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  #1  
Old 08-08-2010, 09:11 PM
Any Other Name Any Other Name is offline
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Longest lasting rock band?

Not sure whether to post in GQ or Cafe Society. Hell, maybe MPSIMS? While the question might have an answer, I'm more interested in the opinions of the Dope, so I decided on IMHO, although the mods can obviously move this if they feel another forum would be more appropriate.

My kids were talking tonight about long lasting rock groups. I'm sure this question has come up on the Dope but a search didn't show any interesting threads. Some time ago a New York radio station, probably K-Rock, had this as a trivia question, but our recollection wasn't clear. Some seemed to recall that the answer was a group that wouldn't have immediately come to mind.

This was probably because the terms were pretty tightly defined. All original members still in the group, no significant hiatus in their tours. This leaves out most of the major groups. Actually, one that fits the bill might be ZZTop: looks like 1969-2010 with breaks of less than 7 years between albums. Still, they probably didn't fit the constraints for continuity in the K-Rock question.

So I'm curious about not just the strict form of the answer, which might be a band that's not all that well known. I'm also interested in opinions from the knowledgeable here. How long a break have bands taken? What if we disregard members replaced because of a death? If we disregard a 17 year break, doesn't that make The Who a strong candidate?

I lurk here a lot more than I post because there's a lot more knowledge here than in my head, though I've been a little more outgoing lately. Other than GQ's that usually have a straightforward answer, this is probably my first OP. Be gentle.
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2010, 09:14 PM
Any Other Name Any Other Name is offline
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After all that, I left this in GQ after all. Could a passing mod move this to IMHO?
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:03 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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The Four Tops went 1953-1997 with all the original members. When Lawrence Payton died they toured as a trio for another year before replacing him. That's 44 (or 45) continuous performing with the same lineup, and they still perform, albeit with replacements.

Of course, the Four Tops a) weren't a band, b) weren't rock and c) only recorded one album after 1988, so they probably wouldn't count under the rules.

Similarly, the Smothers Brothers made their first professional appearance in 1959 and continue to perform together, but they wouldn't count either.

My guess would be that the real answer is some band that started to play together in junior high school, probably had one or two records on a small-time label and still get together once in a while to play a festival or knock out a CD.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:23 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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My guess would be that the real answer is some band that started to play together in junior high school, probably had one or two records on a small-time label and still get together once in a while to play a festival or knock out a CD.
Simon & Garfunkel?
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:50 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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After all that, I left this in GQ after all. Could a passing mod move this to IMHO?
Actually, since it is about music I think it's best suited for Cafe Society, so I'll move it there.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:04 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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U2 has been continuously together with the same four members since 1976, and has stayed relatively vital in all that time. They haven't become a retro act yet, at any rate.

Interestingly, those 4 members were never in any other bands before U2.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 08-08-2010 at 11:04 PM..
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:08 PM
Smapti Smapti is offline
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Rush has been Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart from 1975 until today, but I imagine they wouldn't count for these purposes either since they did one album with another drummer before Peart joined.
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  #8  
Old 08-08-2010, 11:17 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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My understanding is that the Rolling Stones are almost universally regarded as the longest running act in rock and roll. Of course that's not under the particular criteria of the trivia question, but that raises the question of who cares who it is under those criteria.
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2010, 11:20 PM
Blank Slate Blank Slate is offline
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Golden Earring was formed in 1961 and have been playing with the same line-up since 1970. So they'd be one year older than the Rolling Stones. It's really hard to think of a band that hasn't been through personnel changes. I think Dio might have nailed it with U2. It's impressive how long they've lasted without any major upheavels.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:40 PM
In Winnipeg In Winnipeg is offline
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Generally speaking, I think I'd go with the Stones, too.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:06 AM
NineToTheSky NineToTheSky is offline
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I think it may be the Dutch group Golden Earring. They started in 1961, and have had the same lineup since 1969 (when they had their fabulously named hit: Dong-Dong-Di-Ki-Di-Gi-Dong). They are best known for their song Radar Love. They're still touring.

Oops - just seen Blank Slate's post.

Last edited by NineToTheSky; 08-09-2010 at 05:07 AM..
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2010, 07:24 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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U2 has been continuously together with the same four members since 1976, and has stayed relatively vital in all that time. They haven't become a retro act yet, at any rate.
You could almost say the same thing about Cheap Trick (going back to 1974), if it weren't for a stretch in the 80's when Tom Peterssen wasn't with the band. (And, currently, Bun E. Carlos is taking a break from touring with the band but is still a member.)
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:01 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Peter, Paul, and Mary were founded in 1961 and continued to play and record until Mary's death last year.

