© copyright and courtesy Jim Marshall Photography LLC.
Last week, the Rolling Stones celebrated 50 years as a band. That's a long time to spend


Don't Stop: 15 of the Longest-Running Bands in Rock

© copyright and courtesy Jim Marshall Photography LLC.
Last week, the Rolling Stones celebrated 50 years as a band. That's a long time to spend with anyone, be it spouse or band mate. But lots of bands have made it 30 or 40 years without ever taking a break. After the jump, we take a look at some of the longest-running bands of all time:

15. Red Hot Chili Peppers

Formed: 1983 (29 years)

RCHP survived the death of a founding member in the freaking '80s before selling over 13 million copies of Blood Sex Sugar Magik.

14. The Flaming Lips

Formed: 1983 (29 years)

It's hard to believe the Flaming Lips have been around for almost 30 years when the best -known period of their career came in the last decade. But Wayne Coyne and co. first joined forces in 1983 in Norman, Oklahoma. They've been going strong ever since.

12. and 13. Metallica and Slayer

Formed: 1981 (31 years)

Genre-defining acts Metallica and Slayer both started in 1981. Over 30 years later, they're still shredding (and fighting, if you're talking about Metallica.)

11. The Cure

Formed: 1976 (36 years)

Though long-running, the Cure get demerit points because frontman Robert Smith is the only consistent member.

10. U2

Formed: 1976 (36 years)

Why is it that all too often, the longest-running acts are the worst ones? Whether or not you agree with that statement, you'd have to be impressed to learn that their two-year '360' tour, which wrapped in 2011, grossed $736,137,344.


Formed: 1973 (39 years)

Despite their longevity, the best years for KISS was the decade after their formation. It's been a long downhill slide since.

8. AC/DC

Formed: 1973 (39 years)

What is it about the hard stuff that makes them able to run forever? Perhaps EMP's current exhibit about the band has the answer.

7. Aerosmith

Formed: 1970 (42 years)

In addition to their long career, Aerosmith hold the honor of being the best-selling American rock band of all time. They've unloaded over 150 million albums over the course of their long reign.

5. and 6. (tie) ZZ Top and Crosby, Stills & Nash

Formed: 1969 (43 years)

Both ZZ Top and CSN formed in 1969, and also tie for the longest run with their original lineup. Though when your band is called Crosby, Stills & Nash, you don't have much choice, do you?

4. Rush

Formed: 1968 (44 years)

Like the bands mentioned above, Canadian prog gods Rush have been operating on the same lineup since 1974.

3. Fleetwood Mac

Formed: 1967 (45 years)

The Mac have gone through a number of lineup changes over the years, even facing the deaths of former members, but "rumour" has it they're going to be taking the juggernaut on the road again in 2013.

2. The Rolling Stones

Formed: 1962 (50 years)

Reading Keith Richards' autobiography Life, you'd be surprised the Stones kept it together so long. Even if they hate each other's guts, they hold the record for second-highest-grossing concert tour of all time. At this point, we know what's keeping them together.

1. The Drifters

Formed: 1953 (59 years)

Think the Stones have been around for a long time? Incredibly long-running vocal pop act the Drifters still perform with two original members, and have hung on so long they've been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame twice.

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