They don't call it rock 'n' roll for nothing. Bands, like families, are prone to suffer from dysfunctional, rocky relationships between their members. Join Wonderwall.com as we highlight the rock groups who've dealt with serious infighting… starting with Oasis — the British band that would have celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of their debut album, "Definitely Maybe," on Aug. 29, 2019, had they managed to stay together. Instead, on Aug. 28, 2009, lead guitarist Noel Gallagher (left) released a statement revealing he'd quit the band for good, blaming his departure on his bandmate and brother, singer Liam Gallagher (right). Although it wasn't the first time Noel had quit due to fighting with Liam, it would ultimately be the last, with Noel claiming his brother was "hungover" and lashing out backstage minutes before a Paris concert that, ultimately, was canceled. Sadly, the brothers still haven't mended their relationship and aren't speaking to this day. Keep reading for more…
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Ignore what you saw in the Academy Award-winning biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" — Queen never actually broke up and came back together. That was added in for dramatic effect. However, the band did suffer their fair share of infighting, especially while recording in Munich during the summer of 1979. In music journalist Mark Blake's book "Is This Real Life?" he quotes Queen drummer Roger Taylor (right) as saying, "There were huge rows on the studio… Usually over how long Brian [May, lead guitarist] was taking… or whether he was having an omelette. We drove each other nuts." Queen's lead singer, Freddie Mercury (front), said the tension in the band was like "four cocks fighting." Thankfully, the band was able to overcome the friction and produce some of the biggest rock ballads of the century before Freddie's 1991 death from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.
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For just a few short years, The Beatles dominated the world stage and changed the face of rock music forever. Sadly, as quickly as they burst onto the airwaves, they left due to creative differences and heightened tensions that began in 1968 with "The White Album." As their fame grew, band members Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison argued over the direction of their music. Tempers flared, members walked out of recording sessions and production staff reportedly quit. Some would later blame John's new love interest, Yoko Ono, while others blamed Paul's ego. No matter who was to blame, by 1970, the band had officially called it quits, ending a 10-year musical revolution.
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Aerosmith members Brad Whitford, Joe Perry, Steven Tyler, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer might still be rocking well into their senior citizen years, but it took a whole lot of therapy to get there. The infighting was focused on lead singer Steven and guitarist Joe. The pair branded the Toxic Twins routinely came to blows, with Joe even quitting the band once in 1979 after a particularly nasty physical altercation. And while they've managed to keep their beasts at bay, there's clearly still tension between them. In 2016 when Joe was asked by TMZ about Steven's solo project "Red, White & You," he shrugged his shoulders before saying, "If I didn't know him when I heard the song I'd go, 'It's OK, next.'" When Steven caught wind of Joe's diss, he replied, "Jealousy runs deep in this family."
Guns N' Roses were one of the most prolific rock 'n' roll bands of the late '80s and '90s thanks to hit songs like "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Welcome to the Jungle" dominating the Billboard charts. Although they burst onto the music scene like a roaring flame, they soon began to fizzle beginning in 1996 when lead guitarist Slash quit the band over differences with singer Axl Rose. While stories differ, Axl reportedly began showing up to performances late and even demanded the sole right to use the band's name (which he's denied). Sixteen years later, time still hadn't healed the rift. When the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, Axl refused to attend, forcing his old bandmates to perform with Myles Kennedy on lead vocals. Axl reportedly even called Slash "a cancer." Thankfully, in 2018 Slash and Axl had a heart-to-heart and not only mended their damaged relationship but reunited the band for the "Not in This Lifetime" tour — a name jokingly inspired by Axl's flippant 2012 response when asked if Guns N' Roses would ever play again.
