Our favourite feuds in rock

By Darryl Sterdan, Special to Postmedia Network

You can always trust Gene Simmons to deliver a good tongue-lashing.

This week, the priapic KISS bassist, reality-TV huckster and eternal blowhard was at it again, picking a fight with Rihanna and other pop stars who use dancers and taped backing tracks on tour.

"We're sick and tired of girls getting up there with dancers and karaoke tapes in back of them,” the 62-year-old Simmons said while announcing his band’s upcoming 40-date tour with sleaze-rock peers Mötley Crüe. Their tour — whose only Canadian date is a Sept. 13 stop in Toronto — will have ‘no fake bulls---. Leave that to the Rihanna, Shmianna and anyone who ends their name with an 'A'." This from a man who dressed like a bat and spits fake blood every night onstage, and whose tourmates have employed exotic dancers and circus acts on previous outings.

Ridiculous? Sure. But no less so than zillions of other rock beefs and feuds. Here’s a handful of our favourites:

Elton vs. Madonna

Like Simmons, Elton John has a stick up his butt about Madonna’s show, which he claims is lip-synched. And it doesn’t seem to end there. He continued his rampage at this year’s Golden Globes, proclaiming her song Masterpiece had “no f---ing chance of winning.” Then it did. 
Watching his lemon-sucking puss during her acceptance speech was one of the show’s highlights.

Axl vs. Slash

Ever since top-hatted guitar hero Slash fled the imploding Guns N’ Roses in 1996, singer Axl Rose has been out to get him. “I consider him a cancer and better removed, avoided,” Rose said in 2010. “The less anyone heard of him or his supporters, the better." In other words: Don’t bet on a tearful reunion when GN’R are inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in April.

Keith vs. Mick

Relations between the Glimmer Twins have been frosty for decades. But Rolling Stones guitarist and medical miracle Keith Richards brought things to a head with his 2010 memoir Life, in which he ridiculed Mick Jagger — whom he refers to as ‘Barbara’ — for everything from his solo albums to his, um, “tiny todger.” Keef recently sobered up enough to say sorry: Yeah, that oughta do it.

Kid Rock vs. Tommy Lee

The white-trash heroes — and battling paramours of Pam Anderson — had a sissy-boy slap fight at the 2007 MTV VMAs. Lee’s version: “I get a tap on the shoulder from Kid Pebble ... I stand up and embrace him with a semi-hug and say "Hey dude ... What up"?? He punches me in the face ... more like a b---- slap! ... Wuss!!" Stay tuned for scenes from next week’s episode of Cops.

Courtney Love vs. Everybody

Stop her before she tweets again. The Hole frontwoman and widow of Kurt Cobain seems never to have met a person she didn’t end up sparring with online — including (but not limited to) Billy Corgan, Dave Grohl, Lily Allen, Ryan Adams, Kelly Osbourne, Fred Durst, Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor and The Muppets. When you’re picking a fight with felt, you know you’ve hit bottom.


Not all rock feuds last forever. These famous frontmen buried the hatchets with their respective bands:

Steven Tyler & Aerosmith

After nearly falling apart in 2010, the Boston blues-rockers are back in the saddle and putting the finishing touches on their first original tunes in over a decade.

Brian Wilson & The Beach Boys

The surf-rock legends seem to have spent more time suing each other than singing together in recent years, but just settled their differences for a 50th-anniversary album and tour.

David Lee Roth & Van Halen

Diamond Dave and the rest of the California rockers ended nearly two decades of backbiting with a 2007 tour, then followed up with this year’s A Different Kind of Truth album.


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