With all the money, fame and ego that comes with being a successful artist in the music business, its no surprise that its a breeding ground for feuds and rivalries. Whether its normal inter-band squabbling taken a bit too far, public insults or simply the meeting of two bad tempers, the history of popular music is littered with hundreds of battles. While most are simply back and forth insults, the following are five infamous feuds that got a bit too personal.
Axl Rose / Slash
Who other than Courtney Love has had more feuds with pretty much anyone than Guns N Roses frontman Axl Rose? From Poison to Nirvana, Tommy Hilfiger and a whole slew of other random musicians and celebrities, few are safe from Rose’s notorious temper. But of all of the public hostility, none are as infamous as his feud with former bandmate Slash. While tension had long been mounting between the two, the breaking point came when Axl decided to replace Slash’s guitar track with that of his personal friend, Paul Tobias for a cover of Rolling Stone’s “Sympathy For The Devil,” prompting top-hat-toting rocker to quit the band. While Slash has long ago moved on, going as far as stating that he would happily forget the past and reunite with his former bandmate if only Axl would offer an apology. Axl has yet to show any indication that he’s ready to let go of their bitter past.
Metallica / Dave Mustaine
Possibly the most infamous and long-lived feud in metal, the rivalry between Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine and Metallica stretched nearly three decades , before its conclusion as the musicians shared the stage in 2010 to perform Diamond Head‘s ‘Am I Evil?’. The Feud began when Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica in 1983 following several incidents between him and the band. On one occasion, Mustaine brought his dog to rehearsal; the dog jumped onto the car of Metallica bassist Ron McGovney and scratched the paint. Hetfield allegedly yelled at Mustaine's dog and kicked it in anger, to which Mustaine responded by physically attacking Hetfield and McGovney and verbally abusing Ulrich. Another incident occurred when Mustaine, who had been drinking, poured a full can of beer down the neck and into the pick-ups of Ron McGovney's bass. When McGovney tried playing it, he received an electrical shock, which he claims 'blew him across the room and shocked the hell out of him'. Mustaine was fired from the band shortly after.
Jack White / Von Bondies
The infamous feud between Jack White and Von Bondies frontman Jason Stollsteimer began when they attended a record-release party for the band Blanche in 2003. The two Detroit natives got into a fierce altercation with Stollsteimer getting the raw end of the meeting, leaving him badly bruised and bloody, as can be seen in the infamous picture. Both filed police reports but it was White who was ultimately charged with aggravated assault. The following year, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay $750 and enroll in mandatory anger management. While there are two sides to every story, White claims that Stollsteimer exaggerated details about the incident, saying, “it’s so funny that when the aroma of money and fame is in the air, old friends will quickly step on your face to get to it.” Since then, White has moved on to several other feuds The Black Keys, English guitarist Billy Childish and even former White Stripes bandmate Meg White.
Smashing Pumpkins / Pavement
This infamous 90s feud began with the release of indie band Pavement’s “Range Live,” off of their 1994 album Crooked. The song included the following lyrics: “Out on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins. Nature kids, they don’t have no function. I don’t understand what they mean and I could really give a fuck.” Although Pavement’s Steve Malkmus claimed he debated taking the lyric off of the song, friends convinced him that the line was tame at best. Apparently, Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan didn’t feel the same way, saying “I think it’s rooted in jealousy. There’s always been flak we’ve gotten from certain bands that somehow we cheated our way to the top.” Corgan supposedly went as far as to refuse to share the same stage with the band, causing Pavement to be removed from the ’94 Lollapalooza package. Although Corgan denies this, he seems to still be bitter about those infamous lyrics over a decade later, tweeting in 2010 “they represent the death of the alternative dream.”
Oasis / Blur
While it might not seem as much of a rivalry looking back, the feud between the two Britpop bands was nothing short of monumental in the as far as the history of British music was concerned. The battle became a media frenzy when in 1993, each of the bands respective labels decided to release the singles “Roll With It” and “Country House” on the same day (surely not for publicities sake). While Blur’s “Country House” ended up with bigger sales, Oasis ultimately went on to have the much more successful overall career. The feud didn’t stop with who had the better sales numbers either. The bad blood between the two bands got so heated that Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher went as far as to tell reporters he hoped Damon Albarn and Blur guitarist Alex James would “catch AIDS and die.”
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