Last week on Brad’s Blog, the spotlight was put on rockstars whose egos ruined the band. This week the trend continues. With so many what ifs in rock and roll, it’s hard to imagine the records these artists could have produced. If calmer heads prevailed, Oasis would still be rocking today. Once again, an invitation is extended to take a glimpse into the rockstars whose egos tanked the band.
The Gallagher Brothers Oasis (1994-2009)
No duo in rock music has ever become as synonymous with the word ego than Noel and Liam Gallagher. The hitmakers behind “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova” fought so often and so frequently, it made audiences wonder how they made anything at all. The feud began in 1994 when a tambourine was thrown by Liam at Noel. A year later, Noel retaliated by bringing friends to the studio, Liam responded by hitting his brother with a cricket bat. Things got personal in 2000 when Liam questioned the legitimacy of Noels daughter, a bridge too far. During a 2005 performance of “Champaign Supernova”, Liam left the stage mid song in a psychological ploy to this brother. In April 2009 Liam cancelled a show due to “laryngitis” when really, he was just hungover. Later that year an argument broke out featuring Liam wield his guitar like an axe. The band reasonably split for good following that. While a majority of the actions that led to the split revolve around Liam, Noel also was partially responsible. Hence the reason the Gallagher Brothers share title billing on this post.
Chris Robinson- The Black Crowes (1990-2015)
Where to begin with Chris Robinson? He constantly feuds with guitar player and brother Rich Robinson. He sees himself as the face of the band, having made entire music videos about what goes on in his head. He squandered every career making opportunity that has come his way. One famously including a turning down the inclusion of a cover of the Rolling Stones “it’s Only Rock and Roll” on the Armageddon soundtrack. Another infamous turn down was a continuation of a tour with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Paige. He felt that he wanted to continue doing Black Crowes songs, and not sing anybody else’s. While noble in intention, he turned down career making performances with Jimmy Paige! His relationship with actress Kate Hudson put Yoko Ono brought about levels of discontent with her presence in the studio. The Robinson began to stop paying attention to what he wore onstage, opting for basketball t-shirts and shorts over stage clothes. He even brought his love of the Grateful Dead to the band, much to their chagrin. This move effectively turned the band into a jam band, not the hard rocking outfit fans loved. The ego Robinson carried with him effectively killed the band. Though he has since gotten along with his brother Rich, and they are on tour once again.
Roger Waters (1985-1987)
In 1985 Roger Waters left Pink Floyd to continue his own music career. He went on record to say that the band were spent creatively. However, David Gilmour and Nick Mason did not share Waters belief that the end was in sight. Waters believed that even without mason and Gilmour, he was capable of churning out music on par with Pink Floyds discography. Pink Floyd soldiered on in 1987 without Waters releasing the underrated Momentary Lapse of Reason record. This move prompted Waters to sue his former bandmates over the legal use of the name Pink Floyd. An agreement was reached out of court the same year that satisfied both parties. In 2005 the members reconciled and played a live gig at Live 8. Despite having not played together since then, Waters is currently on a solo tour and Gilmour and Mason have released music as Pink Floyd in honor Ukraine.
John Lennon (1966-69)
One of the biggest egotists in rock and roll music history and the most surprising entry. John Lennon claimed to be a “self-proclaimed genius” before a certain rapper took the title in the present day. He also claimed that he and his band were “Bigger Than Jesus”. As a boy, he was abandoned by his father, leading to him not wanting to be the band leader. He wanted that distinction to go to Paul, but he still wanted to get his way. While Paul tried to please others, Lennon would often not treat them with kindness. He would often talk down on his former Beatles post break up. This was his way of trying to appear as the “good guy” in his feuds with Paul towards the end of his career as a Beatle. This makes John Lennon a surprising candidate despite the great musical legacy he left with his band.
Gene Simmons (1973- Present)
While the famed make up wearing rock band KISS never broke up, Gene Simmons ego certainly got in the way of its success. Despite being a great businessman with a keen eye for marketing, Simmons wasn’t the most relatable of rock stars. He once famously told Time Magazine that “KISS never looked over their shoulder to see who likes them and who didn’t. Nobody ever liked Jesus either.” Bold words coming from a guy who thinks fans should be buried in a KISS themed coffin. Simmons egotism got the better of former band mates Peter Criss and Ace Frehley to leave over Simmons musical direction. Simmons remains the bands driving force along with Paul Stanley. They have a pair of final shows confirmed for Madison Square Garden later this year.
This concludes this special segment for now, a new edition could arrive at a later time.