8 of the Nastiest Sibling Rivalries in Rock ‘n’ Roll History

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Bickering with siblings is pretty much par for the course in any family, and it usually ends with a hug — or at least a begrudging truce over dinner. But imagine having to work with your sibling day in and day out, not in a regular office, but on the chaotic, high-pressure stage of the music world. It’s one thing to fight over who forgot to take out the trash; it’s quite another to disagree on a set list or who gets the final say on a track in front of an audience. 

Here are eight of the nastiest feuds in the music industry.

Image Credit: freschwill / Flickr.

1. Liam and Noel Gallagher of Oasis

Few sibling rivalries in music are as legendary as that of Liam and Noel Gallagher from Oasis. Formed in 1991, the Britpop band is now best known for two things: the overplayed earworm “Wonderwall” and the tumultuous relationship between the Gallagher brothers. Noel, the elder, and the band’s primary songwriter, often clashed with Liam, the charismatic frontman, over everything from musical direction to personal disputes. Their public spats became a staple of British tabloids, with one of their in-studio arguments even released as a single titled “Wibbling Rivalry.” 

Over the years, these conflicts escalated, leading Noel to leave the band in 2009 after a backstage spat. Despite fans hoping for a reunion, Noel has often been quoted as saying that working with Liam is intolerable, famously describing his brother as “rude, arrogant, intimidating, and lazy.” In 2000, Liam said, “If I wasn’t related to him, I’d have sacked him four years ago.”

Image Credit: freschwill / Flickr.

2. Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks

Ray and Dave Davies, the youngest of seven siblings, were in their early 20s when they formed The Kinks in 1964, so their frequent spats, pranks, and occasional physical fights seemed like typical sibling antics. However, as The Kinks evolved into a serious and influential force within the British Invasion, the conflicts between the two became more than just a nuisance to their bandmates. Their constant bickering — onstage, offstage, in the studio, and even in the backs of cars — escalated into a toxic rivalry that disrupted the productivity of a band that was climbing the ranks alongside “The Beatles” and “The Rolling Stones.” 

“As the years wore on, the struggles became greater, the battles more brutal, the mind games more intense, weirder, and the lows much lower,” Dave once recounted to Rolling Stone. The Kinks disbanded in 1996.

Image Credit: Public domain / Wikipedia.

3. Chris and Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes

Chris and Rich Robinson, who formed The Black Crowes in 1984, exemplified the rock ‘n’ roll dream with soaring success in the 1990s. However, the Robinson brothers often rode in separate tour buses. Rich, the younger brother and guitarist, and Chris, the lead vocalist, frequently disagreed on the direction of the band and battled for control, leading to a series of breakups and reunions. “Being in the same room didn’t mean much; from Rich, you’d mostly hear f-word you,” Chris once shared with Rolling Stone.  

In 2015, the group finally disbanded, with Rich stating that they lacked the “band brotherhood” essential for lasting musical partnerships. Despite their turbulent past, the brothers reunited for a 30th-anniversary tour.

Image Credit: JazzyJoeyD / Wikipedia.

4. William and Jim Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain

The Scottish noise-pop band The Jesus and Mary Chain, long celebrated as cult icons, often found their sound soaked in as much alcohol as conflict. “We do fight, and there’s no getting around it,” Jim Reid once openly admitted about the dynamic within the band. 

Their notorious 1998 U.S. tour encapsulated this chaos perfectly. During a particularly turbulent show in Los Angeles, which infamously lasted just 15 minutes, Jim wreaked havoc on stage by toppling microphone stands and bickering with his brother William, yelling at him to “Play anything but that.” The gig ended abruptly with William exiting the tour, and they disbanded soon after. 

The band eventually reunited in 2007 and, after a long hiatus, released their seventh album, “Damage and Joy,” in 2017. Their subsequent album, “Glasgow Eyes,” was released in 2024, and became the band’s first top 10 album in the UK since 1988.

Image Credit: Avodrocc / WIkimedia Commons.

5. John and Tom Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival

Tom Fogerty was originally the lead singer of a band that would later be known as Creedence Clearwater Revival. However, as the band evolved, his younger brother John took over as the main singer and songwriter. Needless to say, the elder brother was not happy with this change, and the band’s dynamics shifted dramatically, especially since John’s exceptional talent quickly propelled them to fame.

Despite the band’s success, Tom struggled with his demotion and felt that his contributions, as well as those of fellow bandmates Doug Clifford and Stu Cook, were not properly acknowledged. “It’s an unnatural situation having your younger brother lead the group you’re in,” Tom told Rolling Stone. The unresolved bitterness continued to grow after Tom left the band and lasted for decades, eventually leading to a situation where friends had to beg John to visit Tom on his deathbed in 1990.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Fantasy Records.

6. Don and Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers

Country-tinged rock ‘n’ roll duo Don and Phil Everly might have harmonized their vocals beautifully on stage, but backstage, their relationship hit quite a few sour notes. Behind chart-topping hits like “Wake Up Little Susie,” the brothers struggled with amphetamine addiction. The underlying tension exploded during their final performance at Knott’s Berry Farm in 1973. Don drunkenly stumbled through the set, leading to Phil smashing his guitar and walking off stage in frustration. Don performed solo the following night and told the audience, “The Everly Brothers died ten years ago.” This public split led to a decade of silence between them, broken only once at their father’s funeral. Phil died in January 2014.

Image Credit: Public Domain / Wikipedia.

7. Barry and Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees

Barry and Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees, along with their brother Maurice, formed one of the most successful musical groups in pop history, defining the disco era with hits like “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever.” However, the Gibb brothers were not immune to family drama. Barry and Robin, in particular, had a complicated relationship marked by rivalry and competition, especially as each vied for the role of lead vocalist. 

In the early 1970s, Robin temporarily left the group feeling their new manager, Robert Stigwood, favored Barry as the frontman. This was to become a recurring theme in the history of the band. The brothers managed to resolve their differences on several occasions, leading to successful reunions and continued musical collaboration until Robin’s death in 2012.

Image Credit: Atco Records / Wikimedia Commons.

8. Duane and Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band

For many years, Gregg Allman was the sole Allman brother in the Allman Brothers Band after his older sibling, Duane, tragically died in a motorcycle accident in 1971. However, while Duane was alive, he clearly established himself as the dominant figure in their relationship. From their childhood days running a lemonade stand — where Duane would have Gregg handle the bulk of the work — to adulthood, Duane’s leadership was unmistakable.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

Image Credit: Left: Public Domain/ Wikipedia Right: Ed Berman/ Wikimedia Commons.

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