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9 legendary bands that hated each other

By / 12.26.12
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Bands that hate each other are as part of the fabric of rock and roll as sex, drugs and having copious amounts of sex while on copious amounts of drugs. Oh, and music too. Can’t forget that, I suppose. Creative tension is one of those things that make the music work. But occasionally, that tension and disdain boils over and becomes hatred, hatred that ends up destroying bands and in the case of our number one band on this list, death. Yes, that’s right, people have literally died because of this. But whether they were torn apart by petty catfights and lawsuits or whether they were destroyed by literally murdering each other, the one thing these nine bands all have in common is that they hated each other.

Photo credit: YouTube

Pink Floyd reuniting a few years ago at Live 8 was a big deal not so much because their music was just begging to be heard again, but because it was kind of a miracle that those dudes could even stand on the same stage without physically assaulting one another. When Roger Waters, the band’s leader, decided to shelve the whole thing in 1985, guitarist David Gilmour decided to go on without him, leading to a flurry of lawsuits. The first shot was fired by Waters, who sued the band in an effort to keep them from calling themselves Pink Floyd. Gilmour responded by calling Waters a dog and basically saying to hell with him. But that was all the culmination of years of frustration and back-biting by the various members of the band, who by the end of their run could barely even stand to be in the same room together. Today, they all seem to exist with a sort of uneasy tension, willing to be civil – and occasionally even perform together – but they never really ever resolved any of the differences that led to the degeneration of the band. The old hatreds are still there, they just all sort of suck it up when they have to.

Photo credit: YouTube

Cream was one of rock’s first super groups and with super groups come super egos. The main source of contention in Cream was between drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce. Before the two even joined Eric Clapton in Cream, they already had a history of hatred, fighting each other on numerous occasions when they were both members of the band The Graham Bond Organization. It’s always a good idea to start up a new band with someone you already can’t stand, right? Naturally, Cream only lasted a few years, and by the end Baker and Bruce basically spent every show just trying to outplay the other, playing so loud that Baker claimed it permanently damaged his hearing. Eventually, decades later, the band reunited for a few shows, but those too fell apart because Baker and Bruce couldn’t get past all their bullshit and started trying to blow each other’s ear drums out again while squawking in the press.

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The Gallagher brothers are probably more famous now for hating each other than they are for their quaint little Beatles tribute band. For years, the two sniped at each other in the press and fought like two petulant little brats – as brothers sometimes do – but things went a little too far in 2009 when Liam attacked Noel with Noel’s guitar, swinging it around like an actual axe and – at least according to Noel – almost taking Noel’s face off with it. The band broke up and the two quit speaking before finally breaking the ice and exchanging texts after their beloved football club, Manchester City, won the English Premier League title earlier this year. Of course, I’m sure that it won’t be long before one of them sleeps with the other’s wife or slashes their tires or something equally as petty and ridiculous, but hey, that’s Oasis – petty and ridiculous to the end.

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The Beach Boys are known for two things: soaring harmonies that helped redefine pop music and ridiculous melodramas that highlight what an insanely dysfunctional family they all come from. The most infamously toxic relationship in the band was between cousins Mike Love and Brian Wilson, whose feuds and numerous lawsuits have reduced each to a sad caricature – Love as the greedy, jealous control freak, insecure because no one ever gives him any credit while worshipping at Wilson’s altar of genius, and Wilson as the neurotic, schizophrenic half-insane man-child, incapable of controlling his own life or dealing with his tumultuous band. Love is constantly suing Wilson, for everything from publishing rights to using the band’s name in ads for his solo work to saying nasty shit about him in his autobiography – an autobiography which Wilson claims he’s never even read by the way. Naturally. Meanwhile, Wilson’s brothers in the band have both died, Love has feuded with the other surviving member, Al Jardine, and while they occasionally get together, smile and pretend to like one another for the sake of hawking a new album, it’s pretty clear that these dudes will never, ever resolve their myriad of issues.

