Almost Famous: Five Musicians Who Left Before Their Bands Blew Up
This week, the world found out that, had he played his cards differently, Ryan Gosling could've been a Backstreet Boy. By all accounts, he thought joining the band would've been a waste of time, since New Kids On The Block had already happened. (Silly, silly Gosling -- as long as there are teenage girls, there will be boy bands.)
Imagine the pain and misery beautiful Ryan would've felt when the Backstreet Boys became a big deal, had he not gone on to forge his own hugely successful (and way more credible) career -- both in acting and music. (His band, Dead Man's Bones, is stupid good, by the way.) Feel bad for the other poor suckers who aren't quite as lucky as Mr. Gosling though -- here are five musicians who parted ways with bands right before they hit the big time.
It's hard now to imagine a time when Dave Grohl wasn't pounding the skins for Nirvana. But anyone who remembers the release of Bleach will tell you that, back then, it was Chad Channing keeping the trio's rhythms in check. He was in the band from 1988 to 1990 -- at which time Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic decided Channing's drumming wasn't up to scratch, and Channing decided Kurt and Kris were big meanies. Grohl swooped in shortly afterwards and swiped all the glory. Serious bummer.
Chuck Mosley, Faith No More
Chuck Mosley did achieve moderate amounts of fame with Faith No More. He was up front for the band's first two albums, We Care A Lot and Introduce Yourself -- the second of which created ripples of interest in the San Francisco outfit on a global, albeit underground, level. What thanks did Mosley get for all his hard work? He got replaced by (the annoyingly handsome and dynamic) Mike Patton in 1988, just in time for the band to release The Real Thing -- the album that made Faith No More major players. That's gotta sting.
Stuart Sutcliffe, The Beatles
Until the movie Backbeat came out in 1994, most of the world was unaware that there had even been a "fifth Beatle". As the band's original bassist, Sutcliffe performed with The Beatles in their low-down, dirty, Hamburg club days. He quit the band in 1961 to focus on his painting -- he had a postgraduate scholarship to the Hamburg College of Art. The truly tragic thing here is that even if he hadn't left the Beatles of his own accord, he never would've hit the big time with his friends -- Sutcliffe died, aged 21, from an aneurism. Proper depressing. At least his face made it onto the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Paul Di'Anno, Iron Maiden
Who sings for Iron Maiden? Bruce Dickinson, obviously. Everybody knows that! Sadly for his predecessor, far fewer people remember Paul Di'Anno, who was frontman for the British metal Gods for four years, right at the beginning of their career. In 1981, Di'Anno was fired by his bandmates and promptly compared bassist and key songwriter Steve Harris to "Adolf Hitler". A year later, Iron Maiden released The Number of the Beast and immediately turned into superstars. Nevermind, Paul -- at least this old promo shot of you all in matching outfits still exists.
Dave Mustaine, Metallica
What kind of terrible human being is irritating enough to be fired from Metallica, for crying out loud? Oh. That's right. Dave Mustaine. (Most recently seen accusing Barack Obama of staging mass shootings in order to push through a ban on guns.) The man's a bonafide fucking lunatic, so we can completely understand why Metallica gave him the boot in 1983, right before they recorded and released Kill 'Em All and Ride The Lightning. This, sadly, did not hamper Mustaine's ability to go on to forge a gigantic career with Megadeth. Proof that not all fired band members are willing to go quietly... unfortunately.