After reading this list, you’ll probably wonder to yourself – was there ever a band whose members didn’t hate each other? Seriously, it seems like an essential part of creating great music is to hit each other with drum stands, guitars, and beer bottles. I guess there’s nothing like some fiery anger to get the artistic juices flowing.
Whether out of jealousy, creative differences, or simply way too many drugs, band members have been at each other’s throats from the beginning of time. So next time you see your favorite band sing something like “All you need is love…nah nah nah nah,” take their words with a grain of salt. Because they’re probably thinking about how they’re going to tear each other apart once the lights turn off.
The Everly Brothers began writing their music in the ‘50s, and contrary to loud musicians of the time like Elvis and Little Richard, Don and Phil Everly were pretty “vanilla.” They had a clean-cut image and created music that was acceptable for all ages. But a twisted dependence on amphetamines caused their career to hit the fan.
The Everly Brothers didn’t go around snooping for drugs; their doctor gave it to them. He claimed the pills would counteract the stress and fatigue of touring. But it tarnished the brothers’ wholesome reputation and transformed them into guitar-smashing demons. They even refused to talk to each other off stage. Their stardom slowly faded until they eventually broke up in 1973.
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were an incredible duo. They created folksy, melodic tunes with honest lyrics that tug at your heartstrings. And while each member added his creative genius, only one received most of the credit for it. Songwriter Simon was being praised for his lyrics, and Garfunkel, who added the harmonious sounds, stood in his shadow.
Their bad blood eventually tore them apart in 1970, and although they have tried to reunite over the years, they failed time after time. Simon once commented: “I regret the ending of our friendship, and I hope that one day before we die, we will make peace with each other.”
The Sex Pistols formed in the mid-’70s, but things heated up so quickly that they had to break up just three years later after their first (and last) U.S. tour. Their roundabout around America was supposed to be an exciting adventure. But Johnny Rotten was sick half the time, bassist Sid Vicious struggled with addiction, and everyone hated their manager Malcolm McLaren.
When Vicious passed away a year later, Rotten showed no mercy: “Sid was nothing more than an empty coat hanger to fill an empty spot on stage.” As if that wasn’t harsh enough, the group reunited two decades later, and even then, Rotten said they still hate each other with a vengeance, and the only reason they came together again is for the money.
John Fogerty was the genius behind CCR’s work. He wrote, produced, and mixed all of the songs. But not only did he take over musically, but he also insisted on managing the whole parade as well. While his songs were incredible, the singer didn’t know how to manage a band. Eventually, his bandmates became furious and grew tired of his stubbornness.
John’s inability to see beyond himself led to their disbandment in 1972. But the tension never disappeared. When the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, John refused to play with his bandmates, so he called in Robbie Robertson and Bruce Springsteen instead. I guess time doesn’t always heal all wounds…
The Gallagher brothers, Liam and Noel, rose to stardom in the ‘90s. With Noel’s moving lyrics and Liam’s unique technicality, Oasis peaked the charts worldwide and attracted a large fanbase. But the brothers were entertaining to watch for reasons other than music. They were known to have brutal fights on stage.
They spit insults and hit each other with cricket bats and hi-hats (drum stands). It was pretty embarrassing. Finally, in 2009, one fight got so physical that they called it quits right after. Noel described Liam as “rude, arrogant, intimidating, and lazy. He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet. He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.”
As of 2020, the brothers are still mad at each other. Noel turned down 100 million pounds to join Liam on a reunion tour. Ouch.
A Californian band with one of the chillest names ever, The Beach Boys weren’t all sunshine, volleyball, and toes in the sand. They were more like lawsuits, tension, and breakups. Although they created some of the most harmonious and joyful songs ever, things weren’t as peaceful behind the scenes.
Cousins Brian Wilson and Mike Love came into the band carrying baggage from their childhood, and things just bubbled as they grew in fame. Mike even referred to himself as Brian’s “Antichrist.” Their feud ended in a courtroom, where they fought over songwriting credits and accused each other of slander.
Yet another sibling rivalry (is anyone surprised?). In 1964, brothers Ray and Dave Davies formed The Kinks, one of the most influential bands of the decade. But their success was only fuel to the fire they carried from their childhood. The drugs, the lack of sleep, the partying…everything tore them further and further apart.
