CURIOSITIES

Ten historic (and stormy) separations in band history

Being in a band is not easy, even when a band is at the peak of its success. Constant touring, incessant work, artistic differences: there are so many reasons that can lead bands to unbelievable quarrels, which often lead to the break-up of bands or the departure of a member. 

From Oasis to Blink-182 to the Eagles: there are many cases of complicated break-ups in the history of rock music and beyond, sometimes even ending in court cases.

Here are some of the most famous cases of complex quarrels within historic bands.

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Ten historic and stormy separations in the history of band (sometimes ending in peace)
Being in a band is not easy, even when the group is at the peak of its success. Constant touring, incessant work, artistic differences: there are so many reasons that can lead bands to unbelievable quarrels, often leading to the break-up or departure of a member. From Oasis to Blink-182 to the Eagles: there are many cases of complicated break-ups in the history of music, sometimes ending in court cases, sometimes in a reunion. Here are some of the most famous cases of complex quarrels within historical bands.
ANSA Foto
Oasis
Among the most stormy separations in music history, one cannot but mention the case of the Gallagher brothers. Oasis were in business until 2009, when the eldest brother Noel announced his split from the band the day after a terrible fight at the Rock en Seine festival in Paris: it is said that guitars even flew between the two that night, when there were only three dates left before the end of the world tour. Since then, the brothers have often insulted each other from a distance, but have recently left the door open for a possible reunion...
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Pink Floyd
In 1985, Roger Waters' farewell to the historic band was anything but peaceful. After the album 'The Final Cut', Waters officially resigned from Pink Floyd, convinced that this gesture would lead to the definitive end of the group, but this was not the case: in 1986, David Gilmour and Nick Mason decided to produce a new album, which prompted Waters to instigate a legal battle to establish who should carry on the group's name. The case was resolved in favour of Gilmour and Mason, with Waters showing his displeasure through the press.
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Creedence Clearwater Revival
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Creedence Clearwater Revival had few rivals and their success was incredible. The surprise break-up, however, came at the height of their fame, in 1972: guitarist Tom Fogerty hated the fact that his older brother John was the author and producer of most of the songs, leaving very little room for the rest of the band. Because of this, Tom left the band, which continued for a short time as a trio with poor results: this led to the sudden break-up of the band.
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The Police
The farewell was also turbulent for The Police, whose career together lasted from 1977 to 1984, except for a few sporadic reunions. Among the triggers of the break-up, there was certainly the role of Sting, who apparently wanted to have exclusive power over the songwriting process, but Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland were not in agreement at all. However, Sting has stated in the past that the other members had established a 'dictatorship' in the group's dynamics: in short, the goodbye was troubled and in the final stages of the band's experience, quarrels were frequent.
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Simon & Garfunkel
The historic folk duo enchanted audiences in the 1960s (and beyond), but Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel often had violent quarrels and heated arguments, splitting up on two occasions: the first time in the mid-1960s, albeit briefly, the second in 1970. The final break-up is said to have been due to Garfunkel's choice to work as an actor: as a result, Simon began to resent his colleague's overworked schedule and the relationship deteriorated. Although it seems they never fully mended their relationship, the two have performed together again on other occasions, for instance at the famous concert in Central Park in 1981, in front of 400,000 people.
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Mötley Crüe
A band with more than 100 million records sold worldwide and still going strong today, despite changes and alternations in the original line-up. In this case, the break was later patched up: we are talking about Vince Neil, whose disagreements with the rest of the band escalated in 1992, during the production of a new record. The frontman did not turn up for rehearsals with his bandmates and was not to be found: Neil later claimed that he had been fired, while the band maintained that it was Neil himself who had opted for voluntary departure. After five years, Vince nevertheless returned with his band.
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Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac have rotated their line-up often, changing members since the group's inception. It was precisely the chaos and quarrels, however, that generated the band's masterpiece, the album 'Rumours', which was inspired by John and Christine McVie's divorce, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham's break-up and, finally, Mick Fleetwood's wife's alleged infidelity with a friend of the drummer. In the intervening years, however, there have been many internal tensions within the band, the latest in 2018, with Buckingham filing a lawsuit against the band for wrongful dismissal, a case that was eventually settled out of court.
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Eagles
Few bands over the years have had the same, incredible, success as the Eagles, at home and around the world. Internal relations, however, were strained, especially between Don Henley and Glenn Frey. In 1980, only a few years after the fame of 'Hotel California', the Eagles broke up, with the climax of tensions represented by a violent quarrel. During a fundraiser for Senator Alan Cranston, Frey felt that Don Felder had been rude to Cranston's wife, and the argument between the band members continued on stage. This led to the break-up of the band, which did not reunite until 14 years later, in 1994.
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Blink-182
Blink-182, although still active, also went through several tense moments. After the first break-up in 2005, relations deteriorated between Tom DeLonge and his bandmates until 2008, when drummer Travis Barker almost died in a plane crash in which four people were killed. Blink-182 got back together in 2009, but DeLonge's continued demands led to his departure, later replaced by Matt Skiba. On 11 October 2022, the band released a video announcing the return of frontman Tom DeLonge to the line-up after seven years: how will it go this time?
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The Beatles
Perhaps this is the most turbulent and troubled goodbye in music history. Even those born in the years following the band's break-up are now familiar with the final, troubled stages of the Fab Four's experience together. Despite many accounts and reconstructions, even today there is no agreed theory as to the real reasons that led to the end of The Beatles. Over the years, the most widely accepted idea is that John Lennon's gradual physical, spiritual and relational estrangement from the other members of the group deteriorated the band's future, until the inevitable break-up.
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