I've been told that, if the person preforming a certain action in a sentence is not alive anymore, then we should use the Past Simple, even in the contexts where one would normally expect a Perfect tense. As in,
Charlie Chaplin visited Birmingham twice.
(Just a random sentence, I don't know if he actually did).
It's quite clear that, since Charlie Chaplin isn't alive today, we cannot use the Present Perfect here. Although, if he were currently with us, than yes, we could do that. (Or at least that's how I was taught).
But I have another scenario in mind.
Tenacious D have been / were on Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show three times.
Of course, the guys from Tenacious D are still alive. But Craig's show isn't running anymore, because he ended it some years ago.
So, what tense would we use here? The Present Perfect or the Past Simple, and why?