10 Most Important Member Changes In Rock Music History

These substitutions changed rock history for the better.

David Murray, left, Bruce Dickinson, center and Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden perform at the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Friday Jan. 19, 2001. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

As anyone who was ever in a band in high school will tell you, members cycle in and out at breakneck speed.

Whether your guitarist's parents moved town or your drummer needed to get his maths grades up, it's easy for a promising young act to lose a vital member early into their run.

But what about if you're already established and have an album or two under your belt? What happens when a member goes AWOL then?

Well, in the case of the following ten bands, you thrive.

These groups all had to find replacements for key members after disaster struck. Creative differences, personal difficulties, and even tragic deaths were responsible for these changes, but they all worked out in the end.

To clarify, we won't be counting any member swaps that happened before a band got big. If we did that then we could choose literally any band that ever existed and just talk about when their original bassist left to get a job at the post office.

Instead, we're focusing on acts who were forced to make substitutions when they were already famous and ended up excelling as a result.

10. Justin Chancellor Replaces Paul D’Amour - Tool

American rock band/professional fan-frustraters Tool first formed in 1990 as a four-piece. Maynard James Keenan was the singer, Adam Jones was on guitars, Danny Carey was on drums, and Paul D'Amour was on bass.

The group's first album Undertow was a decent record that stood out nicely against the backdrop of grunge and pop punk. However, the band really took things to new heights with their next release - the much-revered Ænima.

In all this time, has anyone worked out how to actually say that word? Or what it means? Didn't think so.

Someone who certainly won't know is D'Amour, as he left the band before it was recorded. He claims that he wanted a bigger role in the group and that he didn't want to get stuck playing bass.

Thankfully, a man who was more than happy to pluck the four strings was Justin Chancellor, D'Amour's replacement. Chancellor quickly became a key part of Tool's set-up and the band switched around their style to include more of his bass work in their songs.

Considering how important that sound is to Tool these days, this was 100% the right call.


Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including rock music, giving acclaimed films three-and-a-half stars, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.