10 Infamous In-Band Feuds

When best friends become sworn enemies.

Ultimate Guitar
10 Infamous In-Band Feuds

While hip-hop is the musical genre that is known for its feuds, rock bands and artists have had their fair share of feuds as well as their rebellious attitude extends well beyond the aggression they channel into their music.

Here are the 10 most infamous in-band feuds. We decided not to include Mustaine / Metallica feud, because well... everything that should have been said, been said a thousand times already. 

Eddie Van Halen vs. David Lee Roth / Van Halen

In 1996, Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth attempted to see if they could tolerate being together for just one night. Didn't work out.
Problems arose when Eddie Van Halen told the press that he couldn’t tour before he had hip replacement surgery and Roth said "Tonight's about me, man," "Not your fucking hip!" Van Halen's response: "If I ever see you again you better be wearing a cup, pal!" Eleven years later Dave and Ed finally made peace and launched a reunion tour, but by that point they'd manage to drive original bassist Michael Anthony out of the band.

Mike Love vs. Brian Wilson / The Beach Boys

California dudes have argued on a matter of royalties and songwriting credits for a really long time.  The conflict escalated in 2012 when Wilson was fired by Love short after a surprising reunion  When asked about that incident, Wilson answered: “I’m disappointed and can’t understand why [Love] doesn’t want to tour with Al, David and me, after all, we are the real Beach Boys.” And Love.... well, he continues to tour under the Beach Boys name with a substitute band.

Varg Vikernes vs. Euronymous / Mayhem

This may not be the most famous feud of all time, but it’s certainly the most gruesome of them all. Just two years after the suicide of the band’s vocalist Per Yngve Ohlin, who coincidentally went by the name “Dead,” two of the members became involved in a deadly dispute. Euronymous wanted to make a necklace out of Dead’s skull and also wanted to blow up Nidaros Cathedral. Vikernes disagreed with both ideas and also feared that Euronymous was plotting to murder him, so he beat his bandmate to the punch, stabbing the frontman 23 times ( he later claimed to be an accident). Euronymous died, and Vikernes went to prison. And that's the story of black metal for you kids.

Ray Davies vs. Dave Davies / The Kinks

Ray and Dave Davies reportedly had a hard time getting along since early childhood, but in 1996, Ray reportedly ruined his younger brother’s 50th birthday party by jumping on top of the cake to declare his own genius. Dave has publicly declared his brother “an asshole” and has compared him to toxic poison. They haven’t performed together since the cake incident.

Tony Iommi VS. Ozzy / Black Sabbath

There’s been a wedge between Black Sabbath’s founding guitarist Tony Iommi (accidental inventor of the heavy metal riff) and frontman Ozzy Osbourne (deliberate eater of bats) ever since the former fired the latter for drug and alcohol abuse beyond the acceptable standards of '70s metal bands and the scientifically established limits of the human body.

Iommi is the only man to have been a continual member of Black Sabbath through years of hirings, firings and hospitalizations, such that the de facto definition of Black Sabbath basically came to mean “Tony Iommi and whoever’s sober enough to play alongside him.” The flip side of this coin was the devaluation of the Black Sabbath name to the point where the Iommi Sabbath was playing nightclubs and Osbourne declared that the brand was “literally in the toilet.”

While Osbourne’s understanding of the word “literally” was a bit shaky, his business acumen (or perhaps that of his wife) was on-point: Iommi was still selling merchandise that featured the “classic” Sabbath lineup (Iommi, Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward) and on those grounds a formidable lawsuit was launched in order to take total control of the Black Sabbath name away from Iommi and split control and profits between the four original members.

The dispute was ultimately settled peacefully by two tragic events — the death of mutual friend Ronnie James Dio (Osbourne’s replacement in the band) and a recent diagnosis of lymphoma for Iommi have led the bandmates to bury any number of hatchets and work towards the release of a new album. The only possible conflict between the two men now boils down to Osbourne’s impassioned declaration, “I told Tony if he dies, I’m gonna kill him.”

Don Felder and Glenn Frey / The Eagles

By 1980, the Eagles were the biggest band in America, but their success took a horrible toll on the group. Don Henley and Glenn Frey were intense and driven men, and original members Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner had already quit because the atmosphere had become toxic. Joe Walsh was often too drunk and stoned to complain about his lack of control by this point, and new bassist Timothy B. Schmit was wisely obedient. But guitarist Don Felder couldn't stand being treated like a second-class citizen.

