Big Rockstars That Quit And Never Came Back
English rock group The Rolling Stones, London, 1963. Left to right: Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Brian Jones, Keith Richards and Bill Wyman. (Photo by Terry O'Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images)
Anything that involves egos and emotions is hard to manage. Just like in relationships, band members quit when it’s already extremely difficult to gauge. Below are some of the Rockstars who walked away from their music and never looked back.
Bill Wyman, Rolling Stones
After more than 30 years, the founding bassist opted to leave the group in 1992. He explained that he really don’t want to do it anymore, saying:
“I have many special memories. It’s been wonderful. But I thought the last two tours with them were the best we have ever done, so I was quite happy to stop after that.
“I had 30 great years with them,” Wyman noted in 2008, “then a really nice divorce and corny as it may sound, we are still family.”
Meg White, White Stripes
The drummer had been struggling with her mental health and her former bandmate often described her as a very quiet and shy person. That’s maybe the reason why after announcing the band’s breakup she has remained out of the public eye.
Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd
The Pink Floyd’s original frontman, guitarist and songwriter battled with personal demons through the band’s peak of success. Eventually his actions became erratic, as he’d miss shows completely or stand onstage playing just one note. After so many considerations, he was officially kicked out of the band in 1968. He completely vanished from the music industry. He moved back to his family home in 1978 and lived there until his death in 2006.
John Deacon, Queen
Deacon doesn’t have any problems with the band. He retired quietly after the passing of Mercury. He did not perform and just settled with being an equal shareholder in Queen’s enterprises. Now he’s got an estimated net worth of well over $100 million.
John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival
The leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival had a feud with its management and the band after they had a run of success. With that, he refused to play his old songs and did not open his doors in recording new songs.
Withers walked away from music entirely. It started when things get sour for him, he told his management that he doesn’t want to be stuck in a corporate system who doesn’t understand him.
Although Captain Beefheart was hugely influential during his time, the man decided to focus his creative expression on painting and chose a more quieter life. Eventually, he suffered from multiple sclerosis, a condition which severely limited his public appearances. He died in 2010 at the age of 69.
David Byrne, Talking Heads
According to Byrne himself, walking away from Talking heads is mostly a situation similar to “old friends going their separate way.” Byrne explained, “you start off being all best friends and doing everything together, and after awhile that gets to be a bit much. … Everybody starts to have their own lives.”
Izzy Stradlin, Guns N’ Roses
The co-founding rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin announced he is leaving the band 1991 amid their success. Axl Rose’s volatile behavior made it easy for him to walk away as a reformed heroin addict.
Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits
He pursued a solo career for the purpose of “self-protection” because he felt that the success they had was in a kind of scale that is already “dehumanizing”. Even after being inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, Knopfler did not show up and made it clear that the only reason for a reunion would be greed.
Roger Hodgson, Supertramp
The band blazed a successful trail throughout the ‘70s to ‘80s and their peak came in during 1979’s Breakfast in America. However, the co-founder and singer Hodgson decided to leave in 1983. He explained that:
“I have always tried to follow my heart and my instincts in life.
“When I left Supertramp, I was wanting to step away from the music business to just have a simpler lifestyle. That’s why in 1983 I chose to move away from the Los Angeles music scene at the peak of Supertramp’s success to stay at home and be with my children as they were growing up. My heart was telling me this was more important than to continue touring with Supertramp. I do not regret the decision.”
Hodgson still remained active in music, mostly releasing solo albums and touring.
Jim Martin, Faith No More
The guitarist left the band in 1993 after the release of their 1992 album Angel Dust. As per Martin:
“My publicized ‘not being into’ Angel Dust was all about the way the whole process went down.
“There was a lot of weird pressure to follow up The Real Thing, and as a consequence, the album AD was more contrived musically than I thought was necessary.”
After leaving the group, the guitarist revamped himself as a pumpkin farmer, wherein he placed fourth in a 2003 competition with his 1,064-pound gourd.
Brian Eno, Roxy Music
The man left Roxy Music to pursue a greater creative career, which he found both as an acclaimed solo artist and a sought-after producer.