Most explosive rock and roll feuds

What’s the 4th of July without some fireworks? To get ready Tuesday’s holiday which will be preceded by millions of barbeques across the country this weekend, Rock Music Menu has come up with 10 of the most explosive rock and roll feuds in history.


Having returned in the late 1980s for a commercially successful second act, Aerosmith delivered hit album after hit album. Then, frontman Steven Tyler expressed interest in carving out a solo career, “Brand Tyler” he called it.

The breaking point was either when the rest of the band found out Tyler had tried out for the lead singer spot in Led Zeppelin in 2008 or when he signed on to be a judge on American Idol in 2011 without telling them. Either way, the members of Aerosmith said in various interviews they planned to move forward — with or without Tyler.

Cooler heads prevailed, and while the resulting new record was panned, Aerosmith remains a successful touring entity and have recently embarked on a long farewell tour.



Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were never best friends, but their distinct personalities made for some amazing Rolling Stones music throughout the 60s and 70s. Jagger signed a solo deal in the 80s though, furthering the divide between him and Richards, leading the Stones to be inactive for much of the decade.

When the band got together in 1989 for the ‘Steel Wheels’ comeback album, the lead single was the Richards’ penned track “Mixed Emotions,” which many noticed sounded a lot like “Mick’s demotion.” Richards and Jagger still aren’t the best of friends, a fact made abundantly clear when the former slammed Jagger in the guitarist’s 2010 memoir, ‘Life.’ Yet they continue on.


Singer Scott Weiland’s drug problems were a constant thorn in the side of Stone Temple Pilots, leading to an extended hiatus in the late ‘90s and break-up in 2002. After a stint in Velvet Revolver, Weiland returned to STP in 2008.

He was fired in 2013 following lateness to shows and erratic performances, and it was clear STP had no intentions of reconvening with Weiland when they announced Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington would be their new singer later that same year. Bennington departed the band amicably in late 2015, but less than a month later, Weiland was found dead on his tour bus while on the road promoting a solo album.


Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor signed Marilyn Manson to his label in the mid-90s and some of his music in that period. The two fell out with one another as the years went on and the decade came to a close.

The most explosive moment in the feud was actually a positive one in May of 2000, shortly after the NIN opus ‘The Fragile’ was released. While singing the coda to new single ‘Star——ers Inc. at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Manson joined Reznor onstage for the track’s frenetic finale before going into his own hit “The Beautiful People.”

These days, while not exactly on the outs, Manson and Reznor aren’t close either, living their lives in different directions.


Mustaine was a songwriter and lead guitarist in Metallica when they were starting out, but was fired before the recording of their debut record, ‘Kill ‘Em All,’ in 1983. He went on to form Megadeth and had an intense rivalry with his former outfit in the ensuing decades.

While filming was underway for the warts-and-all Metallica documentary ‘Some Kind of Monster’ in 2001, Mustaine and band drummer Lars Ulrich sat down for a tearful therapy session where the former admitted to feeling worthless compared to the behemoth Metallica had become.

June of 2011 saw Mustaine join his band onstage as part of the Big Four with members of Slayer and Anthrax, but it was later that year the Metallica 30th anniversary shows where he got up and performed five songs with the band that closure finally seemed to have been reached.


Despite grunge obliterating much of the ‘80s hair metal scene by 1992, Mötley Crüe were still going strong. That year though, singer Vince Neil left or was fired — depending who you asked — and the band brought in John Corabi to take his place. It was then when irrelevancy hit.

A comeback was launched in 1997 with a new, industrial tinged record with Neil back at the mic. The tension was still there, especially between Neil and drummer Tommy Lee, who accused the singer of sucker punching him at an airport in 2000, leading to another split, this time with Lee.

Look, the members of the Crüe are never going to get along famously, with their combative nature one of the elements that makes them so appealing. Internally though, they were probably each elated to call it a day at the very end of 2015.


The original brother vs. brother feud between The Kinks’ Ray and Dave Davies might have been the one most rooted in acrimony. The disagreements run so deep between them that they don’t even agree on the correct pronunciation of their own last name.

Ray and Dave rarely got along for any extended period of time, so there is no one “big moment” to point to. Their volatility toward one another didn’t even lead to the end of The Kinks; it was simply a matter of declining popularity and wanting to go solo. Every so many months for the past decade, rumors come hard and fast that The Kinks will be regrouping … and then nothing.


Brother vs. brother volume two features the Britpop masters of Oasis with Noel the songwriter and guitarist for the band with his younger sibling the voice and enigmatic frontman. Their infighting became so captivating that a journalist’s recording of them going at it in an interview landed on the UK charts.

It took 15 years, but things finally came to a head in 2009 when Liam threatened to decapitate Noel with his own guitar during an argument before taking the stage in Paris. The gig was cancelled and Noel left the band. These days, Noel has a successful solo career; Liam put out two albums with Beady Eye and will release his own solo effort later this year. Other than the occasional Twitter barb between one another, the two don’t talk, though fans hold out hope for a reunion.


Guns N’ Roses fell apart spectacularly with Axl Rose the sole remaining co-founder from 1997 on. The singer’s vitriol directed at former guitarist Slash knew no bounds, with Rose referring to him as “a cancer.” Asked at one point in 2012 when the original GNR lineup would reunite, Rose responded, “Not in this lifetime.”

Last year marked one of the biggest surprises in music then when it was announced that Slash and fellow original Guns’ bassist Duff McKagan would be rejoining the group for a world tour they dubbed the trek? “Not in This Lifetime…” of course.


To tell the tale of Van Halen’s feud would take weeks of columns to dissect. But in a large nutshell: David Lee Roth leaves in 1985 and brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen bad mouth him for years with Sammy Hagar a more than capable replacement.

Eleven years later, Hagar quits — or is fired — and Roth is brought back into the fold, with Hagar now the horrible one. The “reunion” with Roth is a sham, and suddenly Van Halen are the bad guys.

Roth and Hagar decide to join forces for a co-headlining tour in 2002 which, predictably, is a financial success but personal disaster. Hagar goes back to VH for a tour in 2004 and Dave is back to a baddie — for a moment.

After the tour, Hagar is out — along with bassist Michael Anthony, who by all accounts didn’t do anything wrong. Three years later, Roth is back, with Eddie’s son Wolfgang on bass. And that’s where we stand today…except Hagar has been vocal lately about wanting back in — with Anthony — in hopes Van Halen will tour with both singers.

Now that’s a feud.

To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to Also, check out his blog at

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