Tensions flared all throughout the tour in support of 1979's The Long Run, but they got even worse at a 1980 benefit show for Senator Alan Cranston. Felder didn't want the band involved in political causes, and when the senator's wife visited the band backstage, he said, "Nice to meet you . . . I guess." Those last two words sent Glenn Frey into an uncontrollable rage, and onstage that night, the Eagles were actually threatening each other on mic. "That's three more, pal," Frey said. "Get ready." He was actually counting the number of songs remaining before he administered a backstage beatdown. Felder split in his limo before a fight could break out, and it was the last time the band played together for 14 years.

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel / Simon and Garfunkel

The two folk musicians recorded their last album, 1970’s highly successful Bridge Over Troubled Water, at a time when their personal relationship was rapidly deteriorating. The two couldn’t decide on the 12th and final song on the album and refused to record each others’ choices, so the album was released with only 11 tracks. Then in the late ‘80s, a reunion album was planned, but Simon unexpectedly removed Garfunkel’s vocals and released the disc solo. A couple of years later, when the duo was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Art made the mature decision to put the past behind him and publicly praise Paul for his songwriting ability. Paul responded by saying, “Arthur and I agree about almost nothing, but it’s true, I have enriched his life quite a bit.”

Noel Gallagher vs. Liam Gallagher / Oasis

The two brothers have admitted that they’ve been continually at odds ever since sharing a bedroom in their childhood home in Burnage, Manchester. But over 30 years of fighting finally took its toll on the brothers on the night of August 28, 2009. A mere minutes before the band was set to take the stage at the Rock en Seine festival near Paris, the two siblings engaged in a violent backstage fight that reportedly involved Liam smashing his older brother’s guitar. It was the second reported violent incident surrounding the brothers (years earlier Liam supposedly hit Noel over the head with a tambourine). Noel drove off and the band’s manager went on stage and cancelled the show, saying Oasis “does not exist anymore.” Two hours later a message from Noel appeared on the band’s website reading, “I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer.” The two haven’t seen each other since.

John Lennon vs. Paul McCartney / The Beatles

After the death of their manager, Brian Epstein, in 1967, The Beatles almost immediately broke up. McCartney tried to save the situation by taking over the reigns, but Lennon didn't like that. Lennon then released “How Do You Sleep” in 1971, taking a dig at McCartney by singing, “The only thing you did was ‘Yesterday’ ... The sound you make is Muzak to my ears. How do you sleep?” Years after Lennon’s death, McCartney made a sly jab at Lennon by reversing the order of their famously trademarked songwriting credit (Lennon-McCartney) on 2002’s Back in the U.S. live album; however, McCartney has since stated that he is now content to keep the credits as they originally were on future works.

Axl Rose vs. Slash / Guns 'N' Roses

One of the rock’s longest-standing feuds came to an end a year ago. Almost no one believed that it was possible after everything that happened and numerous claims by the band members that the original lineup is dead and buried. Here's one of the remarks by Axl.

“Personally I consider Slash a cancer and better removed, avoided—and the less anyone heard of him or his supporters, the better”

Their feud started when Slash agreed to perform on a song with Michael Jackson and Axl, who was molested by his father at a young age, believed the pedophilia accusations levied against Jackson and thought the idea of his guitarist working with the alleged offender was unacceptable.

 Which feud was the fiercest in your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

