The greatest and most dramatic band feuds in Rock ‘n’ Roll

After Daryl Hall filed for a restraining order against John Oates, we're looking back at Rock's biggest feuds.

Art is born out of the carnage of chaos and rock bands are not short of the latter. And if you combine a fued with the turbulence of rock ‘n’ roll and the tempestuous nature of fame? You’re left with some of the world’s best music.

But while feuding can inspire creativity, such as Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, it can also suffocate it altogether. In light of Daryl Hall filing for a restraining order from his musical partner John Oates, we’re looking back at some of the greatest and most dramatic rock feuds.


The Everly Brothers

Known for their dreamy and angelic harmony stylings, The Everly Brothers are best known for hits such as All I Have to Do Is Dream and Wake Up Little Susie. However, as we’ve seen time and time again, when siblings go into music together, it’s bound to end dramatically.

Isaac Donald (‘Don’) Everly and Phillip (‘Phil’) Everly began singing with their parents as children before forming the duo, The Everly Brothers. Whilst they enjoyed global success with various hits, as the music landscape began to change in the early ’60s, The Everly Brothers struggled to release successful songs.

Whilst the sibling duo struggled for a period, no one knew that a feud was brewing beneath the surface until a performance in 1973 which saw them disband for ten years. In response to Don telling a reporter he was tired of being an Everly brother, midway through a performance at Knott’s Berry Farm, Phil smashed a guitar and walked off stage.

Despite their feud, when Phil passed away in 2014, Don told KMA Land, “I think about him every day, you know … I wake up and his thought comes to me. I have a bit of his ashes here at my house. And I go by, and pick the ashes up, and I sort of say good morning to him. That’s a funny way to do it, but that’s what I do.”

However, after Phil’s death, Don launched a petition to be awarded writing credits for the hit Cathy’s Clown, shortly before passing away himself in 2021.

the everly brothers band feuds


Hall & Oates

The story of the fateful meeting between Daryl Hall and John Oates is so wondrous that you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for the plot of a movie. The story goes that John Oates and Daryl Hall were lead singers in their own respective groups when a gunfight broke out between rival gangs during a performance. Both John and Daryl fled the scene, taking cover in a nearby elevator where they struck up a conversation and discovered they liked similar music. From there, the pair became roommates and then bandmates, forming the pop duo Hall & Oates.

Since 1972, the duo has released 21 albums and a slew of hits including Maneater, Rich Girl and You Make My Dreams Come True. However, rumblings of a possible feud began in 2021 when Daryl scrapped plans to record a new album, simply saying, “things have changed”. The following year, in an interview for Club Random with Bill Maher, Daryl referred to John Oates as solely a business partner rather than a creative partner.

However, the definitive end of Hall & Oates came in November, 2023, when Daryl filed for a temporary restraining order from John – exposing that the former duo were involved in a secretive legal battle. The legal dispute was first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer who revealed that “breach of contract” was cited in the secretive filings.

Since the petition was first filed, new details have come to light over Daryl Hall and John Oates’ reported feud that is now playing out in a legal landscape. According to the Associated Press, Daryl filed a lawsuit after it was revealed that John was allegedly intending to sell his shares in the duo’s joint venture, Whole Oats Enterprises, to Primary Wave IP Investment Management – an independent music publisher. A judge has since blocked the sale until an arbitrator mediates between both John and Daryl.

Hall and Oates feud


Fleetwood Mac

Very few band feuds survive the battle of egos; even fewer can turn it into art. By 1976, Fleetwood Mac were under severe pressure to follow up the success of their self-titled record. Alongside this, band members Chrissie McVie and John McVie were in the midst of a divorce, and Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham had tumultuously ended their long-term relationship.

The band turned this personal turmoil into their most successful record and one of the most critically acclaimed albums in music history – Rumours. Whilst the album diarised the various conflicts and breakups within the group, the breakdown of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham’s relationship – which played out through vicious and poetic songwriting – was the most prominent.

