Rumors of a Smiths reunion ruled the Internet for the past week — apparently someone at Coachella has had the genius idea of luring Morrissey with the offer to make the festival 100% vegetarian if the Smiths played. But, of course, it’s not going to happen, which is probably for the best. While the idea of being able to finally see one of the best bands of the ’80s playing live is definitely an appealing one, we’re still not entirely sure how we’d feel if the impossible did come to pass. Honestly, we can’t see it lasting long — it wasn’t so long ago that The Smiths were slugging it out in court, after all, with the presiding judge memorably describing Morrissey as “truculent, devious and unreliable.” There are some bands whose interpersonal relationships, or lack thereof, seem to preclude successful reunions. Like this lot, for instance — it’s not that the performances were necessarily bad, but they were simply doomed from the start…
The Beach Boys
Honestly, we applaud Brian Wilson’s optimism in acceding to put up with Mike Love again, but the man who somehow ended up owning the Beach Boys name despite once describing “Good Vibrations” as “avant garde shit” clearly hasn’t changed a great deal in the decades since — last week he fired Wilson, Al Jardine, and David Marks and replaced them with session musicians. We’ll let Love hang himself by his own rope explain his reasoning here: “You’ve got to be careful not to get overexposed. There are promoters who are interested [in more shows by the reunited line-up], but they’ve said, ‘Give it a rest for a year’. The Eagles found out the hard way when they went out for a second year and wound up selling tickets for $5.” Well, then. So long as Mike Love’s making money, everyone’s happy, eh?
Fans of industrial music the world over got all excited in their pants when the news broke that after a series of one-off reunion shows throughout the 2000s, Throbbing Gristle were planning an extensive series of dates throughout 2009 and 2010. The progenitors of the genre come to reclaim their crown in the 21st century! Sadly, it wasn’t to be — Genesis P-Orridge abandoned the band mid-tour, and Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson died before they had any further opportunity to work together.
Kevin Ford and CB Smith’s 1997 film Three Days is one of those music documentaries that leaves you liking the band in question a whole lot less at the end of it than you did at the start — it’s a pretty dismal state of affairs when Dave Navarro comes across as the reasonable, well-adjusted one. The film catalogs the band’s first reunion tour, which ended — just like every other Jane’s Addiction reunion — as an acrimonious farce.
This was never really going to fly, was it?
The Stone Roses
Meanwhile, this hasn’t crashed and burned just yet, but considering that Ian Brown has already called Reni a “cunt” on stage and the reunion shows haven’t exactly been getting rave reviews, we’re betting it’s only a matter of time.
The Jesus and Mary Chain
Astonishingly, it’s been five years since the Reids reunited for Coachella, and they haven’t killed one another yet — there’s even talk of a new album. Wonders will never cease, etc. Will it last? We’ll be astonished if it does.
And speaking of farce, we love New Order as much as anyone, but by god we wish they’d simply left it at breaking up in 1993. Their post-millennial history has been an ongoing disaster — reuniting without Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook quitting, Peter Hook trying to exhume Joy Division, etc etc etc.
At the Drive-In
It’s strange — we spent a decade hanging for this reunion, but when it happened, it was incredibly underwhelming. This is perhaps because the band seemed about as excited about it as going for a root canal — Omar Rodriguez-Lopez called it “purely nostalgia” and described the band as “an old T-shirt that doesn’t fit anymore.” This makes you wonder why they bothered at all. They insist that the answer isn’t the obvious one, but it’s hard to imagine any other.
It seemed like The Verve were constantly on the verge of breaking up throughout the 1990s, with Richard Ashcroft and Nick McCabe always apparently ready to kill one another, but happily they managed to release three cracking albums before doing so. If they’d only left it there, everything might have been OK, but instead they got back together for an ill-fated reunion in 2007. Two years later, Ashcroft and McCabe weren’t speaking again, and that appears to be that.
Just on general principle, really. No one deserved this.