It seems like the friction between Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger and lead guitarist Keith Richards has helped kept the band's legendary spark alive for almost 60 years. Affectionately called The Glimmer Twins, Keith and Mick notoriously fell out in the late '80s following the release of Mick's first solo album, which some believed was the beginning of the end for the Stones. Thankfully, the band was able to regroup and continued to make magic onstage. Tensions were renewed in 2010 following the release of Keith's autobiography, "Life," in which he referred to Mick's manhood as a "tiny todger" and called his bandmate "Her majesty." Mick was later quoted in Rich Cohen's book "The Sun, The Moon & The Rolling Stones" as saying, "Imagine that everything Keith says is true. Now imagine those things being said by a business partner… Now imagine that partner is drug addicted. Sometimes, you have a big meeting and he doesn't show… Or maybe he gets busted on the eve of a world tour. What, in such a case, would you make of his complaints?" While the combustible duo has managed to put their differences aside, Keith did throw another barb in 2016 when a then-73-year-old Mick welcomed his eighth child, telling the Wall Street Journal, "It's time for the snip — you can't be a father at that age. Those poor kids!"
For awhile, it seemed like the Red Hot Chili Peppers had a revolving door of musicians joining the band. After losing members to other bands or to drug overdose, things finally settled in 1988 when guitarist John Frusciante (middle) joined the group, filling the gap that original member Hillel Slovak left in the wake of his death. Unfortunately, John's talent was superseded by his own problems with addiction, which led to friction in the group, especially between him and singer Anthony Kiedis (right). In Anthony's autobiography, "Scar Tissue," the singer remembers John complaining about their sudden spike in fame following the release of their hit album "Blood Sugar Sex Magik." As John's discomfort grew, his frustration was palpable. Things came to a head in February 1992 following John's withdrawn, off-kilter performance on "Saturday Night Live," which led to a blowup between him and Anthony. John quit the band three months later. Interestingly, John returned in 1998 and continued with the Red Hot Chili Peppers for 11 years before departing again in 2009 while the band was on hiatus. Proving their drama was long over, Anthony shared in a 2016 interview that he missed John and his incredible songwriting talent but accepted that their lives were now separate.
Pink Floyd arrived on the psychedelic music scene in the late 1960s. Following the massive success of their 1973 album "Dark Side of the Moon," the band's internal power dynamics shifted, with guitarist and co-lead singer David Gilmour (right) taking the helm as their primary songwriter. Frustrated, bass guitarist Roger Waters (left) departed the group. Ultimately, Pink Floyd continued without Roger, but to this day, he and David have a contentious relationship stemming from Roger's exit.
We'd need a Venn diagram to show all the romantic liaisons between members of Fleetwood Mac, which, by and large, was the stuff that fueled most of the bands infighting and drama over the years. Tensions were heightened during the recording of their 1977 album "Rumours," with members John McVie and Christine McVie just finalizing their divorce, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham rekindling their tumultuous love affair and Stevie later having an affair with married Mick Fleetwood, all while each of them reportedly engaged in extracurricular drug abuse. While we'd like to believe all's well that ends well, in 2018, Lindsey was forced out of the band — he claimed Stevie delivered an ultimatum that if he didn't leave, she would — which led to a lawsuit that's since been settled.
In 2004, blink-182 went on indefinite hiatus following infighting caused by the demands of their fame and guitarist Tom DeLonge's (right) refusal to record new music. Following a 2008 plane crash that killed eight people — which Travis Barker (left) and friend DJ AM survived — blink-182 briefly reconnected, although nothing definitive came from their reunion. Then in 2015, Travis and bassist/co-vocalist Mark Hoppus (center) released a statement saying that Tom had quit the band — which Tom later contested. Amid all the tensions, Tom claimed Travis and Mark wanted him to quit his other projects, and they claimed he'd pulled out of plans to record a new album by having his manager tell them instead of contacting them himself. "I think [Tom's] just bummed because Mark and I were finally honest," Travis told Rolling Stone. "We always covered up for him before… It's hard to cover for someone who's disrespectful and ungrateful." Months later, Alkaline Trio singer-guitarist Matt Skiba started filling in and soon joined blink-182 permanently.