The brothers weren’t the only ones in the group hating on each other. Dave once got into an ugly fight on stage with drummer Mick Avory. Shamelessly, in front of the whole audience, Dave kicked over Mick’s drum set. A furious Mick responded by hitting Dave back with a hi-hat stand, leaving him unconscious. Dave ended up in the hospital with 16 stitches to his head.
The Ramones bandmembers Johnny and Joey were worlds apart. The only thing they had in common was their love of glam rock. Oh, and girls. After years of feuding over different worldviews (Johnny a conservative, Joey a liberal), a love triangle finally blew everything up to pieces.
Linda Danielle entered their lives when she became Joey’s girlfriend, but then she left him for Johnny, whom she later married. That messy triangle formed so much hatred between the musicians that they could never forgive each other. In 2001, Joey died of lymphatic cancer, and Johnny didn’t even come to the funeral. His reason? “I was in California. I wasn’t going to travel all the way to New York, but I wouldn’t have gone anyway.”
Ever since the band’s formation in 1988, The Smashing Pumpkin’s lineup of members has changed quite a bit. But the original ones – Billy, D’arcy, James, and Jimmy – fit the mainstream well with their grunge sound and gothic lyrics. But the members mixed business with pleasure, and things got ugly.
D’arcy began dating guitarist James Iha, and their rocky relationship put a strain on the band. Things heated up even more after Billy Corgan started bossing everyone around. But the underlying problem was drugs. The whole band was hooked on them. Which caused everyone to go crazy. End of story.
The Beatles shattered millions of hearts when they broke up in 1970. The end of Beatlemania left fans feeling confused, sad, and wondering what in the world happened. Some people pointed fingers at Yoko Ono for being the homewrecker, but that wasn’t the case.
It was just that the band couldn’t agree on which musical direction they should take. Paul wanted to make light, poppy music, and John wanted to dive deep into more serious work. So they parted ways, and not on good terms. They even refused to appear years later at their Rock and Roll Hall induction, calling it a “fake reunion.”
Metal band Kiss were as insane as they looked. Car accidents, drug overdoses, drunken swims; it’s a surprise they’re even alive. At one point, the band split into two camps – Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley vs. Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
And when Criss took his rock and roll lifestyle a bit too far – coming to rehearsals all sloppy and under the influence – Simmons was fed up and decided to kick him out. Two years later, Ace Frehley left. He said, “They wanted to constantly tour, and I wanted to hang out and enjoy my stardom, so I left.”
American rock band Van Halen was formed in 1974 and had a weird group dynamic from the get-go. Before becoming Van Halen, the members were in rival bands. Brothers Eddie and Alex started as The Broken Combs, and David Lee Roth was in The Red Ball Jets.
The brothers eventually invited Roth to join the band, but their creative differences remained. The Van Halen brothers wanted to play heavy metal, while Roth preferred a Motown, Beach-Boy vibe. Eddie Van Halen made it clear: “There are four people in this band and three of us like rock ‘n’ roll. And one of us likes dance music.” In 1985, Roth left the band for good.
Pink Floyd created huge waves with their psychedelic compositions and philosophical lyrics. The band was comprised of five members – Nick, Syd, Roger, Richard, and David. With so many different personalities in the group, it was a matter of time before things would explode.
Roger Waters wrote most of the songs, which got a bit too dark for guitarist David Gilmour. While Roger wanted to make a statement, David preferred to make music. Eventually, in 1985, Roger left the band and then sued his members for continuing to perform under the name Pink Floyd. He lost the battle and never resolved his animosity with David.
Guns N’ Roses stormed into our lives with their debut album “Appetite for Destruction.” They excited everyone with their unrestrained character and raw energy. And there was nothing as good as watching them go crazy on stage. But crazy comes with a cost.
Axl Rose took the rock and roll lifestyle a bit too far. Guitarist Slash confessed that the bandana-wearing frontman was uncontrollable. The more famous the band became, the more “Axl was impossible … to deal with.” The legendary guitarist finally gave up and walked out in 1996. Axl didn’t hesitate to show how happy he was when Slash left, calling him a “cancer he was glad he could remove.”
Being in a heavy metal band doesn’t mean you have to be a heavy drinker, heavy drug abuser, and heavy partyer. Unfortunately, Metallica’s Dave Mustaine thought it did. He first joined the band after seeing an ad saying they were looking for a guitarist. And after impressing Lars and James with his insane skills, he was hired for the part. But they soon regretted their decision.
