10 Bands We'd Most Like to See Reunite - Rolling Stone
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10 Bands We’d Most Like to See Reunite

From the Smiths to the Stripes, the acts that should get back together

The reunion tour has been a rock & roll staple ever since Traffic got back together in 1970. Solo projects fail, funds dwindle and suddenly, the petty issues that broke up your band no longer seem so important. Both Guns N' Roses and the Misfits reunited in 2016 – although they promised for years that they'd never get back together. So a fan can always hope, right?

Here are 10 of the most notable holdouts that we'd most like to see take to the stage together again.

White Stripes broke up five years ago.

SPECIAL PRICE. The guitarist Jack White (left) and drummer, Meg White are the minimalist rock duo from Detroit, 'White Stripes'. The nature of the relationship, if any, between Jack and Meg remains a mystery. Their album 'White Blood Cells'(2001) is out. 2002

Kelly Ryerson/Camera Press/Redux

The White Stripes

Years Apart: Five

How Much They Hate Each Other: Well, no one really knows what Meg White thinks about anything — the silent, reclusive drummer doesn't do interviews. In fact, Meg's reticence has been one of Jack White's chief complaints about his ex-wife over the years: "She's one of those people who won't high-five me when I get the touchdown," White told Rolling Stone in 2014. The Whites are apparently not in contact with one another these days.

How Much We Would Love to See the Reunion Happen: Whether recording solo, working as a member of the Raconteurs or the Dead Weather, or collaborating with Beyoncé, Jack White has been one of the few musicians capable of proving that rock can still be an innovative musical force in 2016. But there was something special about the musical chemistry Jack and Meg had, and it's been nearly a decade since anyone has been able to experience that chemistry in concert.

Odds That It Will Happen: "Absolutely no chance," Jack told NME in 2012. What would it take? "If we went bankrupt or really needed the cash. … I would probably be issuing an apology along with the announcement of the show dates." Meg, of course, has no comment.

Talking Heads broke up 25 years ago.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 1977: (L-R) David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, and Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads pose for a protriat in December 1977 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Talking Heads

Years Apart: 25

How Much They Hate Each Other: While acknowledging "bad blood" between himself and his former band members in the past, David Byrne has always insisted that creative differences, not personal ones, made a breakup necessary. Then again, bassist Tina Weymouth once called Byrne "a man incapable of returning friendship."

How Much We Would Love to See the Reunion Happen: It's hard to imagine Talking Heads settling for a recreation of past glories. This restless band was constantly evolving throughout its career, and each member would bring a quarter-century of post-Heads obsessions to the stage or studio with them.

Odds That It Will Happen: Not good. Rumors circulated as recently as May, but were quickly dismissed by keyboardist Jerry Harrison and drummer Chris Franz. "It should be happening but David is holding out," Franz said. "The only reason to get back together would be to do one of those 'sound like you used to sound' kind of tours," Byrne has said. "And who wants to do that? I've already sounded like that once."

The Smiths broke up 29 years ago.

Peter Ashworth/Photoshot

The Smiths

Years Apart: 29

How Much They Hate Each Other: In 2013, Johnny Marr said that while he and Morrissey had occasionally been talking and meeting up for a few years, they'd since lost touch. "You can only try and be friendly with someone for so long without getting anything back," the guitarist said.

How Much We Would Love to See the Reunion Happen: On one hand, there's something so pure about the Smiths' refusal to get back together — their open rejection of taking the easy money, their defiant dismissal of nostalgia. On the other hand, what's wrong with money and nostalgia?

Odds That It Will Happen: Over the years, Marr and Morrissey have reportedly turned down a variety of attractive proposals, from a $75 million paycheck to Coachella's offer to make the event totally vegetarian. "I don't know about the possibility, but what I do know is that I understand how great it would be to make so many people happy," Marr told Rolling Stone in 2012. "And the other thing I know is that Morrissey and I are so very different." Morrissey quipped in 2014. "I don't know a single person who wants a Smiths reunion!"

R.E.M. broke up five years ago.