Long before Sting struck out on his own and became a Grammy-winning solo artist, he was one-third of the popular British '80s band The Police. Known for hit songs like "Every Breath You Take" and "Roxanne," The Police quickly rose to superstardom but were plagued by chronic infighting between bassist-vocalist Sting and guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland. In Andy's 2006 memoir, "One Train Later," he describes Sting, a former schoolteacher, as a hothead who frequently lashed out at his bandmates. In 1984 after the release of their album "Synchronicity," they called it quits following Sting's decision to put out a solo album. In 2007, the band called a truce and reunited, touring for one year. Older and wiser, they seemed to have an easier time accepting each other's personalities, with Andy smiling during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine as he said, "It's not a democracy. It's an ego-cracy."
The Eagles have endured a long history of infighting since their formation in 1971. After losing original members Bernie Leadon (left) in 1975 and Randy Meisner (second from right) in 1977, the remaining bandmates continued to spar over everything from who would sing certain tracks to which venues they should play. Tensions reached a tipping point in 1980 when Don Felder (right) and Glenn Frey (second from left) argued during a benefit performance for a politician, which ended with Glenn threatening — over the mic — to kick Don's a– after the show. After the night led to a smashed guitar and a speedy exit, the band broke up, though they reunited in 1994 for several years before Don was later fired by Glenn and Don Henley (center) in 2001.
For Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel of Simon & Garfunkel, maintaining peace proved harder than creating great music. Since their inception, the musical duo have battled egos and attitudes, which led to their first breakup in 1970 following the release of their album "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Over the years, the pair — who were once childhood friends — have come together for performances and reunion tours, including in 1980, 1993, 2003 and 2010, but each time it ends the same way — with the two vowing to never do it again. In 2016, Art shared in an interview with the Telegraph that he feels Paul is to blame for their inability to work together, saying, "How can you walk away from this lucky place on top of the world, Paul? What's going on with you, you idiot? How could you let that go, jerk?" — words that likely won't help bring them together anytime soon.
Since their formation in 1961, the Beach Boys have dealt with more infighting than their preppy, clean-cut image would suggest. The main point of contention has always been between cousins Mike Love (back center) and Brian Wilson (back right), who disagreed over the direction their music should take. Brian's well-documented struggle with mental illness and drug addiction led the band to fire him in 1982, in an effort to help him turn his life around. However, by the '90s, Mike and Brian would come together once more, this time to battle out their differences in court, which led to Mike winning the right to use the Beach Boys name, even without the original band members. In 2012, the surviving Beach Boys were able to come together to tour in celebration of their 50th anniversary. After the reunion tour, Mike kicked the remaining original members out and replaced them with new musicians who currently tour today as the Beach Boys.
Journey isn't just the name of this band — the moniker is symbolic of the many twists and turns they've taken over the years. Their odyssey as one of the most beloved '80s rock groups hasn't been without some frustration along the way. From losing their original lead singer, Steve Perry, in the '80s to breaking apart and forming a new band (Bad English with John Waite) to reuniting in the '90s with Steve — only to lose him again by 1998 after he suffered a hip injury that wouldn't allow him to perform on stage — Journey's well, journey, hasn't been an easy one. After permanently replacing Steve with Arnel Pineda (center) in 2007, the band seemed to be on an upswing. Then new tensions arose in 2017 shortly after the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The drama? Guitarist Neal Schon was angry with keyboardist Jonathan Cain for taking some members of the group to pose with President Donald Trump, saying, "I've stated how I felt about mixing religion and politics and how our music is not of one religion — Democratic or Republican." For his part, Jonathan seemed uninterested in responding, telling Rolling Stone, "At this point, I'll see him at rehearsals for the tour. That's the way we always operate. I move forward."
