Allmans had Duane lived, Blind Faith had they stuck it out, Nick Drake had he lived and Hendrix who died way too young.
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Because it's fresh in my mind, having just seen Yes in Phoenix, I always wonder how much better they would have been if they had chosen a proper drummer after Bill Bruford left the band in '72. They were really great when I saw them recently, but it only reinforced my long held frustration with Alan White. He is so wrong for that band. Their music needs someone along the lines of Carl Palmer or Neil Peart. Howe and Squire are playing their asses off, and he is there barely keeping time. He ws boring before, now he's just older and boring.
I also agree with everything Lindisfarne said.
Wish Rory Gallagher would have been around a lot more years. Been watching "Irish Tour '74". Find myself wondering what happened to his band after his death. They were really tight and hard working. His keyboard player was crazy good in my opinion (ex-Killin Floor).
SRV is another sad example of too soon gone. Although Double Trouble seems like they landed on their feet, sort of, I think. Heard something from them on Pandora. Sounds like they got another lead guitar/front man. Weren't no Stevie Ray though.
And while we are at it, can't forget Roy Buchanan.
The direction where Little Feat might have gone had Lowell George Lived on...Sad
The Rolling Stones [for better or worse] had the original line-up continued...
The Marshall Tucker band had they not lost the Cadwell's...
Lynyrd Skynyrd if the plane had been properly fueled!!!
This is becoming a sad thread to me as i sit here realizing that there are way too many more that i could list!
Some real good examples, but too much focus on people dying.
Yardbirds - suppose EC had stayed, Jeff Beck joins and they stayed a blues band.
Led Zeppelin - Terry Reid was offered the vocal position before Plant. LZ would have been a twin guitar outfit with two principal song writers. Would there be a "Stairway to Heaven"?
Electric Flag - what if Mike Bloomfield had stayed in the band. Their first album is as good as anything produced in the late 60s.
The Power Station - Robert Plant, half of Duran Duran and Tony Thompson on the drums. Albums, one and done. They coudda' been a contenda.
Which brings me back to Led Zeppelin. Tony Thompson was slated to be John Bonhams replacement, but a serious accident derailed a reformed LZ. Imagine Led Zeppelin with something funky going on.
Tony! Toni! Tone! - they invented neo-soul and were an electrifying live act, but the original band was short-lived.
Morphine. Definitely. For me, there's never been anything more simultaneously filthy and wonderful. Sorely missed.
Another for me would be Neutral Milk Hotel. A friend argues (not unconvincingly) that they remain the best band of the 90s. Maybe....but definitely decades ahead of their time.
And I wish Chris Whitley was still with us and making music, although his daughter has very thankfully taken up the cause.
but it only reinforced my long held frustration with Alan White. He is so wrong for that band. Howe and Squire are playing their asses off, and he is there barely keeping time.
Sorry to get off track from the OP. Being an old Yes fan from the 70's, and a former drummer, I had to comment on your criticism of Alan White. I saw Yes in Columbus OH, 5 years ago but did not really enjoy the performance. None of them seemed to really have it on that night. Don't know if it was the acoustics or the venue or what. By my standards they just weren't as dynamic, or sounding good in that smaller venue. Their arena days are long since dead! But I know they are still great great musicians. I also saw Yes eons ago during the World Series of Rock tour in Cleveland OH back in July 1975 and they, including Alan White were incredible. (my God, that's 38 years ago this month!) But, I always compare every live performance by Yes to their Holy Grail, seminal live recording, "Yessongs" from 1972. I continue to be in awe of that recording. (among others by them) I've always considered Alan White to be a great drummer and he was without peer on the "Yessongs" tour. The Alan White of today, I don't know about. But in Yes' heyday (the 70's) he was fast, innovative, dynamic, and syncopated. We can agree to disagree, but during the 70's when Yes was at the top of their game, Alan White was the perfect drummer for the group. They are all old men now, and maybe time as caught up with White more than Steve Howe and Chris Squire. All due respect to Bill Bruford who played in early Yes recordings and is also considered a great drummer. My familiarity with his playing is less, but I'm aware that he's a revered and great drummer too.
Plastic Ono Band, Love, Camper Van Beethoven, Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett, Cream; the Beatles were at a zenith so it's not like they disbanded before having created a volume of great music, but of any band the Beatles are my choice of a band I wish could have continued to produce one or two more albums.