Created By: IStillDream on March 26, 2013 Last Edited By: IStillDream on April 18, 2013

Dueling Incarnations

Two competing versions of a band (or other media property) exist simultaneously, each claiming legitimacy.

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Trope
While fans of bands know that sometimes band members leave and are replaced--sometimes even resulting in The Band Minus the Face--things get more complicated when former members decide to form their own versions of the group. This essentially results in two bands with the same (or very similar) name, each touring (and playing the same back catalog) and recording.

These happenings can be broken into two basic types.

Type 1: A former band member starts their own version of a still-extant band. Often this happens when the Face of the Band is the member that left.

Examples:
  • Queensryche (2012-Present), with original vocalist Geoff Tate starting his own competing lineup (also featuring ex-Queensryche guitarist Kelly Gray) after being fired.
  • Great White (2011-Present), with original vocalist Jack Russell forming "Jack Russell's Great White" after initially leaving due to a medical issue.
  • L.A. Guns (2006-2012), with original guitarist Tracii Guns starting his own version (also including [at various times] former members Paul Black, Nickey Alexander, and Martey Casey) after leaving the original band in 2002. Resolved when his version folded.
  • Former Styx lead vocalist Dennis De Young has been playing with a group billed as "The Music of Styx" since 2010.

Version 2: When different former members (or groups of former members) of a broken-up band stage competing reunions.
  • Black Flag (2012-Present). Former members Greg Ginn and Ron Reyes are playing as a reunited Black Flag, while former members Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski, Bill Stevenson are playing as Flag.
  • Over the years, at least seven different, unrelated incarnations of The Platters have toured, usually featuring just one former member. Currently, there are four: "The Buck Ram Platters", Herb Reed and His Platters, Monroe Powell and The Platters, and Sonny Turner and The Platters.
  • Since disbanding in 1982, there have been no less than 3 different versions of Sweet. Former guitarist Brian Connolly formed The New Sweet in 1984, while Andy Scott and Mick Tucker would begin playing as Sweet in 1985. After Tucker's departure from the latter, the two factions agreed to a renaming to reduce confusion, becoming Brian Connolly's Sweet and Andy Scott's Sweet respectively. Connolly died in 1997, and Scott's version would be the only one until 2008, when Steve Priest founded Steve Priest's Sweet.

In terms of non-musical applications, the only similar example I can think of is what happened to the Bond franchise with the release of Never Say Never Again, though I'm not sure if it's worth broadening the trope definition just to capture that.
Community Feedback Replies: 36
  • March 27, 2013
    SharleeD
    Another non-music example:

    For more than half its history, the Dungeons And Dragons game actually existed as two games: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and the Basic/Expert/etc D&D game. The design of the former was under E. Gary Gygax's control, while the latter was Dave Arneson's version.
  • March 27, 2013
    IStillDream
    Oh, interesting! That's a really good example. I wonder if we can find other non-musical ones.
  • March 27, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    What's the description for the second type of occurrence? I see a description for "Type 1" before the list of examples, but "Version 2" is just a list heading, without any details.
  • March 27, 2013
    cityofmist
    What about countries? North and South Korea. China and Taiwan.
  • March 27, 2013
    IStillDream
    Oops, thank you for pointing that out Ultramarine Alizarin, that was an editing error on my part. I've fixed it now.
  • March 27, 2013
    robinjohnson
    • The first two Red Dwarf tie-in novels, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers and Better Than Life, were written by show creators Rob Grant and Doug Naylor together. After the partnership split, each of them wrote a "third" novel - Grant's Backwards and Naylor's Last Human, each following directly from Better Than Life and ignoring the other.
  • March 28, 2013
    IStillDream
    Ok, that's another good one. So it seems like the broader definition is one focused on any work or franchise that a)initially had multiple creators working together and then b) had those creators split and create competing new iterations of the work.
  • March 28, 2013
    Duncan
  • March 28, 2013
    robinjohnson
    A Real Life example:
    • Budweiser beer. There's the one that's been made in the Czech town of Budweis since the 13th century, and the American newcomer that keeps, sometimes successfully, filing lawsuits against the Czech manufacturers for the name. In most of Europe, American Budweiser has to call itself Bud or B; Czech Budweiser is called Czechvar in the US and Budvar in the UK. Rumour has it that the American company was founded by a disgruntled ex-employee of the Czech one.
  • March 28, 2013
    MetaFour
    • Electric Light Orchestra split in two. Former members Bev Bevan and Mik Kaminski formed ELO Part II in 1989--and they renamed themselves to The Orchestra in 1999 when Bevan left. This incarnation is still touring. In 2001 Jeff Lynne (the original Face of ELO) reformed Electric Light Orchestra with new members for a new album and tour.
  • March 28, 2013
    helterskelter
    The name should reflect that this is a music specific trope, don't you think? I initially thought of dueling reincarnations.
  • March 28, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    The examples suggest that this isn't music-specific. Dueling Sequels might work better if we continue in that direction.
  • March 29, 2013
    IStillDream
    I'm glad this is getting so many responses--and putting it in the Meta Concepts index makes lots of sense.

