10 Major Rock Feuds

Did you know that Lou Reed once challenged Lars Ulrich to a street fight?

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Nothing stirs up the rock world like a good feud. And over the past five, even six decades, the guitar-driven domain inarguably had its fair share of quarrels and clashes. Some lasted, others didn't; some were taken very seriously by the fans, others were looked upon as jokes. Whichever the case may be, they all helped form some of the rock greats and shape them to what they are today.

So as the title bluntly suggests, we'll make a rundown of some of the biggest feuds and disputes in the history of rock. But before venturing any further, it should be pointed out that we tried avoiding the most obvious picks, the ones even casual rock listeners know by heart.

So no Courtney Love and her outbursts, no Axl Rose vs. Slash/original GN'R, no Rolling Stones or The Beatles inner quarrelling and most definitely no certain Megadeth frontman heavily featured in the UG news section as he battles everyone from Men's Warehouse to Obama. Anyhow, let's get to it.

Sharon Osbourne Arranges Egg-Pelting for Iron Maiden

Back in 2005, the Ozzfest tensions between Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon and heavy metal icons Iron Maiden, primarily fronman Bruce Dickinson, reached the boiling point as the Prince of Darkness' spouse arranged for the popular Maiden to be pelted with eggs from the crowd during one of the nights of the concert trek.

Sharon showed no intention of apologizing and gave Dickinson nothing but spite and saucy attitude. After all, it's the daughter of the infamous manager Don Arden we're talking about, a guy who hung people over balconies for trying to screw him over, so it's all in the family as usual.

Lou Reed Challenges Lars Ulrich to a Street Fight

At a certain point of the globally-bashed "Lulu" recording sessions, things got seriously nerve-wrecking, as Lou Reed seemingly snapped and challenged Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich to a street fight.

As the stickman told Spin, Reed "got hot and bothered" after getting a suggestion he didn't like, making him lose temper. Ulrich described the entire situation as a "daunting proposition," seeing that Reed is a martial arts expert.

So it would seem that Lars isn't much of a fighting guy, but what if the singer had decided to pick a bone with any of the other three members of the iconic metal act, such as frontman James Hetfield. Would he also be intimidated by a 70-year-old singer or would the tables turn in such a situation?

Offspring Rip-Off GN'R Album Title

Back when Guns N' Roses' "Chinese Democracy" record was still in the making, The Offspring frontman Dexter Holland decided to pull an April Fool's prank on Axl Rose and co. by officially announcing that the California punk act will take over the album's name. "You snooze you lose," the singer said. "Axl ripped off my braids, so I ripped off his album title."

The funny thing is that Axl reportedly couldn't have done anything even if the rip-off was real as it is not possible to copyright an album title prior to its release. The entire matter probably got Rose quite upset, but didn't turn into a much of major feud, especially when compared to the remainder of Axl's rivalries. However, it did have Rose sending a pack of lawyers on Holland's trail.

Queensryche Rift with Geoff Tate

We said we won't focus on the corny feuds, yet we still do. But as the Queensryche drama is an ongoing one, it still deserves a mention. The rivalry among the Ryche ranks was cooking up for some time until it finally rose to a crescendo with Tate's sacking.

The drama that followed was severely fired up by copious daily online news reports constantly keeping the Seattle act in the limelight. Seeing that the November trial to determine the rights for use of Queensryche moniker is yet to follow, the "sick drama" will likely remain in the public eye at least for the remainder of the current year, overshadowing on all counts the thing that should matter the most music.

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Rob Zombie: "Suck It, Marilyn F--ing Manson!"

While we're covering the recent disputes, we might as well remember last year's rant exchange between Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson during their double-headlining "Twins of Evil" tour. The feud reportedly started when Manson was late for one of the concert trek's dates and was ultimately forced to cut his performance short.

The singer then vowed to "kick Zombie's a--," with Zombie himself responding by chanting "Suck it, Marilyn F--ing Manson!" during his set. But Rob still proved as the more mature one as he at least admitted the entire incident resembled "fourth-grade fight-after-school nonsense." The whole matter quickly cooled down, leaving behind nothing but an interesting story.

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Kerry King Calls Machine Head "Sell-Outs Responsible for Rap Metal"

Slayer axeman Kerry King was never afraid of expressing his opinions on any of the subject, including the work of his fellow metal masters. So once he didn't like Machine Head's 2001 effort "Supercharger," he didn't hesitate in giving his two cents by calling Rob Flynn and the gang "sell-outs," blaming them for the occurrence of rap metal.

Flynn responded like an adult, saying that King looks like a member of Right Said Fred (the band responsible for delivering the legendary "I'm Too Sexy" tune).

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The guitarist immediately followed up, stressing there's no need for slamming. "I don't remember us having bad blood," he said. "If somebody asks me if I like their last record, I say, 'No, I don't like the record.' But that's not slamming anybody. It's my opinion. If he's so fragile that that was painful, sorry dude, you're in the wrong business." The two have ultimately buried the hatchet five years later, sometime during 2007.