“I very much resented him telling the world that ‘packing up, shacking up’ with different men was all I wanted to do. He knew it wasn’t true. It was just an angry thing that he said,” Stevie said, referring to the song Go Your Own Way, in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Lindsey followed up Go Your Own Way with another scathing track on the band’s next album, Tusk, which was titled ‘What Makes You Think You’re the One?’ The track included lines like ‘What makes you think I’m the one who will love you forever?’ and ‘Everything you do has been done
and it won’t last forever’.

Lindsey would quit the band soon after, only to re-join at various points in the ’90s and ‘2000s before he was ultimately kicked out in 2021.

“It was all Stevie’s doing,” Lindsey said at the time to People. “Stevie basically gave the band an ultimatum that either I had to go or she would go. It would be like [Mick] Jagger saying, “Well, either Keith [Richards] has to go or I’m going to go’… But that could be seen as something almost predictable at some point, given the fact that we were slightly on different planets for so long.”

Fleetwood Mac feud


The Beatles

One of the greatest musical acts of all time also had one of the most epic band feuds. By the time of The Beatles‘ final record, Let It Be, the band’s members could hardly stand to be in the room with one another. Like Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles’ feud played out not-so-subtly through music both in Let It Be and in their respective solo careers.

George Harrison, who had grown tired of having his creative input stifled and ignored, penned scathing and gut-wrenching tracks, such as I Me Mine and Wah-Wah, in which he expressed his resentment towards his bandmates and particularly Paul McCartney.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon also ignited a feud over John’s romance with Yoko Ono and the band’s decision to work with Peter Klein, which would result in years of ugly legal battles between the band’s members.

Paul and John would take stabs at one another through music in their solo records, including tracks such as Too Many People and How Do You Sleep? It wouldn’t be until the late ’70s that the band – particularly Paul and John – made attempts to reconcile before John’s untimely murder in 1980.

The Beatles feud


The Beach Boys

‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ if we could all just get along? Well, even a band that releases feel-good surf rock tracks couldn’t escape the fate of a perilous feud. In 1961, brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin, Mike Love, and schoolfriend Al Jardine formed a surf rock group called The Beach Boys. The group would go on to release smash hits like Surfin Safari, Good Vibrations and I Get Around.

When the band departed from their bubble-gum surf rock sound and began recording the psychedelic and avant-garde Pet Sounds record, there was one vocal critic – Mike Love. During the recording of the seminal 1966 record, Mike was quoted as saying: “Who’s gonna hear this shit? The ears of a dog?” Though it’s something he has consistently denied saying.

Trouble between the pair picked up again in the ’90s when Mike won a lawsuit which awarded him retrospective writing credits on a number of The Beach Boys’ songs, as well as $7.6 million. Mike claimed Brian assigning songwriting credits to himself was “almost certainly the largest case of fraud in music history”.

Mike also toured under the name The Beach Boys to perform at the Safari Club International Convention – a group that supports hunting and trophy killings. Mike’s iteration of The Beach Boys also performed at a convention for Donald Trump, which Brian vehemently opposed.

Despite being cousins, there is apparently no love lost between Mike and Brian. Brian has been quoted saying, “I don’t like Mike Love at all. I don’t like his attitude. He’s too egotistical,” whilst Mike has said, “For those who believe that Brian walks on water, I will always be the Antichrist.”



Manchester-born brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher formed the band Oasis in the 1990s. Together, the Gallagher brothers would shape the highly-influential Brit Pop sound along with bands like Blur, Pulp, Suede and Elastica.

But, if there were any lessons to learn from The Beach Boys, it’s that forming a band with family can lead to serious feuds. From its very inception, sibling rivalry would be the downfall of Oasis. In the leadup to the band’s biggest record, What’s The Story? (Morning Glory), the Gallagher brothers proved time and time again to be a tempestuous pair, from minor spats to full-blown bickering.

In 1994, whilst being interviewed by NME, Noel and Liam were recorded having a vicious 14 minute-long argument. The following year, under the not-so-subtle pseudonym of ‘Oas*s’, the brothers released the full argument as a CD and seven-inch record titled Wibbling Rivalry.

 “You think it’s rock ‘n’ roll to get thrown off a ferry,” Noel tells Liam at one point in the recording (referring to an incident in Amsterdam), “and it’s not.”