By definition, Mötley Crüe has lived up to their swashbuckling name. Unfortunately, having a cast of diverse characters in any band is often a recipe for disaster. Since their early days as one of the hottest glam metal bands of the '80s, drug and alcohol addiction, infighting and generalized chaos plagued their backstage lives. In 1992, the band either fired lead singer Vince Neil or he quit, depending on who you ask. A few years later, Vince returned, much to the delight of die-hard fans. Just as things started looking up for the band, drummer Tommy Lee quit in 1999 to pursue his own musical ambitions. But by 2004, Tommy was back and Mötley Crüe was ready to make new music again, dropping "If I Die Tomorrow," which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard chart. Then in 2014, they announced they were done. The musicians, who shared in interviews that they felt like they were being treated "like a machine," went on their aptly titled "Final Tour" tour, which ended with a Dec. 31, 2015, performance in Los Angeles with bassist Nikki Sixx and Tommy both sharing that the band no longer felt like family or even friends, just a job. Interestingly, Mötley Crüe wasn't done for good. In 2018, the band reunited to record new music — four new tracks specifically for the Netflix biopic based on their lives together, "The Dirt," which premiered in March 2019.
Sometimes, fighting between band members leads to a breakup behind the scenes. Unfortunately for The Everly Brothers, their break came right in the middle of a concert in 1973. While playing at Knott's Berry Farm in California, Don Everly was apparently so intoxicated, he fumbled with his guitar strings and forgot to sing his lyrics, causing the concert to come to a halt. An angry Phil smashed his guitar over Don's head and announced that they were over, leading to the end of one of rock's most successful duos. Although they were able to come together once again in 1983, they never truly repaired their relationship and by 2005, they'd ended their musical journey together for good. Sadly, in 2014, Phil passed away, ending any chance of a reunion.
When this 1978 pic of Black Sabbath featuring original members Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Ozzy Osbourne was taken, few could sense trouble was brewing. Just a year later, the band would unite to fire lead singer Ozzy, citing his unreliability and drug and alcohol addictions as the reason for parting ways. Ozzy wrote in his 2009 memoir, "I Am Ozzy," that he felt "betrayed," because at the time, his fellow band members, who he considered "like brothers," were also addicts. But nearly two decades later, the original members came together once more to record the live album "Reunion." More reunions would follow, including the last with all four original members in 2011. The next year, drummer Bill Ward quit in a public spectacle, announcing on social media that he'd been given an "unsignable contract," which led to several mud-slinging replies posted online between him and Ozzy. To date, Bill is still on the outs with the band, although in 2017 he shared with Rolling Stone that he'd moved on, saying, "I can't afford to have resentment. I can't afford to be angry. I can't afford these things spiritually or physically. So I knew I had to be rid of them."
Not long after bassist Kim Deal (second from right) joined The Pixies in 1986, trouble between her and the band's frontman, Black Francis (left), started to brew. He reportedly grew jealous over Kim's popularity with fans, which ultimately led to the band breaking up in 1993. More than a decade later, the band was able to put their egos aside and reunite in 2004 at the Coachella music festival, which earned an overwhelmingly positive reception from fans and critics. The band continued touring and performing around the world until 2012, when they took a much needed break. While things appeared to be going well for the original members, in 2013, Kim made a sudden and surprising announcement that she was leaving the band for good. In 2016, Francis shared with Rolling Stone that he and Kim hadn't spoken since she quit, which wasn't entirely unusual. "It's kind of like she's one step removed from being in the band. And even the people I'm in the band with, we don't sit around and call each other all the time, like hardly ever," he said. In 2014, The Pixies filled Kim's position with bassist Paz Lenchantin and have continued to perform around the world.
The Kinks might have made rock history, but even more famous is their history of sibling rivalry. Original members Pete Quaife, Mick Avory, Ray Davies and his brother, Dave Davies, formed the band in 1964 as childhood friends. The band, which became known for hit songs like "Lola" and "You Really Got Me," enjoyed a quick rise to fame that was overshadowed by intense feuds between Ray and Dave. The fights weren't limited to the brothers, either. In 1965 during a performance in Cardiff, Wales, Dave and drummer Mick got into a heated argument on stage that ended with Mick knocking Dave so hard over the head with his cymbal (some say it was his drum pedal) that Dave passed out. By the late '70s, Ray had survived a suicide attempt and was diagnosed as bipolar. In 1984, Mick quit the band and in 1996, Dave and Ray officially parted ways after Ray stomped on Dave's birthday cake during a fight, marking the end of The Kinks… at least until 2018, when Ray announced that the band — minus Pete, who'd died in 2010 from kidney failure — were reuniting once more.