If you disregard changes in personnel, the original Ink Spots were founded in the early 1930s and are still touring. The Mills Brothers were first performing in 1928; they are still around. Obviously neither group has any of the original members.
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  #14  
Old 08-09-2010, 08:15 AM
palindromemordnilap palindromemordnilap is offline
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I think it may be the Dutch group Golden Earring. They started in 1961, and have had the same lineup since 1969 (when they had their fabulously named hit: Dong-Dong-Di-Ki-Di-Gi-Dong). They are best known for their song Radar Love. They're still touring.

Oops - just seen Blank Slate's post.
I didn't know they had a hit with Dong-Dong-Di-Ki-Di-Gi-Dong--OK, I'm nuot sure I even know that song-- but 10 years after Radar Love they scored big again with Twilight Zone, which I still hear on classic rock stations. I remember the video as well--the song was big during the time when everything in music was about the video.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:58 AM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
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I didn't know they had a hit with Dong-Dong-Di-Ki-Di-Gi-Dong--OK, I'm nuot sure I even know that song-- but 10 years after Radar Love they scored big again with Twilight Zone, which I still hear on classic rock stations. I remember the video as well--the song was big during the time when everything in music was about the video.
I think hit is misleading here. They are very popular in The Netherlands and have tons of hits there. They tour constantly, and still sell out places. I've seen them twice and they are quite good, and the crowd really gets in to them. The other nice thing is the tickets tend to be cheap, I think I paid 20 Euros both times. I'd see a lot of bands at that price.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:52 AM
NineToTheSky NineToTheSky is offline
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I didn't know they had a hit with Dong-Dong-Di-Ki-Di-Gi-Dong--OK, I'm nuot sure I even know that song-- but 10 years after Radar Love they scored big again with Twilight Zone, which I still hear on classic rock stations. I remember the video as well--the song was big during the time when everything in music was about the video.
I think hit is misleading here. They are very popular in The Netherlands and have tons of hits there. They tour constantly, and still sell out places. I've seen them twice and they are quite good, and the crowd really gets in to them. The other nice thing is the tickets tend to be cheap, I think I paid 20 Euros both times. I'd see a lot of bands at that price.
It went to number one in Holland. That's a pretty big hit in my book. Or doesn't it count if it doesn't chart in the USA?
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  #17  
Old 08-09-2010, 11:10 AM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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The 4 Tops and the Ink Spots aren't really "bands," are they? They're singing groups. Bands play instruments.

I doubt that either of those groups have actually retained the exact same backing bands for their entire existence, so I would dispute their eligibility.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 08-09-2010 at 11:11 AM..
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  #18  
Old 08-09-2010, 11:17 AM
Any Other Name Any Other Name is offline
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Thanks - great responses!

Gary T, I agree with your comment as to who cares about the answer under the strict terms of the trivia question. What I'm looking for is suggestions under broader terms and got plenty of good ones.

I'd considered the Stones as strong contenders, with only Wyman's departure a significant departure from the strictest interpretation. They would be at 48 years.

Kunilou, Four Tops is a good suggestion. Though they didn't release albums, they were actively touring; so I'd count them at least through 1997. There's good reason to consider them even beyond 1997, although I don't know how much they toured since them. Supposedly they are looking at an upcoming tour. That's at least 44 years. Dio got a point though; maybe mentioned with an asterisk?

Dio, U2 is a great suggestion. While only 34 years, it's solid with respect to the strictest terms. Brownie points for not having been in another band before U2.

Blank Slate (and NoneToTheSky), Golden Earring is an interesting mention. 41 years, although they didn't start together. Same longevity as ZZTop.

Cheap Trick does deserve a mention at 36 years, although Petersson's hiatus does take away from it. I like them too much to leave them off the list.

RealityChuck, I'd thought of Peter, Paul and Mary, I remembered she had died recently. Although they're folk not rock they deserve a mention, especially at 49 years. There are probably lesser known folk acts that have been around as long; might even be some well known ones. Smothers Brothers are another interesting mention, but I always think of them more as a comedy act.

Questions like this should not come to a definite answer, too much nitpicking would be required. Every group mentioned here deserves to be noted. Thanks again for the suggestions. Any others?
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  #19  
Old 08-09-2010, 11:22 AM
Cinebar Cinebar is offline
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I would think the Stones.

