There are other bands that don’t quite fit any pattern. Genesis is like a less extreme version of Steely Dan: it got pared down, but it didn't feel diminished. They continued to produced music at the same level, and enlisted the same people to "rebuild/restore" the band for the live shows. There's a level of constancy with them, at least until Mr. Collins left.
It can never become what some bands become... just a band name with a bunch of hired guns" - T. Petty [Runnin' Down a Dream (2007)]
I just watched Peter Bogdanovich's excellent documentary, "Runnin' Down A Dream," about the life and times of the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers band. It's just shy of 4 hours, and there is not one boring moment. I plucked that gem from it to highlight my thesis.
We had been talking, last time, about when a band is and is not demonstrably “original.” One notable (and minor) exception you also might allow is Rush: the original drummer played on one (the first) album, and the current line-up has been together for 40 (!!) years. And at this point, if anyone left, I doubt they would continue. In point of fact, when Neil Peart was suffering through family tragedies, and was unsure if he could continue, the other members were willing to give him all the time and space he needed to grieve. If they were to have to dissolve the band because he would decide he wasn't going to return, they seemed content
with that. We will revisit this scenario (and those questions posed earlier).
Having less than a week ago returned from a one thousand five hundred mile round-trip drive to see James Taylor in concert – and, I may add, not for the first time – I may be forgiven for thinking myself competent to say a few words about the art of the singer-songwriter.