Dave became a “raging megalomaniac who drank more than everyone.” He physically attacked his bandmates once and basically electrocuted bassist McGovney after pouring a can of beer into the pick-up of his bass. The band had enough, and Mustaine was kicked out in 1983.
The English Rock band, The Libertines, formed when two young students, Peter Doherty and Carl Barat, bonded over their love of music. Barat studied drama and Doherty studied English Lit, but both ditched school to follow their true dream. They then added neighbor Steve Bedlow to the party, and their career took off. But after their first album, one bandmate lost it.
Doherty discovered that apart from songwriting, he also really, really loved drugs (the ones that rob you of any ability to properly function). Barat couldn’t stand seeing his friend deteriorate like that and threatened to kick him out if he doesn’t get his life together. They eventually broke up in 2004 but started playing again in 2014 after Barat successfully completed his rehab treatment.
Comprised of a host of talented musicians, Fleetwood Mac formed in the ‘60s but gained global success in the mid-’70s after Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined. Their self-titled album reached No. 1 in the US and sold over 7 million copies. Sounds great, right? Not really.
Behind the scenes, everyone was throwing punches at each other. Incestuous love affairs between bandmates, hard drugs, and crumbling marriages made the whole experience a living hell. But all that pain and anger sparked their creativity, and they channeled all their emotions into what became their best-selling album “Rumours.”
Husker Du formed in 1979 after a few guys from Minnesota bonded over their fascination with The Ramones. They began performing covers in small gigs here and there until they finally released their first album and developed a voice of their own. But a devastating suicide threw them all off, and it was hard to bounce back.
Their manager, David Savoy, jumped to his death in 1987 after a long battle with depression. And the bandmates took all their tension and grief out on each other. The traumatizing experience, along with their use of drugs, led to their breakup that same year. They quit in the middle of a tour because bandmember Grant Hart’s drug abuse was out of control.
The Rolling Stones are considered one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time, and even if you don’t know much about music, you’ve probably heard their name. But the iconic rockstars created a lot more than incredible guitar riffs and genius lyrics. They came up with some of the most creative names for their bandmate, Mick Jagger.
Guitarist Keith Richards bullied Mick behind his back, throwing salty nicknames like “Her Majesty” and “that b*tch Brenda.” They were able to put their love-hate relationship aside to keep the band alive but eventually split up in the ‘80s after Jagger grew tired of the band and signed a solo deal.
A band whose parts are more famous than the whole, The Yardbirds jumpstarted the careers of three incredible guitarists – Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. They flourished in the ‘60s and weren’t afraid to experiment with rhythm, blues, psych-rock, and even pop. But Beck and Clapton’s relationship was uncomfortable, to say the least.
It’s understandable, considering Beck was Clapton’s replacement after the blues guitarists left the band. But Eric wasn’t Jeff’s only problem. He was fired shortly after joining the band and resented them for years. When they were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992, Beck ranted: “Someone told me I should be proud tonight, but I’m not. They kicked me out. They did. F*$% them.”
Calling themselves a “rock and roll band with horns,” Chicago wasn’t afraid to get political in their songs. They released hits all through the ‘70s and ‘80s until bandmate Peter Cetera called it quits and decided to fly solo. He confessed their split “wasn’t amicable, but it wasn’t the worst.”
Well, if it wasn’t the worst, why did he refuse to reunite with them on stage in 2016 for their Hall of Fame induction? Cetera’s answer was: “Every suggestion I offered about how it could work musically was either rejected or changed by the show’s producers.” And when he complained about this to his former bandmates, they responded with “take a chill pill.” He obviously didn’t.
Elvis Costello was one of the pioneers of British punk in the ‘70s. But behind every successful singer, there is, of course, an incredible band to play along. The Attractions were Costello’s backing band, and while they had his back on stage, they turned their backs on him off stage.
The ongoing tension between Costello and bassist Bruce Thomas was unbearable, and Costello finally split from The Attractions after their Blood and Chocolate tour. In 2003, Bruce was a no show at their induction in the Hall of Fame. When asked about the bassist’s absence, Costello shot back, “I only play with professional musicians.”