Black Keys Blame Nickelback for the Demise of Rock N' Roll

Once again we're back to more current events and last year's outburst from Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney. In case you're not familiar with the whole feud, the stickman was the one who kicked it off by saying that "rock and roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world."

The Canadian four-piece took the slamming in stride, even thanking Carney for calling them the biggest rock group on Earth. The drummer apologized halfheartedly, commenting that "there's much worse bands than Nickelback. Maybe." As the feud slowly faded, it was Nickelback's side that most fans took, regardless of their opinions about the band's music.

Radiohead Shuns Miley and Kanye

Not exactly a full-on rock feud, but an interesting trivia bit nevertheless, the story of Radiohead shunning Miley Cyrus and Kanye West took place at 2009 Grammy Awards ceremony. As great Radiohead fans, both Miley and Kanye requested to meet the British alternative rock act. Thom Yorke didn't care too much, as he brushed them off in no time.

Both singers were visibly agitated, but Miley seemed to be the one with the steam coming out of her ears as she even threatened to "ruin" Radiohead. Just how exactly did she imagine to carry out such a plan yet remains unknown. As for Kanye, the rapper took his rejection with a bit more class, refusing to stand during the group's performance. However, Radiohead did eventually release a statement regarding the entire incident, expressing their utter boredom.

Ronnie James Dio: "Vivian Campbell Is a Piece of Sh-t, I Hope He F--king Dies"

The feud between late Ronnie James Dio and axeman Vivian Campbell had its solid share of boiling points, with a few tactless statements on both sides. The rivalry is often traced back to 2003 when Campbell made a rather crass comment on Dio being "one of the vilest people in the industry."

"The real irony of that is I actually don't like hard rock music," the guitarist said. "I know it's a strange thing to say, but I don't really care about my past contributions. Even now I still get these guys coming up to me going 'Duuuuuuuude!', giving me the Dio devil sign and yelling 'Holy Diver!' and ''Rainbow in the Dark,' whoo hoo!' and it's cool that they remember it, but that music never mattered to me - and still doesn't."

The vocalist obviously wasn't too happy with the axeman, as he called him "a f--king a--hole" and a "piece of s--t" several years later. "I hope he f--king dies," Dio said while chatting with a group of fans in 2007, as you can see in the clip below. Interestingly enough, it's the fanboy yes-men the singer is surrounded with that come off as the most irritating.

There's a very sad side to this feud, as Dio passed away after losing battle with cancer in 2010, and Vivian is fighting the dreaded disease as we speak.

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Fred Durst Calls Creed Singer a Primadonna

We'll wrap up the list on somewhat of a light note. Not exactly a kind of feud that sees people ripping each other's flesh, the Limp Bizkit vs. Creed feud is primarily interesting as it saw two of the decade's most hated bands exchanging rants. It all happened in 2000 as Creed went to perform an hour late on a same festival Limp Bizkit played on.

As Fred Durst announced that singer Scott Stapp was "backstage right now, acting like f--king Michael Jackson," the Creed gang wasn't too thrilled, but gave only a meek response, calling Durst "immature and egotistical."

As you can clearly see, rock stars can be a quite passionate bunch, with feuds galore across the music industry. But what are your personal favorites when it comes to rock rivalries? Are they listed above or are they among the ones we skipped, such as pretty much any of Oderus Urungus' random rants? Let us know in the comments section.