    Dueling Sequels makes some sense, but it seems narrower than some of the examples above--in the "version 1" musical cases above, the first band continues in an unbroken way (just without the expelled members) so it isn't exactly a "sequel." Dueling Versions maybe? Or should we move away from "Dueling" entirely, since those are all cases where it's just the *premise* that's similar.
  • March 29, 2013
    IStillDream
    Also, following on from the Korea and Taiwan examples above, it occurs to me that there are lots of historical and governmental examples:

    • All governments in exile, of which there are dozens currently and hundreds historically.

    • The Antipopes, who at various points in history claimed to be the legitimate occupant of the papacy, and had often had significant support and worship.

    • Certain kinds of Sovereign Citizen/Conspiracy groups-- e.g. the "Republic of Texas" group and the "Republic for the united States of America"--claim that they are the legitimate continuations of previous governments of all or part of the U.S., stemming from various historical events, and that the current U.S. government is illegitimate. Nobody takes them terribly seriously, though.
  • March 29, 2013
    DracMonster
    This has a certain amount of flame-bait and natter potential (like "selling out".) I'm not suggesting axing it, but it may need a disclaimer not to get into zealotry over which is the "true" band.
  • March 29, 2013
    helterskelter
    @Noaquiyeum: I'm not sure how the examples suggest they aren't. They're all about bands.
  • March 29, 2013
    Folamh3
    Type 1: Between 2007-9 there were two bands named Gorgoroth (the original band had existed since 1992), one featuring the founding guitarist Infernus and another featuring several members who joined the band later, including vocalist Gaahl and bassist King ov Hell. Following legal proceedings the former won the exclusive right to use the name in 2009.
  • March 29, 2013
    MetaFour
    "I'm not sure how the examples suggest they aren't. They're all about bands."

    Several non-musical examples have already been given: The Red Dwarf tie-in novels, the split between Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, the competing Budweiser beer companies.
  • March 29, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    After the 1984 Columbia Pictures movie Ghost Busters became a hit and a cartoon adaptation was planned, someone remembered the 1975 Saturday morning live-action show by the same name, starring Larry Storch and Forrest Tucker. Filmation, the owners of the 1975 show, revived their characters in a competing cartoon show over Columbia's objections, which ended up renaming their cartoon The Real Ghost Busters.
  • March 29, 2013
    helterskelter
    ^^ Yes, in the comments. But there has yet to be anything else added to it. Regardless, the name still isn't great.
  • March 30, 2013
    robinjohnson
    Dueling Doubles? The name doesn't express the whole concept, but I don't think this is a concept simple enough to be summed up in two or three words. That's why articles are longer than the title, after all.
  • March 31, 2013
    IStillDream
    Helterskelter, I will add them in tomorrow, I was just waiting for critical mass. And yeah, the name is tricky. Dueling Doubles could work, but I'd bet there's a better alternative.
  • April 1, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    something Schism?