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When people think of dysfunctional rock bands, one of the first names everyone mentions is The Eagles, and that’s because these dudes hated each other for so many inane reasons that they basically became the perfect rock and roll cliché of the band torn apart by internal strife. Creative tensions, hurt feelings, blah blah blah – it’s all there, and the band finally broke up in 1980 with Glenn Frey and Don Felder memorably spending the group’s last show bickering and screaming at each other about all the ways they were going to kick the other’s ass. Eventually, the group famously reunited with their Hell Freezes Over Tour, and have toured together off and on for the last decade and a half, but even since that first reunion, there has been melodrama and infighting, with Felder getting fired and then suing the band in 2001. There have been countersuits and other assorted bullshit since and, well, that’s just what The Eagles are all about.

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It’s been said that Guns ‘N Roses was so exciting because the sense was always there that the whole thing could fall apart at any moment. And, of course, it eventually did. The biggest feud has been between singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash, who both refuse to ever play with the other again and constantly shit talk each other in the press. But Rose has also feuded with drummer Steven Adler, with Alder’s replacement, Matt Sorum, with bassist Duff McKagan, with childhood friend and rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin and basically anyone and everyone who has ever played with or been connected to the band. Occasionally, Axl will surprise people and invite one of the original dudes to play with his glorified cover band, but never Slash or Adler. But then again, Guns N’ Roses was never built to last and as long as Axl and Slash hate each other, there’s no chance that they’ll get together and embarrass themselves for money. So they’ve got that going for them.

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The feud between Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth is one of the most famous in rock and roll history. Basically, Eddie believes he’s the star of the show and Diamond Dave is, well, Diamond Dave. The two have basically been involved in one giant hate-fest for almost the last thirty years, occasionally pretending to bury the hatchet for the sake of the almighty dollar only to remember that they can’t even coexist in the same room for ten minutes without pissing each other off. Probably the most hilarious incident came at the 1996 MTV VMA’s, when the band reunited on stage to present an award – resulting in a gigantic standing ovation from an audience full of celebrities who became instant fan-boys the moment Diamond Dave strolled on stage – and Eddie couldn’t even make it through the presentation without getting pissed off at Dave, which resulted in the reunion falling apart literally before it had even begun. Naturally, money has compelled them to try and try and try again but the end result is always the same, which coincidentally is also the same way everything always ends between Eddie and Sammy Hagar or any of the other singers that he pretends to tolerate.

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The Kinks were the baby of brother Ray and Dave Davies, who were basically the Gallagher Brothers before the Gallaghers were. Their feuding is one of rock’s most enduring legends, and the two have spent almost the entirety of the last fifty years sniping at each other, fighting like little boys and openly hating one another. Several years ago, Dave suffered a stroke and Ray declared that it was time to bury the hatchet. Since then, the two have gone back and forth, occasionally trying to work things out but always ending up in the same place – consumed with mutual loathing. Naturally, since they’re brothers, it’s complicated. They both claim to love one another, it’s just that, well, they can’t stand each other. It happens. Of course, when you’re the two most prominent members of one of rock’s most legendary bands, it also means that it’s a big, big problem.

Photo credit: YouTube

There’s hating each other so much that you can’t work together and then there’s the case of the infamous Norwegian black metal band Mayhem, whose members hated each other so much that one of them, Count Grishnackh (not his given Christian name, believe it or not) stabbed another, Euronymous, to death. Now that’s some world-class hatred right there. The good Count later argued that he only killed Euronymous because Euronymous was planning on killing him (all this after the duo got together and burned down some churches and planned to blow up the famous Nidaros Cathedral – now that’s commitment to the gimmick), but a court decided that Euronymous’ twenty-three stab wounds, including two to the head and, appropriately enough, sixteen to the back, indicated that Count Grishnackh probably got a tad bit carried away and sentenced him to twenty-one years in prison. You can talk all you want about feuding brothers or dudes bickering about who said what but Mayhem actually had a dude murder someone so, uh, yeah, I think they win.

Photo credit: Cecil, Wikimedia Commons

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TAGSArbitrary Rankingsbandsbands that broke upBeach BoysCreamfeaturedGuns 'N' Roseslegendary bandsListsMayhem bandOasisPink Floydrock and rollrock groups that broke upThe EaglesThe KinksVan Halen
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