10 Classic Rock Spin Off Bands You May Have Missed

Spin Off Rock Bands

Photo: Antonio Bonanno from Milan (Italy), Italy / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

10 Classic Rock Spin off Bands You May Have Missed article takes a look at bands that were formed by musicians who had been former members of famous classic rock bands. In most of these cases, these bands did not last too long. Some of them only recorded one album while others released a few records. Of course, any hardcore fan of any musical artist knows everything about that particular artist. Nonetheless, for the majority of rock fans, this article presents a list of groups that have gone pretty much unnoticed in classic rock history or at least have been forgotten or simply not noticed by the masses.

Interestingly, there are some bands that are even recent configurations on this list too. We also think that there is a possibility that some fans may have heard of some of these groups but never knew their connections to the super groups that their members can from. This article will not present any of the famous spin off groups like The Foo Fighters or Hot Tuna because those are just so obviously well known and everyone knows their stories. No, this article is all about the Spin off Bands You May Have Missed or simply never knew their backstories.

# 10 – Jack-Knife

We open up our 10 Classic Rock Spin off Bands You May Have Missed article with a band we are pretty sure most people have never heard off. The band Jack-Knife was a group that was formed by former members of the bands King Crimson and Supertramp. The band consisted of John Wetton on vocals, bass and keyboards, Richard Palmer-James on guitars, John Hutcheson on keys and Curt Cress on drums. John Wetton had formally been a member of King Crimson. Richard Palmer-James had been a member of Supertramp.

Both Wetton and Palmer had played together in bands growing up before garnering success with King Crimson and Supertramp. Palmer also wrote lyrics for many King Crimson songs. Curt Cress had been a member of Passport as well as being one of the most successful studio drummers in the music business. John Hutcheson had previously recorded an album with Paul Brett. Jack-Knife recorded only one album together. The album entitled Jack-Knife or also known as I Wish You Would was released in 1979.

# 9 –  Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros

Unlike Jack-Knife, the band The Mescaleros released multiple albums. Fans of The Clash my be very familiar with this band. The group was led by Joe Strummer who was was a founding member of the band The Clash. Some my argue this was Joe Stummer’s back up band as the group was called Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros. But the fact is the group released several albums together and with continuous members that all took part in the songwriting process making this very much a “band” The group consisted of Joe Strummer, Martin Slattery, Pablo Cook, Scott Shields and Tymon Dog.

# 8 – Bobby & The Midnights

The Grateful Dead may have more offshoots than any other band in classic rock history. We could have probably filled this entire list with The Grateful Dead offshoots. One of our favorites was one that many outside The Grateful Dead circle may be unfamiliar called Bobby & The Midnights. This was a really interesting band. The group was founded by Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead. It also featured one of jazz fusions most iconic drummers named Billy Cobham. Former Steppenwolf member Bobby Cochran was also part of the crew. The bass duties were defined at first by ex-Vanilla Fudge member Tim Bogart and then jazz legend Alphonso Johnson. Other musicians who played in the group were Matthew Kelly, Brent Mydland, Dave Garland and Kenny Gradney. Bobby & The Midnights released two albums and performed frequently between the years 1980 and 1984

# 7 – Souther Hillman Furay Band

Well there is nothing like defining the members of a band such as putting all of their names in the band’s name. That’s what they did with the Souther Hillman Furay Band. The  band was created by Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield and Poco, Chris Hillman of The Byrds and J. D. Souther who would gain fame writing many songs for Linda Ronstadt and The Eagles. The band was formed in 1972. They only released two albums and called it quits.  I am still trying to get over the rhyme in the song “Border Town,” about “woman who were easy and dudes who were greasy.” Oh boy!

# 6 – The Dead Weather

The band The Dead Weather were a spin off band that featured Alison Mosshart of The Kills, the great Jack White,  Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age and Jack Lawrence of The Greenhornes, The Raconteurs, and City and Colour. The band first formed in 2010 and released three studio albums, one live album and almost a dozen singles. If you have never heard of this group, we highly recommend you checking out their material.

# 5 – The Rentals

The Rentals are a band formed by former bassist of Weezer, Matt Sharp. The group was first formed in 1995. They have released four studio albums. The band has served as group who has hosted so many musicians from other well known bands such as The Killers, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and many more. Over thirty well known rock musicians have been involved with the group making the band’s name rather appropriate.

# 4 – Zwan

One of the most interesting and fabulous bands that you may have missed in the twenty first century was the band called ZwanThe group was formed by former Smashing Pumpkins members Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin. The group also included Paz Lenchantin, of A Perfect Circle as well as journey men musicians Matt Sweeney and David Pajo. The group was only together for two years but released the great album Mary Star of the Sea.

# 3 – Butts Band

This is one that we would place a pretty heavy bet on that you never heard of. The Butts Band was a group formed by half the members of The Doors. In 1975, John Densmore and Robby Krieger formed the group and released two studio albums Butts Band (1973) and Hear and Now (1975) with a different lineup on both records.

# 2 – 3

While Emerson Lake & Palmer stand as one of the most legendary bands in classic rock history, the group has always been defined as lined with three of the of the most influential and highly contributing musicians in rock. We could do an entire article on all the bands that members of this group were associated with. However, the one you may have missed was the band 3. It was a short lived group that was formed in 1988 by Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer and Robert Berry. The band only released one album entitled To The Power Of Three.

# 1 – Super Heavy

We close out our 10 Classic Rock Spin off Bands You May Have Missed with the super group Super Heavy. Talk about a super group you may have missed. Super Heavy consisted of Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame and one of rock greatest producers, the incredible and unbelievable soulful Joss Stone, Bob Marley’s youngest son Damian Marley and one of India’s most cherished and acclaimed artists A. R. Rahman. This stellar group of artists came together to record one album entitled also Super Heavy. The album was released in 2011. This is an incredible video that is simply beautiful in every way.


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