R.E.M (Photo by Chris Carroll/Corbis via Getty Images)

Chris Carroll/Getty


Years Apart: Five

How Much They Hate Each Other: Not at all. R.E.M. reportedly called it quits because they believed they'd accomplished everything they set out to as a band, not on account of any significant strain between the individual members. "I love those guys very much and I respect them hugely as musicians and as songwriters," Michael Stipe told CBS News in 2014. In a March interview with Rolling Stone, Peter Buck expressed pride in the dignified manner in which R.E.M. dissolved: "We're not bad-mouthing each other. We're not suing each other."

How Much We Would Love to See the Reunion Happen: It would be fantastic to hear how the individual members have grown musically during their time apart — especially in the (admittedly unlikely) event that original drummer Bill Berry could coaxed back from retirement. The now-colossally-bearded Stipe's recent solo performances have shown his voice to be as as fine as ever, and Buck has been honing his chops, both through his solo work and in various side projects.

Odds That It Will Happen: Probably not any time soon. Buck seems remarkably happy in his new life as a non-superstar musician and Stipe has been adamant in his rejection of reunion possibilities. "I despise nostalgia," he told CBS. "I'm not good at looking back."

Oasis broke up seven years ago.

Oasis, 1998 Shown from left: Alan White, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Paul Bonehead Arthurs, Paul McGuigan



Years Apart: Seven

How Much They Hate Each Other: The hatred that Noel and Liam Gallagher have for one another is so pure it sometimes feel like it keeps them both alive. The brother's verbal sparring via interviews is legendary, but they don't always just use their words. Backstage at the final Oasis show in 2009, a fistfight reportedly led Liam to smash Noel's guitar. The brothers no longer speak or even attend the same family gatherings.

How Much We Would Love to See the Reunion Happen: The music would be great, of course, but set that aside for a minute. Who could pass on the entertainment potential of the Gallaghers trying to complete a full tour without murdering one another?

Odds That It Will Happen: Not bloody likely. Noel has vowed never to work with his brother again, saying "Liam is a very angry man still." Earlier this year, some comments from Noel led to rumors of an Oasis reunion without Liam. The singer responded with three tweets: A photo of Noel captioned "potato," a sideswipe at whiny "fan boys" and, finally, "FUCK OASIS."

My Chemical Romance broke up three years ago.

SPECIAL PRICE. Left to right: Bob Bryar (drums), Frank Lero (rhythm guitar), Gerard Way (vocals), Mikey Way (bass) and Ray Toro (lead guitar) of American rock band My Chemical Romance.

Sean Murphy/Camera Press/Redux

My Chemical Romance

Years Apart: Three

How Much They Hate Each Other: Apparently they don't. "There was no divorce, argument, failure, accident, villain or knife in the back that caused this," frontman Gerard Way said when announcing the band's break-up. Since then, Way has consistently restated that the split was amicable and rooted in a sense of what he called "mission accomplished." In 2014 he told Zane Lowe, "It was sad, because it wasn't a situation where anybody hated each other."

How Much We Would Love to See the Reunion Happen: Though the band may have thought they said everything they had to say before they split, the rest of us might respectfully disagree. MCR released just four albums in their 12-year career — that relatively small catalog suggests they still have room to grow.

Odds That It Will Happen: Give them a couple years. "I think a collaboration between any of the MCR members is totally possible — just not sure when," Way said in a Reddit post last year. "It would have to materialize organically and right now everyone is busy with their solo work."

Mr. Bungle broke up 16 years ago.

SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES - APRIL 20: Mr Bungle pose for a group portrait backstage at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco on April 20, 1992. (Photo by Clayton Call/Redferns)

Clayton Call/Getty

Mr. Bungle

Years Apart: 16

How Much They Hate Each Other: These experimental pan-genre weirdos certainly broke up acrimoniously. "I crave healthy musical environments, where there is a genuine exchange of ideas without repressed envy or resentment, and where people in the band want to be there regardless of what public accolades may come their way," frontman Mike Patton told Rolling Stone in 2004, four years after their final show. "Unfortunately, Mr. Bungle was not one of those places." In the decade since, those bad feelings seem to have largely subsided — or are at least less often vented publicly.

