By: Sam Kayuha, In The Record Store staff writer.
Most of rock’s famous couples aren’t known for living happily together for many years, in sickness and in health. They are famous, usually, for more horrific realities — tales of abuse, mutual self-destruction and drug addiction abound in the strangely fetishized marital histories of the Turners, Love-Cobains, and others.
But it’s not all heroin and restraining orders in the epoch of rock couples, which is good news for Leanna Stansell and Dave Buker of Dave Buker and the Historians, a local, vaguely R&B group who recently appeared on the podcast.
The two are the engaged, but they are far from the only husband and wife team to work together musically.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono (Plastic Ono Band): The years in which Ono has lived without Lennon have seen her image evolve from the slightly off woman who broke up The Beatles to the slightly off woman who deserves her own artistic credit, albeit one in a different lane than of her mainstream celebrity.
It was Ono who pulled Lennon toward the avant garde, resulting in a further turn from pop that resulted in the incomprehensible “Revolution 9” from The Beatles’ White Album. The two worked together in the post-Beatles Plastic Ono Band, releasing three albums of experimental material and seven other more-listenable projects in the ‘70s.
Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth): Sonic Youth was the underground influence behind the alternative explosion in the 1990's, which pushed it out from the underground and made the band’s married, alternating front people something of celebrities. They were labeled as the faces of “slacker” culture, meaning they talked in a slow, stoned drawl, and came offf as uninspired, even when they were cranking out albums of some of best rock music of the late 20th century.
Gordon and Moore split after 27 years of marriage, destroying anyone’s hope for real love in the world.
Jack and Meg White (The White Stripes): John Gillis and Megan White married in 1996 (he took her last name), formed a two-person band the next year and divorced in 2000. The band had become popular, and would be the head of a new, minimalist movement in rock within a few years. White and White would keep the true nature of their relationships secret, maintaining that they were siblings.
The White Stripes split for good in 2011, maintaining enough of a relationship after marriage to achieve super stardom.
Win Butler and Regine Chassagne (Arcade Fire): The union of Butler and Chassagne has been so low key that I would guess many fans of the band do not even realize that the front man and singer/multi-instrumentalist are married.
Hailing from Montreal, Arcade Fire has been the preeminent indie band of the last decade, emerging at the start of hipster hysteria and eventually achieving enough mainstream success to go on arena tours, headline major festivals and win the biggest prize at the Grammy’s.
Butler is most prominent face of the band, but Chassagne is the lead vocalist perhaps its finest song “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains),” and whose Haitian inspired the new direction on its latest record, “Reflektor.”