Despite KISS's breakout success in the 1970s, the band had a hard time keeping a united front. Split into two factions, with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley (seen here) on one side and Peter Criss and Ace Frehley on the other, the band struggled to see eye to eye, leading to their eventual breakup in 1980 following their "Dynasty" tour. In 1996, the foursome reunited for their "Alive Worldwide" tour, which managed to gross an impressive $143 million, although it would eventually mark the end of both Ace and Peter's time with the group. In 2019, KISS embarked on their "End of the Road" worldwide farewell tour without Ace or Peter in the lineup. Their last show before their definitive retirement is scheduled for Dec. 19, 2020, in Nagoya, Japan.
Two years after Metallica formed in 1981, they fired lead guitarist Dave Mustaine due to his volatile drinking problem. The move came just before the release of their debut album, "Kill 'Em All," which featured songs Dave helped write. While Dave went on to form another wildly successful metal band, Megadeth, things in Metallica weren't all roses and sunshine. Dave was replaced by guitarist Kirk Hammett but Metallica was still suffering from toxicity within the band, leading to bassist Jason Newsted's decision to quit in 2001. The constant infighting led Metallica to a rather unconventional approach to save their band: group therapy, which was featured on the 2004 documentary "Some Kind of Monster." It turned out that talking about their problems helped. As of 2019, the band, which includes bassist Robert Trujillo, is still going strong.
They were only together for seven years, but in that time, the Clash defined a whole era of punk music. Shortly before their hit single "Rock the Casbah" climbed the charts in 1982, the song's writer, Topper Headon (right), left the band due to infighting caused by his growing heroin addiction. He was replaced by Pete Howard (not pictured) and the band continued on but were unable to agree on which direction their music should take. By 1983, The Clash had called it quits, Although Mick Jones (second from right) and Joe Strummer (left) were able to come together in 2002 to play a benefit concert, a true reunion never materialized due to Paul Simonon's (second from left) refusal to participate. Sadly, in December 2002, Joe sent Paul a text asking him to reconsider, writing, "Come on Paul. Give it a try, you might even like it." The next day, Joe died unexpectedly from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect, taking with him the possibility that the original band would ever play together again.
Fusing rap, rock and metal, Rage Against the Machine broke out as one of the most influential bands of the '90s. Their mix of political lyrics and hard-hitting guitars made them a fan favorite, but backstage, members Zack De La Rocha, Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk and Tom Morello couldn't find harmony. In 2000, lead vocalist Zack announced that he was leaving the band, writing, "I feel that it is now necessary to leave Rage because our decision-making process has completely failed. It is no longer meeting the aspirations of all four of us collectively as a band, and from my perspective, has undermined our artistic and political ideal." Unable to carry on with Zack, the band broke up. They reunited in 2007 and successfully performed together for four years before exiting the stage once more.
Discovered by Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, Puddle of Mudd joined the alternative music scene in the early 2000s with hits like "Control," "Blurry" and "She Hates Me." As they toured with bands like Linkin Park, Stone Temple Pilots and Staind in 2001, it seemed like Puddle of Mudd were destined for worldwide success. Unfortunately for vocalist Wes Scantlin (second from left), fame wasn't without consequences. The musician faced multiple arrests over the years, compounded by his problems with drug and alcohol addiction, which made touring with his band nearly impossible. As recently as March 2016, Puddle of Mudd actually walked off stage during a performance after Wes had a meltdown in front of the audience. Less than a month later, Wes was arrested in California immediately after another show for failing to make a court date. Amazingly, the band is still together after nearly two decades of drama and is reportedly working on a new album with a now-sober Wes.