In modern culture, perhaps nothing represents the zenith of success more than a superstar band. The seemingly bottomless pit of wealth, universal popularity, and the lure of being paid to do what many consider as fun is the dream of many. But if it’s too much of a good thing, it’s probably not going to last. With the songs that made them famous and the reason they called it quits, recounted here are bands that have made a huge impact on the music scene (both locally and internationally) and the tragic stories behind their dissolution. After all, the show looks effortless to an audience who fails to catch a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes.
Led Zeppelin: Death by vodka
With their heavy riffs and blues background, the band skyrocketed to fame in the early 70’s. From their fourth album, Led Zeppelin IV, comes one of their most recognizable tunes, Stairway to Heaven. All was going well for the band as they were the living embodiment of the phrase, sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. John Bonham, though, was a family man, and often brought home dolls from different countries to give to his children. And one day, the three other members awoke to horrifying news; John Bonham was dead. He had consumed approximately 40 shots of Vodka, too much for him to handle so much so that he vomited and died, drowning in his own vomit. That was the end of Led Zeppelin- the remaining band mates went their separate ways; Singer Robert Plant became a solo artist and collaborated with other musicians and bassist John Paul Jones becamse part of a group called ‘Them Crooked Vultures.’
Eagles: Checking out of the Hotel California
Controversial or not, the eerie guitar chords and haunting lyrics of Hotel California are arguably one of the Eagles’ most recognizable work. Rising to popularity in the late 70’s, the band was plagued by unfortunate irreconcilable differences between members. Don Henley and Glenn Frey were of strong personalities, Jon Walsh was a drunk, Timothy Schmidt simply went with the flow, and Don Felder, the guitarist, was fed up with everything. But the last straw came when in 1980, the wife of Senator Alan Cranston appeared at a show. Felder, who disliked the thought of the band being involved in politics, coldly told her, “Nice to meet you…I guess.” This sent Frey into a terrible rage, in which they argued, even while performing on stage. And for 14 years, the band never played again.
Nirvana: The end of teen spirit
Although the band had already been experiencing disagreements regarding the splitting of profits from their album Nevermind, the death of lead singer Kurt Cobain was the real reason for the break-up. It was on April 8, 1994 that Cobain’s body was found lying limp in his house with a gun on his chest. A suicide note was also discovered, in which the author of the note discloses the sad workings of a troubled mind. Although suicide is the most widely accepted explanation for his death, some of Cobain’s close friends believe that he was murdered. Whether it be murder or suicide, the band split, with Krist Novoselic playing in other bands before getting into politics, and Dave Grohl forming the Foo Fighters and eventually joining ‘Them Crooked Vultures’ with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin.
Now, let’s talk about a band closer to home: Eraserheads. Considered as one of the most successful bands in the OPM scene, most 90s kids would recall their fun, free, and sometimes relatable songs. The quartet composed of Ely Buendia, Buddy Zabala, Raimund Marasigan, and Marcus Adoro became famous for their hits, “Pare Ko” and “Huling El Bimbo” among others.
After releasing seven studio albums, four EPs and demos, plus a few compilations, Ely Buendia decided to leave the band. In a magazine interview with his wife and manager, Diane Ventura, Eraserheads’ breakup was allegedly because of a miscommunication with a roadie, resulting to Buendia being late for a gig. The incident caused a stir among his bandmates as they brought the issue to their band manager, Butch Dans, who then took the side of the roadie. Buendia told his bandmates through SMS about his decision to leave. In another interview, Adoro tells the story of the cryptic text message, stating that Buendia said that he had already “graduated.”
The remaining three members decided to continue, recruiting a female vocalist named Kris Gorra-Dancel. However, after a few months, Adoro decided to leave the band as well. The rest still continued; Diego Mapa and Ebe Dancel were then added to the band and they renamed the group Cambio. Despite the dramatic breakup, Eraserheads got back together in reunion concerts held last 2008 and 2009.The band is currently working on new material together as they announced two new songs titled “1995” and “Sabado.”
Bamboo: All things change
Any OPM rock fan can definitely recall this band named after the strong and durable grass plant. Four years after separating from Rivermaya, former bandmates Bamboo Mañalac and Nathan Azarcon reunited and formed the indie-rock band Bamboo together with Ira Cruz and Vic Mercado. They are famous for their songs Hallelujah, Noypi, Tatsulok, and Masaya. Their breakup happened in 2011. Rumors of the disbanding started when KC Montero tweeted that the band “has officially called it quits.” This was confirmed when the band made an official statement on their website, including, “So here we go—IT’S OFFICIAL—THE BAND—IT’S OVER.” They didn’t disclose any reason for the breakup, but they ended the statement saying, “This is not goodbye.” Currently, frontman Mañalac is pursuing a solo career and is a judge on The Voice of the Philippines and The Voice Kids.
Orange and Lemons: Differences
Any kid who grew up in the 2000s can remember Pinoy Ako, the theme song of the most famous reality show in the Philippines, Pinoy Big Brother. The band behind it is composed of BulakeñosMcoy Fundales, Clementine Castro, JM Del Mundo, and Ace Del Mundo. Aside from Pinoy Ako, some of their other hit songs include Abot Kamay, Hanggang Kailan (Umuwi Ka Na Baby), and “Yakap Sa Dilim” (originally by APO Hiking Society). Last 2007, it was reported by Inquirer.net that the band had broken up. The reason stated for the disbanding were the differences between the members and the managers. Lead guitarist Castro, created his own band, The Camerawalls after being kicked out of Orange and Lemons. Meanwhile, the remaining band members formed a new band called Kenyo.
As the saying goes, even the best fall down sometimes. But in this case, most of these great bands called it quits for good. Even though some didn’t expect the “end,” while the others anticipated it, they all have one thing in common: they will always have a special place in their fans’ hearts, who still sing their hearts out and dance to the beat of their drums when they hear their songs. They may have gone their separate ways but their legacy will forever remain in music history.