Bands that are actually "Johnny and his guys"

There are some bands that, despite the name “band”, are the personal projects of one person.
My examples:

The Cure (it’s Smith’s band, everyone else is replaceable)
Dire Straits (Even though Knopfler had a solo career, DS was his band. He wrote or co-wrote all the songs, played lead guitat and lead vocal in all the songs, no band member is credited with co-writing)

Guns’n’Roses and BonJovi are borderline for me.

Ben Folds Five - Ben Folds
Wilco - Jeff Tweedy
Smashing Pumpkins - Billy Corgan

Ben Folds Five has his name on, so it doesn’t count.
Good one with SP:

Steely Dan is actually Donald Fagen and Walter Becker plus a crapload of amazing guest musicians.

ETA: Does this count per the OP, or does it have to be just one guy at the helm?

Jethro Tull, The Cars, and ELO (post Roy Wood era).

Nine Inch Nails - Trent Reznor is literally the only official member of the band.

Blondie - Debbie Harry. Yes, Chris Stein has always been there, but I think most people think Blondie=Debbie Harry.

Pretenders - Chrissie Hynde

Love – Arthur Lee and backing musicians.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – John Fogerty dominates everything.
The Blue Ridge Rangers – John Fogerty again.
Derek and the Dominoes
Poco was basically Richie Furay
The Mother of Invention – Frank Zappa (though his name was added later)

eels-Mark Oliver Everett

Megadeth- Dave Mustaine has been the only one who remained in the band for all 30 years. The Co-founder is back with them now, but Dave does all the writing, singing, and plays lead guitar.

Foo Fighters = Dave Grohl…

Talking Heads - David Byrne

Guided by Voices definitely fits. It’s always been Bob Pollard and whoever he feels like working with, although he’s been working with the mid 1990s “classic lineup” again for the last couple years. In addition to the dozen past members, he’s also released music under his own name and under two dozen other names as well. For the most part, this was done in an effort to get around label limitations on the number of albums he released. The music was GbV in all but name. If the members of those collaborations are included, he’s worked with several dozen individuals and released several thousand songs in the last three decades.

Nah. Byrne was the frontman, but the other members contributed a little bit to the sound :wink:

The Black Keys are just two guys.

Ohh, good one. Seeing them again in a couple weeks!

I cannot agree with a lot so far.

Jethro Tull has been through some lineup changes but were pretty stable through their great years. Martin Barre and Barrimore Barlow were a big part.

I don’t think the Cars would have done well without Benjamin Orr or Elliot Easton. Now that I think of it, the drum and keyboard styles were crucial also.

Just because one guy is a focal point doesn’t negate contributions by other members.

Yeah, I’m not really in agreement about Wilco either. Sure now they are basically Tweedy, but their best (IMO) album (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) had a lot of input from Jay Bennet and even now the other members are pretty essential.

Greg Hawkes also co-wrote several of their songs.

This thread reminds me of the old joke about the arc of Gloria Estafan’s career:

The first record she and her band put out was credited to “the Miami Sound Machine” with Estafan listed in the liner notes as lead vocalist.

The second record they put out was “the Miami Sound Machine (featuring Gloria Estafan)”

The third record was billed to "Gloria Estafan and the Miami Sound Machine.’

The fourth record was billed to “Gloria Estafan.” On the back cover, the liner notes mention that her backing band were the Miami Sound Machine.