3 Bands That Lost Their Front Men to Drug Addiction

Sex, drugs, and rock and roll: the saying is that they go together. Unfortunately, both sex and drugs have taken down some of the biggest bands in rock and roll history. Here we take a look at some of the bands that have lost their front men to drug addiction – and continued to rock.

Iron Maiden Lost Paul Di’Anno to Bad Behavior Under the Influence

British heavy metal band Iron Maiden let go of Paul Di’Anno, their first singer, when his wild behavior under the influence of drugs became too much for his band mates to handle. That’s saying a lot – Di’Anno’s band mates were hardly clean and sober and they were an up and coming heavy metal band, not a religious choir. The fact that he got kicked out says quite a lot about the rate of his drug abuse and the depth of his addiction. But Iron Maiden went on to hire Bruce Dickinson and made one of the best known metal albums around: The Number of the Beast.

Pink Floyd Booted Syd Barrett for Psychedelic Addiction

To be more specific, Pink Floyd let Barrett go when his abuse of psychedelic drugs affected his mind so deeply that the band couldn’t take it anymore. Given the tone and theme of Pink Floyd’s music in their two bestselling later albums, Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, Barrett must have been pretty far gone to be shunned by these guys.

In the hole left by Barrett, Pink Floyd put no one. Instead bassist Roger Waters and guitarist David Gilmour split the duties of lead singer and became one of the most successful and unique rock bands in the world.

The Temptations Fired David Ruffin Due to Cocaine Addiction

A classic, early rock band, The Temptations, lost their lead singer, David Ruffin, when Ruffin’s cocaine addiction got too out of control for the band to handle. Already topping the charts with hits like “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and “My Girl,” the band risked plummeting into obscurity by getting rid of their popular front man. They took the chance. Replacing Ruffin with Dennis Edwards turned out to be a smart move, though, and the band went on to even more success with hits like “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” and “I Can’t Get Next to You.”

What happened to Ruffin? He went on to a sporadic, yet occasionally successful solo career, but ultimately died of an overdose in 1991.

Wendy Lee Nentwig

By Wendy Lee Nentwig
Guest Contributor
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