There are bands that don’t age well, and there are bands that stop early. Generally they do well. But among those groups that split up, some did so for trivial or even totally absurd reasons. The kind of ridiculous reasons why you stopped talking to a friend in college. But in a world where egos are oversized, it doesn’t even surprise us anymore.
1. The Pixies broke up because the singer was jealous of the bassist’s popularity
The Pixies were one of rock’s most influential bands until they broke up in 1993 (they reformed in 2004, but it’s not the same you know…) But why this premature end in 1993 when were they still at the top? Well for the simple and good reason that Black Francis, the singer and leader of the group, did not get along at all with Kim Deal, his bassist. He found it hard to bear that a girl who played a 4-string guitar with a long neck was at least as popular as him in the group. Kurt Cobain even praised Kim Deal by declaring that the best Pixies songs were those written by the bassist. Suddenly, Black Francis did not really like it. You know, a singer’s ego is very fragile… And for the little anecdote, know that Black Francis announced the news of the separation to the other members of the group by fax. If you haven’t experienced the fax, tell yourself that it sucks even more than a breakup by SMS.
2. The Smiths broke up because Morrissey wanted to cover a rotten song
Tensions within the Smiths had already existed for quite some time when the group split, notably because of the singer, Morrissey, who made absolutely all the decisions in a somewhat dictatorial way. And it was precisely because of Morrissey that guitarist Johnny Marr fled in 1987. Already quite annoyed by his friend, Johnny couldn’t stand Morrissey forcing the band to cover the song Work is a Four-Letter Word by Cilla Black. Everyone in the band agreed that this song was pretty creepy, but the singer forced their hand, and, according to Johnny Marr, that was the final straw that precipitated the end of the adventure. . Luckily he didn’t offer them to take over Big Kiss of Carlos, there they would have killed each other.
3. Simon and Garfunkel split up because Garfunkel starred in a movie without telling Simon
At the height of their fame, Simon and Garfunkel began to struggle to support each other. Tensions only grew when the two singers starred in the film Wrestling 22 in 1969, and that the role of Simon was eventually phased out. But hey, they did with it. Where things really turned sour was when Garfunkel agreed to play the lead role in another film in 1971 without telling Simon. He was afraid that his partner would take it badly and leave their duo. Inevitably, what had to happen happened: when Simon heard the news, he took it badly, and he left the duo. How to communicate can be useful sometimes.
4. The Kinks broke up because Ray Davies stomped on his brother’s birthday cake
Right behind the Beatles and the Stones, in the trio of the most influential rock bands of the 60s, were the Kinks. And in the Kinks, there were (among others) two brothers: Ray and Dave Davies. Relationships between brothers, as we know, are often tumultuous, and Ray and Dave were no exception to the rule. They spent their time taking the lead, but the group remained until 1996… until the famous drama: for Dave’s 50th birthday, Ray organized a party during which he made a short speech before stomping on his brother’s cake in front of everyone. This is the last time the members of The Kinks were reunited.
5. Oasis broke up because Liam Gallagher wanted to advertise his brand of clothes.
Are there two brothers who hate each other more than the Davies brothers? Of course: the Gallagher brothers. Their disputes and other fights have marked the history of Oasis, and even of English rock in general. We all know that they broke up after getting upset backstage at Rock en Seine 2009. But their separation was inevitable according to Noel Gallagher who later revealed why he had, anyway, decided to stop the group. According to him, Liam had demanded to be able to advertise his clothing brand during the Oasis tour. Noel just wanted to give his fans music, not clothes, but Liam was so stubborn that he, once again, managed to screw things up. It’s a shame because we still miss them.
6. Punk band Refused broke up because they failed to overthrow the capitalist system
Refused were a deeply anti-capitalist 90s Swedish hardcore punk band. We’re not talking about guys vaguely committed to giving themselves a style, but guys who had a real vision of society and a real disgust with the class system and the capitalist economy. And that’s what led them to break up in 1998. After the release of their third album, the members of Refused released a statement announcing their separation to stay true to their principles. According to them, the mere fact of selling music helped to perpetuate the capitalist system (which is true), and they could not bear it. They did not want to make their music a simple entertainment but a real revolutionary fight against the system in place. It is sure that the fight was lost in advance.
7. The members of Cream broke up because they played too loud
Cream was the world’s first rock supergroup made up of superstars Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, already famous separately for their past projects. But the problem with putting three big egos together is that each wants to do more than the others, and that’s clearly what happened here. Over rehearsals and gigs, Clapton and Bruce only played louder and louder to make themselves heard by others, and within two years Baker and Clapton were half deaf. So we understand that they preferred to take a break.
8. The Clash broke up because they didn’t want to be like the Who.
There are several reasons for the separation of the Clash, starting with the fatigue they had accumulated after several years of existence and the tensions that existed in the group, but their leader, Joe Strummer, had found another reason for his desire for everything. Stop. In 1982, the Clash had opened for The Who and found that their buddies were aging badly on stage. Suddenly, for Strummer, it was out of the question that his group would age in the same way and that the Clash would end up looking like rocker grandpas. Maybe we should talk to the Rolling Stones…