66 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jake.p.hardy
    "Would he also be intimidated by a 70-year-old singer or would the tables turn in such a situation?" I see what you did there, UG.
    LazZer
    And they even slipped in the word "slam" a few times... UG is very subtle.
    latinromans
    Now that is just straight up provocation, please don't make me do this UG... J... James Hetfield i... Thank goodness that was a close one.
    Maidenheadsteve
    "Dave Mustaine versus literally everyone" would have been a great addition. Sad stuff with Dio, though. Also, it says "major" rock feuds, but the offspring-axl one says "didn't turn into much of a feud".
    Izzy-Sweet
    I can't get the hilarious image of Lou Reed trying to intimidate James Hetfield out of my head now, thanks UG!
    ripper992
    The one where he's challenging Lars to a street fight is funny enough, and that actually happened lol
    ttuskey
    What Sharon was secretly REALLY pissed off about was how half the crowd (well maybe a quarter, but a GOOD SIZABLE PORTION) would leave once Maiden was done and not stick around for Ozzy at Ozzfest. Plain and simple.
    Vash_15
    "We said we won't focus on the corny feuds, yet we still do." This is pretty much UG's news section in a nutshell.
    crazysam23_Atax
    The irony of the entire article, to me anyway, is that Fred Durst calls anyone a prima donna, since he's basically one himself.
    INSULIN
    KERRY KING TALKIN BOUT RAP METAL HE PLAYED ON BEATIE BOYS CD HA HA
    swmorgan77
    You know you've let yourself go when your current picture looks like a Chris Farley impression of your former self.
    sexasaurusrex
    I'd be inclined to take Dio's side based on his reputation and his overall demeanor in that clip. He wasn't even being mean, it was like he was just stating a fact. "Dude, he's just an *****. Too bad."
    anguyen92
    Hahaha, I bet the Axl picture in this article is exactly how he reacted when he heard the Offspring's news. He also kinda looks like a pirate in that picture as well.
    peepster1005
    Intentional or not, that 'turning tables' line in the Lou Reed/Lars Ulrich story was hilarious!
    malacyman
    Nickelback killing rock N roll? maybe the black keys need to listen to their music and rethink what they said.
    onkel44
    this is all just bullshit. but i'd like to see lou reeds' ego fight ulrichs' ego.
    rasmusschulz
    I will never EVER get tired of seeing exactly that picture of Axl. It never fails to make me feel like such a handsome, sexy and irresistible guy!
    Bucboy1001
    The Oasis/Blur feud in the 90's was humorous. But I'm thinking the Oasis/Robbie Williams was better. It was funny to watch Robbie act all big and tough, tosser.
    WibbleWobble
    yeah remember it well....Robbie.."right Liam I'll put up a million, you put up a million la la la.." zzzzz
    whatadrag
    Does Patrick Carney look a little like Austin Powers to anyone else? He looks like he's playing the drums going, "yeah baby, yeah!"
    scorpio2billion
    Josh Homme and Blag Dahlia is funnier than any of these. Listen to The Dwarves' "Massacre". A whole song of bashing anyone and everyone, and it's spot-on.
    Pkmm
    What, no mention of the Axl Rose-Slash feud, the Slash-Metallica one or Dave Mustaine and Metallica?
    acblogreview
    Nah the one with Offspring, where they said it wasn't much of a feud, was obviously more important
    MrDawson
    But before venturing any further, it should be pointed out that we tried avoiding the most obvious picks, the ones even casual rock listeners know by heart. So no Courtney Love and her outbursts, no Axl Rose vs. Slash/original GN'R , no Rolling Stones or The Beatles inner quarrelling and most definitely no certain Megadeth frontman heavily featured in the UG news section as he battles everyone from Men's Warehouse to Obama .
    cdsnzeevnaja
    Just out of curiosity, what Slash-Metallica Feud are we talking about? I must have missed that one?
    RaisingCain199
    Kinda surprised nobody has said anything about Vinnie Paul and Phil Anselmo, yet multiple people said Slash and Axl even though it is specified at the beginning. Then again, we don't want to dwell on the reoccurring theme from UG
    Blind In 1 Ear
    the dio one is strange. i've played in a band that really wasn't my kind of music at all. i had fun, made friends, did gigs, made a CD that's still selling and i see no money from. so what? i still gave it 100% and i'm sure campbell did too. it's just at the end of the day, he'd rather do other things. same with me, and now i'm recording my solo stuff from home. sometimes too people don't know what they want to do. some people just want to be working musicians and happen to get into a big band and maybe it's not totally their style, but if you want to work then you take the job.
    Ibzepi
    There's also been an incident between Ozzy himself and Buckethead. At one of his Ozzfests where Buckethead was scheduled, Ozzy told Bucket that he could either take off his mask and play or go home. Bucket responded later by mocking a classic Ozzy/Sabbath song during one of his performances.
    K33nbl4d3
    Gotta say with Ronnie, while I don't agree with what Vivian Campbell said, from reading and hearing interviews it's pretty clear Dio had a huge ego that can't've been easy to deal with...
    PuddleJumper11
    What about the Axl Rose and the entirety of the original GNR feud?
    Misfits655
    ^ Read the introduction of this article, it said they werent gonna cover the obvious ones, Would have been awesome to relive the glory of Krist novoselic smashing the shit outta GnR in this article, but oh well
    DickHardwood
    No Axl Rose and Slash?
    Ibzepi
    " So as the title bluntly suggests, we'll make a rundown of some of the biggest feuds and disputes in the history of rock. But before venturing any further, it should be pointed out that we tried avoiding the most obvious picks, the ones even casual rock listeners know by heart. So no Courtney Love and her outbursts, no Axl Rose vs. Slash/original GN'R, no Rolling Stones or The Beatles inner quarrelling and most definitely no certain Megadeth frontman heavily featured in the UG news section as he battles everyone from Men's Warehouse to Obama. Anyhow, let's get to it. "
    madscientistjai
    Where the hell is the Metallica vs Mustaine feud. I cant think of ONE other fight that is not made to look like a scrap between a pair of kittens by the 30+ year long no-holds-barred streetfight between those two.
    ripper992
    You've just skimmed the article and didn't even bother to go through the comments, now haven't you?