How Much We Would Love to See the Reunion Happen: With most reunions, you know exactly what you're going to get. But no one ever knew what to expect from Bungle — their albums and especially their live shows contained surprises within surprises, each moment less predictable than the last. What a reunion could offer is anybody's guess.

Odds That It Will Happen: Patton has been dubious but not dismissive. "It certainly doesn't seem like it's on the tip of anyone's lips," he said in 2013. "But I could have said the same thing — and in fact, I did say the same thing — about Faith No More, and that happened. And I think it happened for the better." Bassist Trevor Dunn has been more skeptical of the possibilities, saying, "It would take a pant-load of money to make it happen…. I would prefer to let go of it, respectfully."

Hüsker Dü broke up 29 years ago.

Husker Du on 10/10/87 in Chicago, Il. (Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***

Paul Natkin/Getty

Husker Du

Years Apart: 29

How Much They Hate Each Other: "There's ongoing communication between the three of us now," bassist Greg Norton said last October after an official Hüsker Dü merchandise website launched last year. Guitarist Bob Mould was more laconic about his relationship with drummer Grant Hart. "Grant and I have talked," Mould said in January. "We're fine."

How Much We Would Love to See the Reunion Happen: Mould's guitar work has only gained power and subtlety in the nearly three decades since the band collapsed. Anyone who's seen Mould's remarkable recent live shows can't help but be excited by the idea of the trio reuniting and Mould lending some of that instrumental might to Hart's classic songs, in addition to his own.

Odds That It Will Happen: When the website went up in 2015, reunion rumors inevitably surfaced, but were quickly quashed. "Nah, no reunion," Mould said unequivocally earlier this year. "I like to run my own ship and I think [Hart] likes to run his own ship, and that's great."

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five broke up 28 years ago.

Anthony Barboza/Getty

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five

Years Apart: 28

How Much They Hate Each Other: Well, let's just say Scorpio and Melle Mel don't mean it as a sign of respect when they call Grandmaster Flash "the Milli Vanilli of rap." The two rappers, who've performed together recently as "Grandmaster's Furious Five," insist the legendary DJ had no input on many of the group's rap classics, including "The Message," and complain that they've never received the credit they're due because Flash's top billing in the group's name makes people think of them as supporting players. A lot of resentment here.

How Much We Would Love to See the Reunion Happen: A full-scale professional reunion tour, with Kidd Creole and Rahiem joining Scorpio and Melle Mel — and maybe a full funk band supporting Flash's turntable work — could set a new standard for old-school rap nostalgia packages. Plus, as the most important group from hip-hop's first nine years, they're a history lesson that needs to be heard.

Odds That It Will Happen: Low. Flash gets plenty of work on his own, to the irritation of the group's MCs. "The Furious Five has always wanted to work together," Scorpio says. "It's Grandmaster Flash that has a problem with working with the Furious Five, because he wants to keep all of the legacy and the money to himself."

Fugazi broke up 14 years ago.

SPECIAL PRICE. American straight edge rock band, Fugazi. (L-R): Joe Lally, Guy Picciotto, Brendan Canty and Ian MacKaye.

Steve Double/Camera​Press/Redux


Years Apart: 14

How Much They Hate Each Other: No hate here. "The four of us love each other dearly," Ian MacKaye said in a 2011 interview. "We are a family, we don't stray from each other."

How Much We Would Love to See the Reunion Happen: Fugazi left us with the fierce, dynamic and thoughtful 2001 album The Argument — "You kinda got the best record out of us at the end," bassist Joe Lally has said. Who wouldn't want to see Fugazi build on that triumph, or hear the premier political band of its age respond to conditions in the United States in the 15 years since 9/11?

Odds That It Will Happen: It's hard to think of a band that's been more noncommittal about getting back together. "It is entirely possible that we will play again and it's also possible that we won't," MacKaye said in 2011. He added that the big obstacle, aside from the fact the band members have families to raise and other creative projects to pursue, is that Lally lives in Italy. ("None of us have ever ruled it out," the bassist says of a reunion.) MacKaye is less ambiguous about whether his previous band will reunite: "If you wanted to see Minor Threat, why would you want to see a guy who is 49 years old, doing a song he wrote when he was 19? I think that's just insane."

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