Which Hall of Fame Bands Hated Each Other the Most?
Confirmation that Mark Knopfler wasn't performing with Dire Straits when his former band got inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame came as no surprise. After all, they'd long since split into competing musical camps: Knopfler moved on as a solo artist, while some of the others toured as "the Straits."
In other words, they totally hate each other. And some fancy statue, as we've seen time and time again, isn't going to change that. Still, some Hall of Fame bands hated each other more than others – so much so that it ruined what otherwise should have been a celebratory night.
Members have made a point of not showing up, while others attended but spent the evening side-eyeing their old musical partners. (Who can forget when Ritchie Blackmore skipped Deep Purple's induction after the current lineup declined to perform with him?) We're focusing instead on those times when bands took their quarrels all the way to the podium onstage.
Keep reading for a look at which Hall of Fame bands hated each other the most.
10. The Beatles
Who Hated What: Paul McCartney hated majority rule.
Origin of Hate: Ongoing business disagreements.
Induction Scramble: The Beatles, as is so often the case, were trendsetters – establishing a baseline for all the Hall of Fame pettiness that followed. McCartney stayed away from the third-ever ceremony in 1988, leaving George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, to accept the honor. "I don't have to say much because I [was always known as] the quiet Beatle," Harrison quipped that night. "It's unfortunate Paul's not here because he was the one who had the speech in his pocket."
Saltiest Hate-Quotes: McCartney actually issued a statement during the induction event arguing that he "would feel like a complete hypocrite waving and smiling with [Harrison and Starr] at a fake reunion." (McCartney later apparently decided that fake reunions were cool, and they all got back together for the Anthology project.)
9. The Yardbirds
Who Hated What: Jeff Beck hated unemployment.
Origin of Hate: The always-mercurial Beck was fired by the Yardbirds in 1966 – even though they were already out in the road. “I woke up the next morning and I wasn’t a Yardbird any more; I was just a nobody," he later recalled. "I remember wondering if there were any scraps left for me in the music business. That was the lowest point in my life."
Induction Scramble: Though he certainly seemed to have warranted being fired, Beck ended up taking a notable shot at the other Yardbirds during his 1992 Hall of Fame acceptance speech at their induction. The good news is, all was eventually forgiven: Beck later collaborated with them again on a track from the band's 2003 album Birdland.
Saltiest Hate-Quotes: "They kicked me out [of the band]," Beck said from the stage. "Fuck them!"
8. Guns N' Roses
Who Hated Whom: Axl Rose hated all the old guys.
Origin of Hate: At this point, Rose was leading a Guns N' Roses lineup that included no other original members. He seemed to really like it that way.
Induction Scramble: Slash, Steven Adler, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum were joined in 2012 by Guns N' Roses touring guitarist Gilby Clarke and Myles Kennedy, from Slash's solo band, for induction-night renditions of "Mr. Brownstone," "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City."
Saltiest Hate-Quotes: "Time to move on. People get divorced," Axl Rose said in a terse official statement. "Life doesn't owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another's – or, in this case, several others' – expense." (In a huge twist, we ended up getting our happy ending anyway, after Rose decided to patch things up with Slash and McKagan in 2016.)
Who Hated Whom: Duh. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley hate Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
Origin of Hate: Stanley and Simmons took part in a very public dispute over which contributors would go into the Hall of Fame before Kiss' 2014 induction. They'd already endured years of fan controversy after allowing successors to dress up like Criss and Frehley.
Induction Scramble: The original four members of Kiss appeared, but Simmons and Stanley refused to perform. All that was missing was a "Free Bruce Kulick!" T-shirt.
Saltiest Hate-Quotes: Simmons pointedly thanked every other Kiss member, past and present, during his speech. Meanwhile, Criss took his own shot: "I want to say, in or out of makeup, I'll always be the Catman."
Who Hated Whom: They all hate Peter Cetera, because he must chill.
Origin of Hate: Cetera, despite having been gone since 1984's smash Chicago 17, wanted to dictate terms for Chicago's 2016 induction performance. The band had long since distanced itself from his latter-day ballad-focused sound and refused to budge.
Induction Scramble: Cetera announced he was in, and then out. Chicago ended up reuniting with founding drummer Danny Seraphine, who originally left in 1990, while Cetera's replacement, Jason Scheff, helped the band through a set that included "Saturday in the Park," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is" and "25 or 6 to 4." Rob Thomas also sat in, for some reason.
Saltiest Hate-Quotes: "Every idea or suggestion I offered about how it could work musically was either rejected or changed by the show's producers," Cetera said. "Together with the fact that while I sent those same emails to the group, the only reply I ever received back from them was a very snarky 'Take a chill pill, dude!' Whoa! Really?"
5. Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Who Hated Whom: Elvis Costello really, really hates Bruce Thomas.
Origin of Hate: Costello parted ways with Thomas in the '90s after the original Attractions bassist wrote a novel featuring an overbearing, perhaps thinly disguised band leader. Asked about Thomas' absence in the run up to the 2003 Hall of Fame ceremony, Costello fired back, "I only play with professional musicians."
Induction Scramble: Fellow Attractions Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas appeared onstage that night with Costello; they continued to back him both on tour and in the studio as the Imposters.
Saltiest Hate-Quotes: Accepting his award, Bruce Thomas said, "Thanks for the memories – that's it," then walked right out of the building. Costello waved him away with an obscene gesture.
4. Simon and Garfunkel
Who Hated Whom: They hate each other, of course.
Origin of Hate: This relationship had a built-in imbalance, since Paul Simon wrote the songs while Art Garfunkel served the role of interpreter and foil. There was more bad blood when Simon decided against a 1984 reunion.
Induction Scramble: Simon and Garfunkel pulled off performances of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "The Boxer" that night, but the public sniping continued. Garfunkel said he'd created a "monster," while Simon took credit for having "enriched [Garfunkel's] life quite a bit, now that I think about it."
Saltiest Hate-Quotes: "I regret the ending of our friendship, and I hope that one day before we die we will make peace with each other," Simon said during the 1990 ceremony. Then, after a beat, he added, "No rush."
3. Van Halen
Who Hated Whom: Van Halen hate their former singers. Oh, and their bassist.
Origin of Hate: The David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar eras factionalized Van Halen the same way it had their fans. By the time Van Halen were inducted in 2007, they had split with Roth, went round and round with Hagar and were on the verge of reuniting again with Roth. Meanwhile, Eddie Van Halen had checked himself into rehab.
Induction Scramble: Nobody showed up for the induction ceremony but Hagar and Anthony, who later went on to co-found Chickenfoot together. They ended up playing with Paul Shaffer's house band. Meanwhile, Roth refused to sing Hagar-era songs when he returned to the road with Van Halen. "This hamburger," he joked, "don't need no helper."
Saltiest Hate-Quotes: Eddie Van Halen heavily criticized Anthony after firing him later the same year, something Hagar never got over. "I don't know why they go after him like that. He doesn't deserve it," Hagar said, adding that Anthony is "the greatest guy on the fucking planet" and a "bad motherfucker. Fuck you, Eddie Van Halen."
Who Hated Whom: Blondie hate getting sued.
Origin of Hate: Nigel Harrison and Frank Infante tried to litigate their way back into the band when Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke reunited as Blondie in 1996. Co-founder Gary Valentine was also left on the outside looking in.
Induction Scramble: Harrison attempted to salvage Blondie's Hall of Fame moment. "It's nice to see everyone out of the courtroom," he said during their 2006 induction ceremony. "That's the first positive thing." But then Harrison joined in what had already became a sad chorus: "We want to play, obviously. We were part of it," he said. "It sucks. And welcome to bingo night."
Saltiest Hate-Quotes: Infante initially pleaded with Harry from the stage, asking if they could sit in one last time. "Debbie, is that allowed?" Infante said. "We'd like to play with you guys – me and Nigel. Pretty please! Pretty please, Debbie!" Nope.
1. Creedence Clearwater Revival
Who Hates Whom: Everybody hates John Fogerty.
Origin of Hate: Angry that his surviving former bandmates had remained in league with an industry figure whom he distrusted, Fogerty refused to perform with Doug Clifford and Stu Cook at the 1993 induction ceremony. Instead, he did Creedence Clearwater Revival songs alongside Bruce Springsteen and Robbie Robertson, while the others stood by fuming. (Cook was seen side stage holding his unplayed bass, certainly the most forlorn image in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame history.)
Induction Scramble: Apparently ticked off over being left out, Clifford and Cook took matters into their own hands in 1995 by creating a separate vehicle for their old songs: Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Fogerty unsuccessfully sued to stop them, widening the rift. Asked in 2017 about reuniting with their ex-singer and songwriter, Clifford said, "It would have been great 20, 25 years ago. It's way too late now."
Saltiest Hate-Quotes: "To the fans, all I can say is, things in the real world change. Particularly if things that are unpleasant happen between the members of a band, you've got to understand that they may not be happy to see each other again," Fogerty argued. "But if you asked me a hundred more times, when the conditions were like this, I would do the same thing. I didn't — and don't — respect these people for what they have done."