s bass on Bolero replaced by Levin and the vocal on Cadence replaced by Belew.
     
  23. CHIP72

    CHIP72 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    I'm only being partly tongue in cheek when I say Pete Best is arguably THE exemplar of the "Chuck Cunningham Syndrome" in rock music. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison all cut off all contact with Best immediately after they fired him. (They were also unwilling to fire him in person, leaving it up to Brian Epstein to do the deed.) None of them had any contact with Best until the mid-1990s when McCartney contacted him about the royalties Best was due for Anthology 1. (Referencing one of the comments above, they even removed Pete's head from the album cover for Anthology 1!) Needless to say, Best never was invited to perform with or receive any awards with the group after August 1962. Additionally, though the Beatles kept songs in their set where Pete Best sang lead, giving those songs to Ringo Starr, Best did not write any songs for the group, so they didn't need to drop any songs primarily associated with Best.

    Pete Best fits your description of the "Chuck Cunningham Syndrome" more than most musicians, and I'm not just saying that to be a wiseass or turn this thread into yet another Beatles thread.
     
  24. jblock

    jblock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut
    Does Supertramp fit this definition? Definitely Vesuvius sacking their original drummer, Robert “Fish” Fishman.
     

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