Feb. 13, 2008 - Issue #643: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
And in this corner ...
I have fantasized for years about a rock festival like no other; the bill would see bands that suffered some of the most acrimonious breakups in history forced, against their wills, to reunite. Sort of like VH1’s Bands Reunited, except with people who truly hate each other.
Not only would fans get to see the bands play one last show each, but there would be the chance that a set might be interrupted by a fist fight or maybe an abrupt walk-off by a band member. The drama would be as interesting as the music itself.
So, here’s the bill:
Dead Kennedys. Yes, DK are one of the most influential punk bands of all
time; but the members’ ugly late-‘90s lawsuit forever ruined
their street cred. The rest of the band sued former singer Jello Biafra for
not promoting the band’s material because he refused to sell a song
for a Levi’s commercial. Yup, punks arguing over commercialism. Oh,
the irony. The court not only ruled that Biafra had not promoted the DK
back catalogue properly, but that he had underpaid the rest of the band
when it came to royalties.
Creedence Clearwater Revival. How much does this band hate each other? When
John Fogerty’s solo career took off, the rest of his former
bandmates—including his brother, Tom, who later died of respiratory
faolure due to AIDS—sided with CCR’s old record company, which
claimed John Fogerty was plagiarizing his band’s old material and
passing it off as new solo work. When the band was inducted into the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame, the members could not work out a way to appear
onstage together; even the honour couldn’t stop the hatred.
Uncle Tupelo. Both Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar seem like such nice, humble
performers when they are on their own. So, how come they hate each other so
much? At one time they shared frontman duties in Uncle Tupelo, the band
that put “alternative county” in the lexicon of music
journalists, but after a series of critically acclaimed albums their
friendship blew up. Tweedy claims Farrar was jealous that Tweedy was
growing as a songwriter; Farrar claims that Tweedy had a hero-worship
complex. Needless to say, don’t expect to see Wilco and Son Volt on
the same bill anytime soon.
Metallica. Of course, for this reunion the band would be forced to utilize
Dave Mustaine on lead guitars. Mustaine, who went onto fame as the frontman
of Megadeth, was in Metallica’s original lineup, but was thrown out
of the band after a late-night showdown with the rest of the
band—brought on by Mustaine’s substance abuse.
Ministry. Yes, co-founder Al Jourgenson still has an industrial music
franchise that uses the Ministry name, but fans know that the end came in
2004, when Paul Barker—the man whose electronic songwriting strengths
provided the perfect foil for Jourgenson’s electric-guitar
wailings—decided to leave the band after his father died. Since then,
Jourgenson has not spared any breath in telling anyone who’d care to
listen about how much he hates Barker. V
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