Top 5 Ugliest Band Breakups

Rock stars know how to go out with a bang, but these bands turned the drama up to 11 before imploding. Read stories about the craziest band breakups right here.

Top 5 Ugliest Band Breakups
There's something unique about rock music, and we don't just mean its ability to blow eardrums and turn good girls bad. No, we mean its tradition of epic breakups. Unlike other businesses where you'd write a letter notifying your colleagues one month ahead of your departure, rock bands prefer to go out with a bang. Usually with a fistful of drugs and hate. We've been sifting through band breakup stories, and after much deliberation have settled on what we think are the ugliest breakups in rock history. Some are from the classic era of rock back in the 20th century, but several made it into our top five because disputes between band members continue to rage on for decades into 2012. Sometimes a band will never learn from its mistakes. So here, we present to you the official top 5 ugliest band breakups. If you think we missed out on a better story, share it in the comments.

05. The Eagles

This band ruled the world in the 1970s. But with great talent comes great egos. In 1980 guitarists Glenn Frey and Don Felder hated each other so much that they agreed to a fight during a show at Long Beach, as Frey recalls: We're onstage, and Felder looks back at me and says, Only three more song till I kick your ass, pal.' And I'm saying, Great. I can't wait.' We're out there singing Best of My Love,' but inside both of us are thinking, As soon as this is over, I'm gonna kill him.' They reunited in 1994, but Felder left again in 2001. He claimed wrongful termination, and it was another six years before they settled the case out of court.

04. Oasis

The Gallagher brothers were often at odds with each other, but their tensions came to a head in 2009. Both Liam and Noel claim the other attacked them with a guitar, but either way, the band were finished. Noel tells his side of the story, which suggests the breakup could have been even uglier: "[Liam had] gone into his private dressing room and he'd picked up this guitar. He came back in and he was wielding it about like an axe. He was quite violent he nearly took my face off."

03. Guns N' Roses

Tension between members of the early Gn'R lineup continue to boil two decades later, making this one of the most drawn out and exhausting breakups in rock history. A combination of drug abuse, late appearances and full-scale crowd riots promoted members to drop like flies from the lineup, and Axl Rose's frequent clashes with Slash and Duff McKagan led to their departure in the mid 90s. There was an opportunity with their 2012 induction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame to make amends and put the past behind them, but months of rumors culminated in a stern letter from Rose saying he wouldn't take part in the ceremony.

02. Queensryche

Long-term singer Geoff Tate was fired from the band in spectacular fashion in June after allegedly attacking his bandmates before a show in Brazil and making deals on behalf of the band without their consent. It could have ended there as a typically outrageous rock anecdote, but instead both parties dragged each other through the courts to sling mud in public view. The case continues, but as it stands, there appear to be two versions of Queensryche one with the musicians, the other fronted by Geoff Tate billing himself as the original voice of Queensryche. Whichever version you support, it's been damn ugly and it's not over yet.

01. Black Sabbath

They started as pioneers of metal, but money and fame led to greed, drugs and the dark side. They should have listened to Yoda. Tony Iommi decided to fire Ozzy Osbourne for boozing too much in 1979, though every member abused drugs at the time. "We were all doing a lot of drugs, a lot of coke, a lot of everything, and Ozzy was getting drunk so much at the time," Iommi explained later. "We were supposed to be rehearsing and nothing was happening. It was like 'Rehearse today? No, we'll do it tomorrow.' It really got so bad that we didn't do anything."
The real mark of an ugly breakup is when drama between founding members continues today. As with Guns N' Roses, 2012 saw perhaps the ugliest period in Black Sabbath's existence when founding drummer Bill Ward was shut out of their new reunion over a contractual dispute, leading to a very public breakdown in their relationship. Matters were made infinitely more complicated when Iommi was struck by cancer. The remaining members continue to work on their new album, but with the drama still fresh in our memory, Black Sabbath and Bill Ward have earned themselves our award for the ugliest (and perhaps most tragic) breakup in rock history.

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    Metallica + Lou Reed. I really thought they had something special, like they couldve made ReLulu, St. Lulu, Lulu Magnetic...
    HAHA maybe they might revisit their old stuff too...Ride the Lulu
    That one would definitely come with parental advisory.
    so would "master of lulu"
    Creeping Lulu Hit the Lulu The End of the Lulu The Unforgiven part Lulu Disposable Lulus
    Personally, I think ...And Lulu For All was their best work.
    Songs about gang... am I allowed to say it?... bangs, each one about 7 - 10 minutes long. That one would definitely come with a parental advisory.
    The album full of covers that were just spoken out loud was great too! What was it called? I believe it was Lulu Inc.
    When I read this title, I immediately thought Pantera would be on here. That breakup is way too brutal.
    That was my exact thought to. Say what you want, but when break up leads to murder? That's some ugly stuff.
    I don't think the break up led directly to Dime's murder, no one could've foreseen that it would've driven a schizo over the edge to gun Dime down on stage. But as it stands even without that in mind, you are right, i was a damn ugly break up =/
    My Last Words
    Yeah, but taken the war of words between Phil and vinnie, + Vinnie being a little harsh on his side.. Even if dime wasn't gunned, I doubt they'd reform..
    Nathan Gal said he blamed Dime for breaking up Pantera
    My Last Words
    I thought he thought Darrel had stolen his riffs or something ?
    I heard both theories, band members heard him blaming Dime for the break up while shooting, NG thinking that band members could read his mind, and the thing with the stolen lyrics or riffs or something.... Nobody will ever know the whole truth I think. The only thing I'm sure about is, that this is the worst thing that ever happened to Metal.
    Not a breakup, per se, but how Damageplan ended was pretty terrible. Rest In peace, Dime.
    Agent 00Awesome
    Pink Floyd? Cool article though.
    Yeah I wouldve put Pink Floyd over ALL these. I guess though since Waters and Gilmore have somewhat buried the hatchet in recent years, the criteria of this list didn't consider them?
    It still was ugly and they still don't tour together, so it should be up here. Perhaps no. 3 or 2?
    Wasn't it Rick Wright and Waters who really hated each other?
    Honestly Waters seemed to be at odds with all other 3 members of the band. Yes he did eliminate Rick Wright (R.I.P.) of his full membership status because he felt he wasn't contributing enough. But it was Waters and Gilmour who were the 2 main creative forces and devisive personalities in the split. Notice that Gilmour reformed Pink Floyd with everyone BUT Waters, while Waters fought them in court over use of the name
    Ummmm... where's Mayhem ?