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Music Blogs

Ten of the best... Sibling Meltdowns

  • By MisterCharlie Author Avatar
  • 25 November 2011

 

It’s stressful being in a band. The singer’s always an asshole and the drummers just dumb. You bitch and moan in tiny rehearsal rooms, tinier dressing rooms and stinking studios. The money’s never right and half the time you’re drunk. Still, at least you can get away from it all- when the amp hum fades you can walk off and get your head straight. Unless. Unless you did the crazy thing and formed a band with your sibling.

Get in a band with a brother or sister and there’s no escape. Christmas dinner and there they are. Sitting next to your mum. Helping themselves to extra carrots. Pulling your damn cracker. It’s no surprise that family bands are rife with cankered resentments, twisted affection, violence, jealousy and bitter recrimination- I‘ve seen this first hand- I was in a high school rock band with two brothers. The younger one played drums and his lead guitarist brother used to treat him like a turd. He’d throw shoes at his head and staple his hair to the wall. That poor little guy really got it. Did he complain ? Did he bollocks- Why? BECAUSE HE WANTED TO ROCK.

So let’s celebrate 10 of the best disastrous moments, family meltdowns and general horror stories of relatives who ever tried to make sweet, sweet music...

1.

"It's a good thing we don't live in the U.S. where guns are more accessible, because I'd have blown his head off by now....” (Noel on Liam)

Where else to start than Liam n Noel? The brothers Gallagher are having been slagging each other off in public for years, right up to the current squabble about whether Liam once had a cold or not. The cracks were there for all to see early on- one of the greatest examples of Oasis bickering was the interview recorded by the journalist John Harris back in ’94, and released as the single Wibbling Rivalry. It’s packed with foul mouthed gems, including Liam spitting-  

“I fuckin' hate that twat there. I fuckin' hate him. And I hope one day there's a release where I can smash fuck out of him, with a fuckin' Rickenbacker, right on his nose”

Treat yourself to a listen to the whole 15 minutes of profanity and belligerence below. Probably NSFW...

 

2.

 

The Everly Brothers really went for it in the breakdown stakes. After scoring countless hits through the 60s they were undone by a combo of speed abuse and a shifting musical landscape. Then, BAM, on stage in ‘76 they had a total meltdown. Don was getting shitfaced on Margheritas, Phil couldn’t take it anymore, flipped out and smashed his guitar to tiny forlorn splinters. Don told the crowd “the Everly Brothers died ten years ago” and they didn’t speak for another decade. All or nothing kinda guys.

3.    

It was “festering, long-standing animosity” that caused Creedence Clearwater Revival to split. Elder brother Tom left when power mad lil’ bro John decided to write all the Creedence songs, play lead guitar on all the Creedence songs, and, yep, sing on all the Creedence songs. Who wouldn’t have walked huh?

4.

Ah The BeeGees! So harmonic in song, so bitter in fraternal discord. BeeGees mk 1 (y’know before disco, when they were a poor man’s Beatles) crumbled under all the same pressures. Namely, pressures born out of rampant ego and tireless jealousy. Robin wanted to sing more. Barry wanted to sing more. Maurice wanted- no one gave a shit what Maurice wanted... If the brothers Gibb hadn’t put all the squabbling to one side and got back together then disco would never have happened. Probably.

5.

Brothers Brian and Dennis Wilson were the backbone of the Beach Boys. They managed to avoid any really public spats, electing to descend into drug crazed lunacy instead. Famously, a chance encounter with serial killing cult leading nutjob Charles Manson led to the brothers Wilson venerating the mans ‘musical talent’ and recording one of Manson’s compositions. Watch the amazing clip below of Manson chatting music. Yep, he seems sane.   

 

6.

Jim and William Reid were kind of a proto Oasis in the sibling rivalry stakes. In Jesus & Mary Chain the brothers created a squalling beast of feedback and aggression, and their sonic attacks mirrored their antagonism towards the audience, the world and each other- Long after the bands demise Jim Reid recalled the petty, exhausting arguments– “we couldn't be in a room together, we'd argue about anything. It was "Do you want a cup of tea?" "No, coffee." "Why do you want coffee?" Like Oasis, the J&MC were managed by Alan McGee, which leads SupaJam to suspect that McGee has made quite a sweet living from being a massive shit stirrer.   

 

7.

Five Star, that cruelly forgotten 80s English answer to the Jackson 5. For a brief period round 1985 Five Star were massive. 3 brothers and 2 sisters, their pop soul sound dominated the UK charts and made serious inroads into America. The world at their feet, suddenly it all went wrong- starting from this legendary moment on kids TV show Going Live---

 

Next thing you know, lead singer Stedman Pearson was arrested ‘doing a George Michael’ in a public lav in London, the band fled to America and every other record they produced bombed. Nowadays half of the band perform in Butlins, with the missing members roles taken by actors – presumably the band (correctly) reason that no one’s got a fucking clue what Five Star look like, so any old middle age dancing goon will do.  

8.

Dave Davies mused about brother and Kinks front man Ray - “How could I not love my own brother? I just can’t stand to be with him.” The brothers have had one of the longest running feuds in music, fuelled by Ray’s seeming pathological unwillingness to share the limelight with anyone, no matter what the situation. 6 years ago Dave suffered a serious stroke. IN the aftermath he claimed Ray made him feel  “undecided whether he was pleased I was ill or jealous I was getting the attention...I stayed at his house afterwards. I was ill in bed and could barely move, but he started saying: “I’m sick, I’m sick!”

‘He was screaming in pain from his stomach. A doctor from Harley Street came round at 3am and said: “There’s nothing wrong with his stomach.” He just wanted attention.’ SupaJam can only react to this story with a shocked emoticon- :O  

9.

US soul stars DeBarge are really, really unlucky.  The siblings Bunny, Marty, Randy, El, Chico, Bobby, Tommy and James made a fortune in the 80s with their mega selling chart topping RnB sound. They’ve since gone on to be sampled by countless artists including Tupac, Ashanti and Lady Gaga. And what did they do with the money they made? They spent it on drugs. Lots of drugs. The DeBarge kids blew a fortune on anything they could inject, snort, smoke or dab, and inevitably bad times soon followed. Bobby and Chico got arrested and convicted for drug trafficking (with Bobby contracting AIDS in prison from sharing needles), El has been banged up for repeated parole violations and crack abuse, Tommy suffers kidney dialysis, Randy has an incurable unknown disease, and Marty suffers from chronic debilitation in his legs. DeBarge sister Bunny has cleaned up and found God, and with the woes her brothers have gone through, who can blame her...

10.

And finally The Jonas Brothers. Whilst vaguely human Christian pop monsters The Jonas Brothers have had suspiciously little scandal and apparently no arguments, based on their million selling records, their teeny idol status, and their very public commitment to chastity, SupaJam is pretty much 100% that something very, very dodgy is going on. If anyone has any suggestions as to exactly what horrifying acts of depravity the lads have commited in their ceaseless quest for world domination, we're all ears....

 

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