Platinum blonde Debbie Harry, along with guitarist Chris Stein, formed one of the greatest bands of the ‘70s. With memorable songs like “Heart of Glass” and “Tide is High,” Blondie charmed the world with Debbie’s delicate voice and eclectic mix of styles. They broke up due to Stein’s health issues, and for a while, the relationship between former bandmates was fine.
But things got real ugly when they tried to reunite and ended up suing each other instead. Bandmates Frank Infante and Nigel Harrison were upset that Debbie, Stein, and Clem Burke were performing again in 1997 as Blondie, so they took them to court. Infante and Harrison lost the battle and were cast aside for good.
The naked trio who ran through the streets of LA, Blink 182, was fun, loud, and on every teenager’s playlist in the early 2000s. But things weren’t so light-hearted backstage. While fans were bopping their heads to hits like What’s My Age Again, the pop-punk band were lashing out at each other backstage.
Guitarist Tom DeLonge’s on and off relationship with the band (left in 2005, returned in 2009, left again in 2015) ended badly. He commented that his relationship with Blink is completely “poisoned.” In return, Travis Barker called DeLonge “ungrateful and disingenuous.”
Since their formation in the ‘70s, Aerosmith has given us some amazing songs throughout the years. I guess that’s what happens when everyone in the band is genuinely passionate about the art. Well, maybe not everyone. Some preferred fame and woman.
Like Steven Tyler, for example. According to bandmember Joe Perry, Tyler wasn’t in it for the music, and the tension between them led to Tyler’s departure in the ‘80s. Perry once told him, “Just because we’re in a band together doesn’t mean we have to be friends.”
Formed 50 years ago, Journey is still creating music to this day. But the lineup of members has changed quite a bit, and they’re not as great as they were in the ‘70s and ‘80s when Steve Perry was the lead vocalist. Perry’s journey with Journey involved lots of ups and downs. The downs eventually made him quit for good.
Perry grew tired of the band, and being on the road began to take a toll on his health. Unsatisfied and bitter, he sat down with his bandmates and said, “I can’t do this anymore. I’ve got to get out for a while…I just don’t want to be in the band anymore. I want to get out, I want to stop.”
The London-based rock band Yes gave up on their frontman Jon Anderson after he was too sick to perform. They were eager to continue their tour so they went ahead without him and he was replaced by Benoît David. Anderson was disappointed his band mates had not waited for his recovery and insisted that whatever they were doing was solo work, and wasn’t considered proper Yes material.
In 2012, when David fell ill. The band replaced him with Jon Davison. So basically, the replacement was replaced by a new guy. But what about Anderson? He was fine and healthy by 2012. Anderson was upset his band members turned their back on him, claiming “they have let a lot of fans down.”
New Order formed in the ‘80s, but their start was so emotionally charged, it’s a miracle they even managed to do so. They began as Joy Division, but when their lead singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide, they had to make some changes. Miraculously, they rose from the ashes of their grief and became incredibly successful. On stage, at least.
Offstage, they hated each other. Former bassist Peter Hook confessed, “Anyone watching it would think, ‘Oh my god, look at them, they’ve got everything. They’ve got success, they’re feted, what a wonderful world’ and yet really we f***ing hated each other.” They’re still performing today but with a totally different lineup.
The Pixies exhausted themselves completely. They formed in the ‘80s and took the world by storm with their “surf rock” style and dynamic tunes. But as their fame grew, so did the tension between them. Frontman Black Francis admitted, “We would have survived if we could have just stopped the train and taken a f***ing vacation.”
They ultimately split in 1993 because of ongoing conflicts between Black Francis and bassist Kim Deal. It’s rumored that Francis even threw a guitar at Deal during one of their gigs! According to Francis: “Kim always had her own ambitions. It must have been hard for her to be in a band where some other guy was always pulling at the reins.” Yeah, Francis, but you weren’t only pulling at the reins. You were throwing guitars at her too. After many years, the Pixies eventually got back together in 2004 and have recorded three studio albums since reuniting.
According to guitarist Andy Summers, if you want to be part of a rock band, you got to have some “sparky chemistry.” And The Police had plenty. Recording at the studio meant having to go through physical and verbal fights daily. Summers admitted, “Everyone wanted to be the leader, everyone wanted to be up front.”