Whilst bemusing, this would foreshadow the bitter feud between the brothers that would come following Oasis’ commercial success. Over the next several years, Noel and Liam would quit and re-join the band on several occasions, until in 2009 Noel quit for good.

“It’s with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight,” Noel wrote in a statement at the time. “People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer … He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.”

Over the last decade, Liam and Noel have embarked on solo projects and taken shots at one another in the press as well as online. However, in early 2023, when asked about the possibility of ever working with Liam again, Noel said, “You should never say never,” adding that “it would have to take an extraordinary set of circumstances”.


Pink Floyd

The band behind one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most seminal records has also had one of the most enduring band feuds. Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters’ decades-long dispute kicked off after the commercial success of their 1973 record The Dark Side of the Moon. Following a creative disagreement with Dave, Roger temporarily split off from Pink Floyd to tour as a solo act with Eric Clapton.

Then, after failing to replicate the success of their 30 million+-selling album, The Wall, Roger once again split from Pink Floyd in favour of solo work. This time, Roger attempted to formally dissolve Pink Floyd, which was rejected by the High Court. From then until Pink Floyd’s one-off reunion in 2008, Dave and Roger’s feud remained largely private.

In a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason commented on the feud, saying: “It’s a really odd thing in my opinion. But I think the problem is Roger doesn’t really respect David. He feels that writing is everything and that guitar playing and the singing are something that, I won’t say anyone can do, but that everything should be judged on the writing rather than the playing. I think it rankles with Roger that he made a sort of error in a way – that he left the band assuming that, without him, it would fold.”

The feud was once again reignited publicly in 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when Roger criticised Dave and Nick’s decision to release a protest song with Ukrainian musician Andrij Chlywnjuk.

“Pink Floyd is a name I used to be associated with. That was a huge time in my life, a very big deal. To associate that name now with something like this … proxy war makes me sad. I mean, they haven’t made the point of demanding, ‘Stop the war, stop the slaughter, bring our leaders together to talk!’ It’s just this content-less waving of the blue and yellow flag,” Roger wrote at the time.

Dave’s wife Polly Samson fired back, writing on Twitter, “Sadly @rogerwaters you are anti-Semitic to your rotten core. Also a Putin apologist and a lying, thieving, hypocritical, tax-avoiding, lip-synching, misogynistic, sick-with-envy, megalomaniac. Enough of your nonsense.”

Dave retweeted the statement adding, “Every word demonstrably true.”

pink floyd band feuds



Silverchair’s feud was back in the spotlight recently after Ben Gillies and Chris Jannou appeared on ABC’s Australian Story and wrote a book, Love and Pain, with regular Australian Women’s Weekly contributor, Alley Pascoe.

At just 15 years old, the Silverchair members attained global success with their uber-grungy record Frogstomp. Constantly evolving their sound, Silverchair went on to release four records before taking a short hiatus in the early 2000s.

Upon their return, Silverchair released their fifth and final record, Young Modern, in 2008. Whilst a follow-up record was in the works, the project was abruptly abandoned when the band made a statement via their official website announcing an “indefinite hiatus”.

“We formed Silverchair nearly 20 years ago when we were just 12 years old. Today we stand by the same rules now as we did back then … if the band stops being fun and if it’s no longer fulfilling creatively, then we need to stop … Despite our best efforts over the last year or so, it’s become increasingly clear that the spark simply isn’t there between the three of us at the moment,” the statement read.

Whilst rumours of a feud have bubbled in the years since the group disbanded, Ben and Chris’ appearance on Australian Story and accompanying memoir ignited a public confirmation of tension.

“He [Gillies] might have felt that his friend [Johns] didn’t trust his musical judgement anymore. And that creative relationship that they had was pretty much all but gone,” Chris Jannou told the ABC.

Daniel took to Instagram to respond saying:

“I was asked at the end of filming to be interviewed about their contribution to the band and although I wished them all the best, I respectfully declined for one reason.

“I haven’t been involved in the book nor am I aware of the contents. I’ve asked on many occasions to read the book but haven’t been sent a copy, consequently I was uncomfortable being interviewed to help promote it.”

silverchair band feuds

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