10 Musicians That Walked Away From HUGE Bands

When It's Just Not Worth It.

Slash GNR
Fiona Hanson/PA Archive

The sheer attraction of being in a successful rock band would normally be too good for someone to pass up. If you see the amount of zeroes at the end of the royalty checks from touring around the world, you'd be a fool to not say yes to the stardom waiting at your doorstep. For one reason or another, each of these musicians decided that they wanted out...and fast.

That doesn't mean that they were just leaving money on the table for the hell of it though. In rock and roll, there's a lot more that goes on behind the scenes, and the intense drama from these acts have made these people want to run away from the machine as fast as they possibly could. There's also the problem of dealing with divas in a band, and there's only so much bad behavior you can take from your bandmates before you start thinking about stepping off for a little while.

Then again, sometimes it's not a question of money or even the people you're working with. As fun as it sounds, the rock star life isn't cut out for necessarily everybody, and some of these guys just couldn't take the stress of having to be a part of the machine 24/7. The chance of a lifetime was laying at their feet, but for whatever reason, these are the musicians who got used to a life at home rather than on the road.

10. Ron Blair - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

It's never an easy decision having to get off the old rock and roll hype train. Sometimes you have to deal with a lot of sleazy managers from time to time, and that can end up grating on even the sharpest of players. Of all the people on this list though, Ron Blair seemed to fall apart due to sheer burnout as the '80s rolled around.

After slogging it out with the rest of the Heartbreakers, things finally started to look up around the turn of the decade with the album Damn the Torpedoes, which launched the band into the stratosphere with songs like Refugee. With that level of fame though, you also get a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, which led to arguments among the rest of the band about how the bass should actually sound on the record.

While it's easy to let that kind of stuff go amongst your friends, Ron found himself getting too jaded about the touring life style, with everyone coming to your feet wanting some piece of you. By the time the band wrapped up the touring for Hard Promises, Ron caved in and decided to leave the band, with Tom Petty drafting in session veteran Howie Epstein to fill his shoes. Unlike usual rock and roll though, there was no hard feelings between Ron and the rest of the band, with him opening up his own shop in California and eventually rejoining the Heartbreakers after Howie's passing in the early '00s.

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