How about the Who? Are they still actively doing anything together?
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  #20  
Old 08-09-2010, 11:30 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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The Stones have been around a very long time but they haven't had the same lineup the whole time. Mick Taylor replaced Brian Jones in the late '60s and then Ron Wood replaced Taylor in the mid '70s.
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  #21  
Old 08-09-2010, 11:36 AM
blondebear blondebear is online now
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How about the Who? Are they still actively doing anything together?
Roger was touring with his own band earlier this year. Pete is working on something, but it isn't necessarily a Who project. Pete would be content to never get up on stage again, but there are persistent rumours of a tour next year.

If you're going to count The Stones, The Who are right there with them in terms of the inital meeting of the founding members. John joined Roger's band in '61 and Pete signed up in '62 (Keith didn't have his "audition" until 1964).

Last edited by blondebear; 08-09-2010 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:41 AM
silenus silenus is offline
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Pete and Roger don't count. Even Roger describes them as "the world's most expensive Who cover band."
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:49 AM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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The Who hasn't had its original lineup since Keith Moon died in 1978. John Entwhistle has passed now too, so it's really only Townshend and Daltrey. The band has also had numerous breakups, "farewell tours" and reunions, so they haven't really been a continuous act, even with changing lineups.

Pete and Roger performed at the Superbowl this year, and they were terrible. They just can't sing anymore. It was sad. It was like when Ali got pounded by Larry Holmes. They should stop before they hurt their legacy. Maybe they can still do studio work. I'm sure Pete can still write and produce. They don't have the chops to play live anymore, though.

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  #24  
Old 08-09-2010, 12:06 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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The 4 Tops and the Ink Spots aren't really "bands," are they? They're singing groups. Bands play instruments.

I doubt that either of those groups have actually retained the exact same backing bands for their entire existence, so I would dispute their eligibility.
No, but the point was they were still in existence if you didn't count changes in personnel.

If you mean instruments only, then there is the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, which still performs (and makes records) after being founded in 1842. No doubt there are some European orchestras that are much older.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:12 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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Part of the criteria was to have no changes in personnel.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:23 PM
Any Other Name Any Other Name is offline
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Part of the criteria was to have no changes in personnel.
Yes, while I wasn't looking at a strict interpretation, to me, continuity in membership does define it as a group. Otherwise, we'd be adding Chicage to the mix. While I liked the original group, by the 80's it was run as a corporate owned name.
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  #27  
Old 08-09-2010, 03:49 PM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is offline
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There are some interestingly broad definitions of 'rock' in this thread.

Golden Earring are the longest I can think of (just to confirm what others have said). The Stones have lasted almost as long but have had a fair few changes in line-up.

What was the radio show's answer?
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  #28  
Old 08-09-2010, 03:54 PM
PunditLisa PunditLisa is offline
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The Bee Gees were an act from 1960 to 2001. Their first minor hit was in 1965.
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  #29  
Old 08-09-2010, 04:16 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Part of the criteria was to have no changes in personnel.
Yes, while I wasn't looking at a strict interpretation, to me, continuity in membership does define it as a group. Otherwise, we'd be adding Chicage to the mix. While I liked the original group, by the 80's it was run as a corporate owned name.
Pink Floyd was getting up there too.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:20 PM
Any Other Name Any Other Name is offline
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Pete and Roger don't count. Even Roger describes them as "the world's most expensive Who cover band."
Great quote. Any idea where he said it?

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There are some interestingly broad definitions of 'rock' in this thread.

What was the radio show's answer?
Broadness makes for an interesting discussion.

I mentioned this discussion to my daughter, she said Dio nailed it - U2 was the answer. K-Rock doesn't exist anymore so I can't check her memory. And I have to say that from what I've read, Golden Earring would seem to have them beat. Interesting note (to me), I didn't know that Golden Earring was playing at Six Flags amusement Park in NJ the night the Haunted Mansion caught fire and eight kids died.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:26 PM
Any Other Name Any Other Name is offline
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Yes, while I wasn't looking at a strict interpretation, to me, continuity in membership does define it as a group. Otherwise, we'd be adding Chicage to the mix. While I liked the original group, by the 80's it was run as a corporate owned name.
Pink Floyd was getting up there too.
True. I might have been a little unfair to Chicago though. They do still have Lamm and Pankow and others. It just seemed for a while like the record labels ran the band, deciding on personnel and direction. I might be wrong though.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:32 PM
fjs1fs fjs1fs is offline
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The Who hasn't had its original lineup since Keith Moon died in 1978. John Entwhistle has passed now too, so it's really only Townshend and Daltrey. The band has also had numerous breakups, "farewell tours" and reunions, so they haven't really been a continuous act, even with changing lineups.