Producer Hugh Padgham backed those claims and said, “I’d try to be Mr. Producer and get in the way, saying, ‘Come on, do you have to kick the sh*t out of one another?’ but they’d just turn around and shout, ‘Get out of it! What do you know?'” Is this what Summers meant by “sparky chemistry”?
Hotel California was a lovely place indeed. But The Eagles’ studio wasn’t. They fought incessantly and paused only to perform on stage, where they made pretend everything was fine. Frontman Glenn Frey and lead guitarist Don Felder went head-to-head to the point where Frey struggled to keep it together on stage.
He revealed how when the band went on stage in 1980 to sing “Best of My Love,” he wished for the song to end already so he could “kick his bandmate’s a**.” At that moment, Frey knew he had to leave the group. Guitarist Tom Leadon also had enough. In 1975, exhausted from being on the road with his band members, he poured a beer on Frey’s head and quit.
Ozzy Osbourne fought with everyone in Black Sabbath. To be fair, he was physically and mentally abused as a kid, and his lack of confidence showed. When the band’s album Never Say Die was rejected, Ozzy took it to heart more than anyone.
He numbed himself with any substance he could get his hands on and made it impossible for his bandmates to approach him. But they finally fired him in 1979. Drummer Bill Ward revealed, “Alcohol was definitely one of the most damaging things to Black Sabbath. We were destined to destroy each other. The band was toxic, very toxic.”
Members of The Who were friends from school who mustered up the courage to dream big and go for it. They first played in small venues like weddings and hotels but eventually became so famous they were invited to perform at Woodstock.
But the band’s career was one rocky ride, with members changing like the seasons. Lead singer, Roger Daltrey, was considered “head of the band,” and he called most of the shots. He constantly clashed with Moon, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle. Eventually he was kicked out of the band in 1966.
The ‘80s rock band, The Smiths, came up with some of the most profound songs in rock history. Their witty humor and complex lyrics were a breath of fresh air, but their outspoken character might have been a bit too much for a certain someone. Namely, The Cure’s frontman, Robert Smith.
It all began when Morrissey called Smith in an interview “a whingebag” (a person who complains about everything). To which Smith replied, “Morrissey’s so depressing if he doesn’t [off] himself soon, I probably will.” These ridiculous comments sparked a feud that went on for decades. Recently, Morrissey repented himself, “Umm. Robert Smith. I said some terrible things about him 35 years ago … but I didn’t mean them.”
Ahh! Finally, some female energy on this list. The Spice Girls came to life in the ‘90s and created one of the most memorable (and kind of annoying) songs – Wannabe. It hit number one in 37 countries! The Spice Girls were on fire. Until they burned themselves out to the point of no return.
“Sporty Spice” Melanie C. revealed that she was almost kicked out of the group in 1996 after telling “Posh Spice” Victoria to “f*** off.” They broke up at the turn of the decade because they were exhausted, homesick, and in Melanie’s words, “destroyed.”
If there’s something that Kelly Rowland, Latavia Roberson, and LeToya Luckett can all agree on, it’s that it’s not easy to be with Beyonce in the same band. But it isn’t her fault that she has an incredible voice and gorgeous looks to match.
Luckett and Beyonce were childhood besties, and when she was kicked out of the band after complaining about favoritism (towards B), she was broken. As for Roberson, she spiraled into depression after being fired. Both women admit it still stings to see the music video of Say My Name.
When you think of Girls Aloud, you think of sleepovers, pillow fights, and many fun hit singles. But things were so tense between the members that their pillow fights were more like passive-aggressive, snobby fights.
Jealousy was the main issue, and they argued about things like who got the most vocals and who got the most screen time in videos. Things got so out of hand that they decided to break up in 2013. But no hard feelings. The girls have been able to put their differences aside and are good friends today.
Wouldn’t it be great to form a rock band with your brothers? On second hand…maybe not. Siblings fight over the smallest things, like who finished the milk. So, imagine having to spend every minute of your day with them. No wonder Kings of Leon went berserk on each other.
The band is made of the Followill brothers – Caleb, Jared, Nathan, and cousin, Matthew. The boys grew up reserved and religious, so you can assume how excited they were when they blew up and dived head deep into parties and drugs. Caleb took it way too far one time when he drunkenly walked off stage during one of their shows. His brothers were furious and reacted with: “Don’t hate on us! Hate on Caleb!”