Top 10 Rock and Metal Musicians Who Quit Bands Right Before the Bands Became Famous


The Top Ten

1 Paul Di'Anno Paul Di'Anno Paul Andrews better known as Paul Di'Anno, is an English singer best known as the first vocalist to record with heavy metal band Iron Maiden, from 1978 to 1981.
2 Tracii Guns

Half of Guns N’ Roses name refers to him as he formed Guns N’ Roses with Axl Rose but he was out before ‘Appetite For Destruction’.
And because of that most of you probably never heard of him... - Metal_Treasure

3 Rod Evans Rod Evans Roderic Evans is an English former singer. In the late 1960s he began his professional career in The Maze, formerly MI5, after which he was a member of the original Deep Purple line-up.
4 Jason Everman

Nirvana AND Soundgarden! - Metal_Treasure

5 Syd Barrett Syd Barrett Roger Keith Barrett was an English musician, composer, singer, songwriter, and painter. Best known as a founder member of the band Pink Floyd, Barrett was the lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter in its early years and is credited with naming the band.

He didn't quit, he was left behind. Also, DSOTM, arguably their first major success, came out in '73, while Barrett was left behind in '68.

I know he didn't quit, Dave Mustaine didn't quit either - he was kicked out. I just didn't want to make the list title too long by listing all possible versions of "not being in the band anymore". - Metal_Treasure

6 Dennis Stratton Dennis Stratton
7 John Kiffmeyer

Green Day drummer - Metal_Treasure

8 Ron McGovney
9 Doug Sandom Doug Sandom
10 Dave Mustaine Dave Mustaine David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own more.

Not very high on this list because his new band also became famous at a point - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 John Rutsey

The original drummer for Rush; he played on their debut album and soon left because he had diabetic health issues and creative differences. He was (of course) replaced by Neil Peart. - Gg2000

12 Pete Best

The original drummer for The Beatles. The group had their manager, Brian Epstein, fire him after George Martin complained of his inability to keep time. - Gg2000

13 William Goldsmith

Drummer of Foo Fighters - Userguy44

14 Eric Clapton

When Clapton was in The Yardbirds, they played straight blues and R&B. However, the band realized that they needed a pop hit to be successful, so they recorded For Your Love. Clapton, however, wanted to be a straight blues musician only, so he left. Of course, he became famous in his own right and later doubled back on his anti-pop stance. - Gg2000

15 Jimmy Winston

The original organist for the Small Faces. He recorded a few songs on their first album before being replaced by Ian McLagan. - Gg2000

16 Signe Toly Anderson

The original female singer for Jefferson Airplane. She sang on their first album before leaving to focus on raising her newborn child. She was replaced by Grace Slick. - Gg2000

17 Tony Kaye

The original keyboardist for Yes. He recorded three albums with them (including The Yes Album) but left because the band wanted him to experiment with new instruments like the Moog synthesizer while he preferred to just play piano and organ. - Gg2000

18 Denny Laine

He was the original guitar player for the Moody Blues, but he left in Oct. 1966 before they recorded Days of Future Passed. He would later find success in Paul McCartney's band Wings. - Gg2000

19 Chad Channing

The drummer of Nirvana before Dave. - JCHOW

20 Mick Abrahams

The original guitar player for Jethro Tull. He was with them when they recorded their first album, "This Was", but he left the band due to conflicting ideals with Ian Anderson. He was replaced by Tony Iommi, who left after two weeks to forge an iconic career of his own. He in turn was replaced by Martin Barre. - Gg2000

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