Pete and Roger performed at the Superbowl this year, and they were terrible. They just can't sing anymore. It was sad. It was like when Ali got pounded by Larry Holmes. They should stop before they hurt their legacy. Maybe they can still do studio work. I'm sure Pete can still write and produce. They don't have the chops to play live anymore, though.
I thought they were awesome at the SB. I was in vegas, and did drink a lot of shots, but awesome nonetheless. I saw them live at msg about 6 years earlier--Totally Awesome even at their advanced age.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:55 PM
blondebear blondebear is online now
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test one
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Pete and Roger don't count. Even Roger describes them as "the world's most expensive Who cover band."
Great quote. Any idea where he said it?
That sounds more like Pete to me. He's referred to the The Who as being a "brand name" for years. He'd be happy to be left alone to work on his new project. Still, he has a reverence for what he, Roger, and the audience share when they play:


Quote:
Originally Posted by PT
...when we stand side by side the force I spoke of comes into play, and the music rolls, and we become like concert professionals playing Beethoven over and over again. This isn't merely pop music any more. It's gone too far now for me to pretend otherwise in some futile hope to appear humble - the Who's music, some of it, a good bit of it, has taken on a power that we in the band never imagined could be possible. We are in awe if it....
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:51 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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The Kinks have to be up there. Founded in (I think) 1964 (maybe earlier, albeit with a different name), with Ray and Dave performing togegther until at least the late nineties, and Mick Avory sticking with them into the mid-eighties.

Ray Davies is still performing, and including many Kinks songs in his act, although not under the Kinks name. Still, even though Ray wrote just about all of the Kinks' songs, it's not the Kinks without Dave Davies.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:24 AM
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I decided to go and look through old Japanese bands to see if any of them have survived, figuring that no one here would know about any of them. I'm still looking for anyone who fits the OP's requirements, but here's a link to a song by the earliest super-group (started as a Beatles cover band) before I lose it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqU7oIg1I8c

Last edited by Sage Rat; 08-10-2010 at 01:26 AM..
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  #36  
Old 08-10-2010, 01:57 AM
NineToTheSky NineToTheSky is offline
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Sadly, I can't find this on its website, but an excellent UK magazine called 'The Word' did this only a few months ago. To make this post even more pointless, I can't remember their conclusions, but I'm sure the same names mentioned here cropped up in their list.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:06 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Didn't find anything. Maybe someone can try China.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:42 PM
Any Other Name Any Other Name is offline
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Sadly, I can't find this on its website, but an excellent UK magazine called 'The Word' did this only a few months ago. To make this post even more pointless, I can't remember their conclusions, but I'm sure the same names mentioned here cropped up in their list.
Here's a thread on their website. First limited to British bands, much of the same answers as we came up with here. U2 mentioned but then eliminated as being Irish not British. Pet Shop boys were mentioned. Once the discussion broadened to bands throughout the world ZZTop got mentioned, as did Four Tops and the Beverley Sisters. The OP came back to say the answer was Golden Earring.

The Beverley Sisters, according to Wiki, are recognized by Guinness as the longest surviving vocal group without a change in their lineup. They started during WWII and seem to still be performing. Sixty five years?

Wonder what Guinness has to say about longest surviving rock group without a change in lineup?
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:17 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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If you disregard changes in personnel, the original Ink Spots were founded in the early 1930s and are still touring. The Mills Brothers were first performing in 1928; they are still around. Obviously neither group has any of the original members.
Who's the opening act? Theseus?
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  #40  
Old 08-10-2010, 10:46 PM
China Guy China Guy is offline
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What about Chuck Berry?
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:31 PM
Suburban Plankton Suburban Plankton is offline
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What about Chuck Berry?
He's not a band. And he is well known for demanding that promoters provide him with a backing band, who he would usually meet for the first time when he walked on stage to begin his set.
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  #42  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:24 AM
Mervyn Pumpkinhead Mervyn Pumpkinhead is offline
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I think that Sparks deserve at least an honorable mention here. That's 40 years with only a name change and the backing band.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:45 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Wonder what Guinness has to say about longest surviving rock group without a change in lineup?
Guinness, like Wikipedia, can be used as a starting point, but since they only list things that have been reported to them under their specific conditions, they list things that nobody would have thought of reporting if it wasn't for Guinness ("person to eat most hamburguers in one sitting") and they don't verify whether something reported to them is actually the mostest (the person I saw listed as the youngest king was 14; Fernando XIII of Spain has him beat at minus four months and this isn't exactly obscure knowledge).


