Rock

7 Music Partners Who Actually Hated Each Other

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.
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Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

Spend almost every minute of every day crammed into small spaces with anyone for years on end and chances are that at some point, you're going to hate their guts just a little. Or a lot. Now add in fame, the pressure of performing in front of thousands, maybe tens of thousands, a possibly toxic combination of drugs and alcohol, ego, maybe some sibling rivalry and jealousy and you have a perfect storm for bandmates to become bandhates.

Music history is littered with classic partnerships that went from making beautiful sounds together to unmitigated bile faster than a three-minute single. Sometimes that disgust lingers and helps fuel decades of great songs packed with on- and off-stage tension, while other times it just explodes into an ugly break-up from which no one can return.

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And then there's Guns N' Roses, who seemed beyond repair... until this summer. Which makes it as good a time as any to look at seven musical partners who actually hated each other:

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

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Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

You might not be able to tell from their massive Zip Code tour last year (or the upcoming Desert Trip gigs), but the Rolling Stones' Jagger and Richards barely spoke for years. The legendary singer/guitarist duo known as the "Glimmer Twins" in their 1970s heyday spent much of the past three decades in an uneasy truce that has flared into outright disdain at times, even as they continued to mount tour after massive tour.

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During the 1983 sessions for their Undercover album, co-producer Chris Kimsey recently told Vanity Fair the two purposely avoided being in the studio at the same time, a distance that grew further when Richards found out that Jagger had included a provision in their mid-1980s recording contract that called for three solo albums from the singer.

They found an uneasy peace for a while, but then Richards stirred things up again in 2010 when he made some unkind remarks about Jagger's "tiny dodger" in his memoir, Life, revealing that the band referred to Mick as "Brenda, or Her Majesty" and snarkily renaming Jagger's 2001 Goddess in the Doorway solo album Dogs--- in the Doorway. 

Noel and Liam Gallagher

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Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis. 

Is blood thicker than water? Now when it runs through the Gallagher brother's veins. One of the greatest things about Oasis was the band's famously pugnacious attitude, especially singer Liam's DGAF swagger, which made him one of the least likeable, but most magnetic rock stars of the 1990s. That tension extended to his relationship with older brother Noel, considered the musical mastermind of the act, often to Liam's consternation. The bitterness bubbled during their 2009 tour -- when they insisted on traveling on separate planes -- and exploded backstage in August 2009 when Noel said they came to blows at a festival in Paris which ended with Liam swinging a guitar at his brother's head, ending their nearly 20-year career.

Axl Rose and Slash

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Axl Rose and Slash of Guns N' Roses.

Are you familiar with LSD? The malady, also known as Lead Singer Disease, often strikes the preening frontmen (and women) of groups and leads to unending tension, typically with their foil/lead guitarist. No band scaled higher highs or plumbed lower lows than Guns N' Roses did during their rocket ride to fame in the late 1980s. The legendary excesses, ego-fueled clashes and failure to agree on a musical direction destroyed the band from the inside, with guitarist Slash finally throwing in the towel in October 1996, saying, "Axl's whole visionary style, as far as his input in Guns N' Roses, is completely different from mine. I just like to play guitar, write a good riff, go out there and play, as opposed to presenting an image." 

Shockingly, after nearly two decades of tension and bad blood, the pair came together this year for a reunion tour.

Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth/Sammy Hagar

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David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen.

Musical genius doesn't always equal personal happiness. Just ask any of the three men who've fronted Van Halen over the past 30-plus years. Original singer David Lee Roth split in 1985 following disagreements with guitarist Eddie Van Halen over Eddie's work outside the band, alleged drug issues and personality clashes. That led to an even more successful 10-year run with singer Sammy Hagar, which also ended poorly when he got into it with Van Halen over a greatest hits album, management issues and creative differences; Hagar would come back briefly from 2003-2005, but that reunion melted down when Hagar accused Van Halen of not acting professionally. 

The Smashing Pumpkins

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Smashing Pumpkins

Being a musical genius is hard. Just ask Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan. After a thrilling ride to the top of alt rock mountain in the 1990s, Corgan and his bandmates crashed and burned in 1999 when bassist D'arcy Wretzky split, followed a year later by what was billed as the band's final show. The often prickly Corgan reformed the group five years later, though, with original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and new players in place of Wretzky and guitarist James Iha after a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune failed to convince the original members to come back. He (seemingly) put any reunion hopes to bed permanently during a 2012 NME interview when he called Iha a "piece of s---... one of the worst human beings I've ever met in my life." 

And then, Iha sat in with Corgan at an L.A. concert in March of this year. Go figure.

The Pixies

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The Pixies

One of the most influential indie rock bands of all time was lead by the sweet/sour combo of singer/guitarist Black Francis and bassist/singer Kim Deal, who made amazing music together, but famously could not see eye-to-eye on the direction of the band. According to a history of the band, Deal struggled with the idea that Francis was the group's creative leader, angry that he would not accept more of her songs on Pixies albums. They carried on for several years despite an ugly onstage fight during a 1989 show in Germany, after which Francis tried to get Deal fired from the group. They reunited in 2003, but by 2013, Deal was gone again with no explanation.

The Ramones

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Joey and Johnny Ramone of the Ramones.

?They presented as a leather jacket-clad gang of street toughs sharing the same family name, but the relationships in the most iconic punk band of all time were anything but brotherly. In fact, for more than half of their career, singer Joey Ramone and guitarist Johnny Ramone barely spoke, a result of their disagreement on politics, music, the band's direction and, oh yeah, Joey's long-held resentment that Johnny stole his girlfriend.