Added on 25-Sep-2005
Part 1, Great Article About Queen+Paul Rodgers 9/25/2005 New York TimesThe 9/25/2005 online edition of the New York Times has a great article by Jeff Leeds about bands who have lost members, then reformed in new incarnations to see great success. Of course, Queen+Paul Rodgers is discussed as one of the ones who proved it CAN be done to fan approval.
Please also CLICK on the link for an EXCELLENT color PHOTO of Queen+Paul Rodgers performing live in concert.
One note, since the article does point out dissenters, it mentions and cites poster KingMercury on Queenzone. So read the article copied below.
It is so long I am posting it in 2 parts.
....Part 1 Below.
''By JEFF LEEDS
Published: September 25, 2005
''MEMBERS of the British rock band Queen thought they'd never tour again after Freddie Mercury, their flamboyant lead singer, died of an AIDS-related illness in November 1991. Big hits like the camp opera ''Bohemian Rhapsody'' and the rock-swing ''Crazy Little Thing Called Love'' seemed uniquely suited to Mercury, who carried them with just the proper mix of kitsch and bluster.
''But Queen's fortunes did not die with Mercury after all. The band has been selling out arenas across Europe, and they've been doing it with a singer who sounds nothing like their late star: Paul Rodgers, singer of 1970's hits like ''Feel Like Makin' Love'' and ''Ready for Love'' with the rock band Bad Company, who has given Queen's catalog a bluesy tinge.''
''Queen isn't alone. Today many well-known rock bands are pursuing second acts with new lead singers, raising questions not only about just how far the trend can go, but about where a band's identity truly lies. The Cars are the latest major band reported to be considering a new lead singer (the rocker Todd Rundgren in place of Ric Ocasek, who since leaving the band has built a reputation as a record producer, and Ben Orr, who died five years ago.) Foreigner hired a new frontman, Kelly Hansen, in March after the exit of Lou Gramm, following the examples in recent years of reconstituted bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Van Halen.''
''And as prime-time television viewers know, the Australian rock band INXS and pop stylists TLC, both of which lost their lead singers some years ago, are going everyone one better. On reality television shows (on CBS and UPN respectively) the surviving members of each outfit turned their loss into an asset, making their auditions with a variety of singers a form of entertainment in their own right. With the exposure, they've increased their chances of turning misfortune into a comeback. (Last Tuesday J. D. Fortune was named on the show as the INXS singer. He will sing on the band's next album, ''Switch,'' which has not been completed yet, but for which music company executives have already selected the first single.)''
''Music executives say a band's ability to outlive its singer usually depends on which was more influential: the songs or the cult of personality. In the case of Motown ensembles on the oldies circuit, the songs win out every time. The same is true for a relatively faceless band like Styx: on its own and as part of packages with other bands it has generated more than $90 million in box office sales since 1999, when it parted company with Dennis DeYoung, its singer and keyboardist, hiring Lawrence Gowan to fill in. Tommy Shaw, guitarist for the band, notes that anonymity was part of the formula from the start. ''All you've got to do,'' he said ''is look at our album covers'' - thematic artwork rather than glamorous head shots.''
''For bands strongly identified with a lead vocalist, things are tougher. Not all Queen fans are happy with the arrival of Mr. Rodgers, who also sang for the bands Free, of which he was a founder in 1968, and the Firm, a short-lived 1980's outfit. On the message board at queenzone.com, one poster who goes by the name KingMercury echoed a common feeling toward Queen + Paul Rodgers, as the act is now known. ''I will not complain about the cu