I've been thinking of Spanish groups but can't come up with any that have been working continuously with the same lineup and which do rock. Golden Apple Quartet have been together 17 years, but they're vocal; Mocedades have been together since 1969 and their last record to date is from 2007 but they're a mixture of folk and pop and there have been lineup changes (although it's still basically a case of "Uranga siblings and spouses"). Revólver have been together since 1988 but there have been lineup changes, as have been in Loquillo y los Trogloditas (since 1983) or Rebeldes (since 1983 as well). There are quite a few groups that have been together 30 years or more but which are rock only if you include "flamenco rock", a brand which I imagine would be hard to find outside of Spain

Last edited by Nava; 08-11-2010 at 04:49 AM..
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  #44  
Old 08-11-2010, 06:33 AM
Harvey The Heavy Harvey The Heavy is offline
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All original members seems way too narrow. You could count those bands on one hand. If you loosen it up to bands with a majority of original members, there's quite a few more.

Judas Priest has always had KK Downing, Glen Tipton and Ian Hill since 1974, with Rob Halford most of the time, a Spinal Tap-esque parade of drummers, and a seven year hiatus.

The Rolling Stones have had Richards-Jagger-Watts since 1962.

Last edited by Harvey The Heavy; 08-11-2010 at 06:34 AM..
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  #45  
Old 08-11-2010, 11:38 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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If you ditch all original members, Jethro Tull is way up there.
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  #46  
Old 08-12-2010, 12:33 AM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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All original members seems way too narrow. You could count those bands on one hand. If you loosen it up to bands with a majority of original members, there's quite a few more.
Why even a majority? Why make personnel the criterion anyway? Wouldn't the most telling have something to do with, like, continuity of artistic vision? (Which is not to say an unchanging artistic vision, just an unbroken, ongoing one.)
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Old 08-12-2010, 02:26 AM
NineToTheSky NineToTheSky is offline
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Originally Posted by Harvey The Heavy View Post
All original members seems way too narrow. You could count those bands on one hand. If you loosen it up to bands with a majority of original members, there's quite a few more.
Why even a majority? Why make personnel the criterion anyway? Wouldn't the most telling have something to do with, like, continuity of artistic vision? (Which is not to say an unchanging artistic vision, just an unbroken, ongoing one.)
I rather suspect that if it's original members, their artistic vision may be beginning to wane as they approach their sixties and seventies, and if it's not original members, they're probably piggybacking on the original members' vision.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:10 AM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey The Heavy View Post
All original members seems way too narrow. You could count those bands on one hand. If you loosen it up to bands with a majority of original members, there's quite a few more.
Why even a majority? Why make personnel the criterion anyway? Wouldn't the most telling have something to do with, like, continuity of artistic vision? (Which is not to say an unchanging artistic vision, just an unbroken, ongoing one.)
How would you define continuity of artistic vision?

Anyway, this thread was just a trivia question asking about the longest lasting rock band whose line-up hadn't changed.

I'm finding myself reminded of when Will Smith's cousin Carlton was on a quiz show.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:48 AM
palindromemordnilap palindromemordnilap is offline
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The Chicago Tribune has a long article on this question today using virtually the same parameters, on the occasion of an album of new material from The Ides of March, formed in 1964. All four original members are still with the band, best known for the hit song "Vehicle" in 1970 (went to #2). They may not count for this thread, though, due to the "no extended hiatus" cause -- the Ides "took a break" from 1973 to 1990.


I'm just remembering as I write this that one of the members of the Ides of March is an acquaintance of two of my bandmates. Outside of the Ides, Jim Peterik was in Survivor and co-wrote "Eye of the Tiger" and co-wrote hit songs for other bands, including "Hold on Loosely" for .38 Special and the theme to Heavy Metal with Sammy Hagar.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:38 PM
GESancMan GESancMan is offline
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There's a progressive rock band that I expect no one here has ever heard of called Djam Karet. They formed in 1984, all four founding members are still in the band, and they've released albums regularly over the past 25 years. It has been five years since their last album, though.
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