98 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dave Mustaine vs Jeff Young  Dave Mustaine vs Metallica  Dave Mustaine vs Marty Friedman  Dave Mustaine vs Rotting Christ  Dave Mustaine vs Jr 
    Dave Mustaine vs Dissection Although I'm not sure Dave would have wanted to get into it with Jon Nodtveidt
    Dave and Marty don't really have a feud, they just don't care what the other is doing with their life. With metallica we know all the story, with Rotting Christ it was stupid, Jr was settled and Jeff is a jerk with a bigger ego than mustaine.
    Dave Mustaine opinion vs Corey Taylor Opinion vs Dave Grohl opion vs Genne Simons Opinion vs Maynard Keennan on tool fans
    Ah the rock and roll feud. A staple of the lifestyle as much as the guitar solo, the singer being a prima donna,  or jokes on how useless the bassist is.
    Geoff Tate vs the rest of Queensryche? Solid list overall though
    Hell yeah. Tate punched out guitarist Michael wilton during soundcheck, and spit multiple times at drummer Scott Rockenfield during a show. Good riddance Taint.
    David St. Hubbins & Nigel Tufnel 'He died in a bizarre gardening accident...Authorities said... best leave it... unsolved.'
    Don Dokken vs. George Lynch / Dokken.
    Seriously everything ne else on the list did get along at some point. Both george and don have stated they never really got along ever.
    It's crazy to think that some of the most iconic rock music released were made by people who couldn't stand being in the same room together. 
      [h]Simon and Garfunkel Feud[/h] “Arthur and I agree about almost nothing, but it’s true, I have enriched his life quite a bit.”  Ultimate douchbag
    The Farro Brothers vs Hayley Williams which has now been put to rest replaced by Hayley Willaims vs Jeremy Davis.
    Article states "Don Henley and Glenn Frey", then goes on to discuss the argument between Felder and Frey. Might as well have just put "The Eagles"
    You know, if that's the story with Axl and Slash...Axl was right. If Michael Jackson did that, and Axl believed it, and Slash recorded with Jackson, Axl was totally right to be pissed.
    I dont think is as simple as that. Slash didnt really know if the acusations were true, no matter what Axl belived
    I'm taking that into account. I don't think that Axl was wrong to act how​he did, still.
    Axl knows a lot about being trash talked, bad press and all that stuff, so I guess he should know better one shouldn't believe everything the press says. Anyway, I'm pretty sure this feud started due to musical differences, egos collision and attitude. Drugs and alcohol must also have pushed things a little bit.
    I can understand that. Reading even a little bit into the accusations make me feel pretty strongly that MJ didn't commit the crime he was accused of imo. This is coming from someone who had been a big fan and then believed for about a decade that he probably did it. Checked into it last year more just out of curiosity and there is enough information online about it - credible information at that - that I'm surprised anyone thinks he did it still. Then again though - it's 2017 now and Axl certainly did not have that level of information when this all happened. I can understand why he'd be not okay with it.
    Yeah, I can just imagine AC's perspective about it at the time. He would have just been charged or would have just had suspicions rising. I'm surprised Axl didn't punch him in the face.
    How is Axl right to be that pissed? Nothing had been proven, not to mention the fact that Slash performing with Michael didn't affect Axl in the slightest. That's just childish behavior from him; you don't call one of your best friends a "cancer" because he doesn't turn down an opportunity to work with a musical legend you personally don't like because of a rumor that may not even be true.
    If Slash was really his best friend, he would have considered how the accusations would affect Axl, especially considering he's a victim of molestation. It would definitely piss me off if my bandmate was hanging out with a potential child molester or rapist, and I've never been a victim of it. If I got offered to open for Bill Cosby, I'd consider the fact that he has some issues going on I wouldn't want to be associated with, whether or not I love his show and comedy.
    That story of why they feuded is completely bogus. First of all Slash agreed to record on the 1991 release of Dangerous, the allegations about Michael Jackson started in 1993. Slash recording with Michael Jackson had nothing to do with their feud. Their feud started because of a power struggle. It's as simple as that. Just pride and ego, nothing more nothing less. I think it was Mick Wall who started that lie about Michael Jackson.  
    I never heard that that was the cause, if that's the case I actually have a lot more sympathy for Axl.
    Okay, just to set the record straight: Euronymous had already made the necklaces out of Dead's skull, and I don't think Varg would object to blowing up any cathedrals.  Varg was put in police custody after he had talked to the media about the church burnings. Euro and Varg had planned this stunt so they could get publicity for Euro's shop Helvete, but Euro closed the shop because of all the attention it got. Varg was pissed off that he went through all that trouble and Euro didn't want to capitalize on it.  There is also the fact that Varg's reputation among the others in the scene were growing as he was the one burning down everything, not Euro. Euro allegedly planned to torture and kill Varg on camera, which he according to Varg admitted in a phonecall that Varg got to hear. There was also a contract dispute between Burzum and Euro's label. Euro was going to use this as a trap, but Varg showed up at Euro's apartment in the middle of the night after driving all the way across Norway to deliver him the contract in person. 
    No Roger Waters vs. David Gilmour? Also since when was Dio a mutual friend? I thought Ozzy hated him?
    I'm sure I read or heard that at the time of recording 'The Real Thing', all the members of Faith No More hated each other.
    Mark and David Knopfler?  They had a fight in 1980 which resulted in David leaving the band and they haven't talked to each other since then.
    Make up your mind which member of the Eagles was in a tussle with Frey, I know there were two Dons in the band...but that slip up made things slightly confusing 
    That Axl vs Slash thing was because of Michael Jackson? I never knew that. That´s fucking stupid.
    you'd have to think Collective Soul's lead guitarist marrying the lead singer's wife would be up there.  obviously a little lesser known band than these guys in the article though