  • April 1, 2013
    Prfnoff
    There is actually a third version, where due to Executive Meddling the group loses the rights to its name, which then gets licensed to some obscure outfit which becomes the group In Name Only. This happened with the Philharmonia Orchestra, which had to rename itself the New Philharmonia Orchestra from 1964 to 1977.
  • April 1, 2013
    robinjohnson
    I like the idea of using a schism or "pretenders to the throne" metaphor, as long as the prospective name won't get smacked down because it's not about real religious schisms or royal pretenders. Title Schism?
  • April 1, 2013
    clankomatic
    Web Comics: Order of the Stick has the whole party fighting their evil correlates.
  • April 1, 2013
    Nemmington
  • April 15, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • Newspaper comics: The Katzenjammer Kids split into The Katzenjammer Kids and The Captain and the Kids when the Katzanjammer writer/artist switched from Hearst to another newspaper, but Hearst claimed it still had the rights to the name & concept. The split lasted for 60 years unitl Captain stopped being published; Katzenjammer is still going today.

    Professional Wrestling:
    • The Midnight Express was originally Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose; eventually they split up, and Condrey teamed with Bobby Eaton while continuing to use the name. Years later, Condrey was Kayfabe fired by Midnight Express manager Jim Cornette, who replaced him with Stan Lane. Meanwhile Condrey was in the AWA with Rose as "the Original Midnight Express," and they eventually went to back to the NWA and feuded with the "new" Midnight Express over rights to the name.
    • When Ric Flair joined the WWF in 1991 he took the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt with him; his gimmick was that he was the "real" World Champion and Hulk Hogan's WWF World Heavyweight Championship was worthless.
  • April 15, 2013
    helterskelter
    Do you mind taking the emphasis off of bands, if it's not just about them? Anyway, what about Dueling Adaptations? While that unfortunately just focuses as a name on adaptations, it at least makes it clear that the trope must be about the same thing.
  • April 16, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    Franchise Schism?

  • April 16, 2013
    StarSword
    ^That'd work.

    Film:
    • Due to some legal screwiness, Kevin McClory, the screenwriter for the fourth James Bond film Thunderball, ended up with the rights to the story. He tried to start a competing Bond series with Never Say Never Again, a Recycled Script of Thunderball, but the same year's official outing Octopussy outdid it at the box office and McClory gave up, but not before forcing the removal of the SPECTRE name and Ernst Stavro Blofeld from the franchise (which had the side effect of forcing EA to rename SPECTRE when they adapted From Russia With Love as a video game).

    Video Games:
  • April 16, 2013
    Quag15
    I don't know much about them, but how come no one thought of The Beach Boys?

    It also seems that they had both versions/types.
  • April 17, 2013
    Surenity
    • It would seem that Hasbro is gearing up to do this with the My Little Pony franchise, with Friendship is Magic and Equestria Girls (a version where the characters are human) out at the same time, in differing continuities.
    • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise had this early on, with both the films and the first cartoon out at the same time. Both ended up borrowing from one another to a certain degree.
    • A Pro Wrestling Example: After Diesel left the WWF for WCW, Glen Jacobs (later known as Kane) became Fake Diesel, dressing up like Diesel and the announcers acting none the wiser.
  • April 17, 2013
    Bisected8
    • The newspaper comic The Yellow Kid was an infamous enough example that it lead to the coining of the term "Yellow Journalism"; the strip's artist/creator defected to a rival paper, but the original paper had a new artist continue to draw strips. It became the ultimate sign of the dodgy journalism the two papers were involved in and the term "Yellow kid journalism" was used to describe it.
  • April 17, 2013
    Leaper
    So are you or are you not limiting this trope to bands only? If not, a description rewrite is in order.

    Either way, any worry that the name might be mistaken for imposter/evil twin situations or something like that?
  • April 18, 2013
    AgProv
    Well... there's the Vendée movement in France, which even today campaigns for the winding up of the Republic and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy and aristocracy, although the chance of that is vanishingly small. There is also a miniscule but vocal minority in Great Britain that refuses to accept the House of Windsor as being royal, and wants the restoration of the Stuart dynasty. (Its preferred candidate styles himself as King James The Seventh and is a direct decendant of Bonnie Prince Charlie. So not insane and a man who in an alternate world might well be King - but somewhat eccentric in this one)
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