Rock & Roll's Top 10 Brawlin' Brothers
Brothers share a link that is unique and special. Same DNA, same familial backgrounds, quirks, talents, and sometimes musical taste. They can also argue, get physical, try to overpower one another, and hold grudges over years that are hard to explain, even to people in their immediate families. Bands come preloaded with the same traits, and grow to feel like a family of brothers, and sometimes sisters.
Note: Not real brothers. We just liked the picture.
It makes sense that a band featuring brothers in its lineup would be a recipe for disaster in some cases, but not always. Take the Abbotts, Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul. They swore allegiance to themselves their whole lives, in Pantera and the bands that came after that one's demise, until Dimebag was shot and killed onstage in 2004.
For the brothers that do get along, they have the advantage of being a ruling majority in most bands, or banding together in a duo to call the shots. Most people see Van Halen as a tool of Eddie and Alex, with singers and bassists just hired guns. True, the boys do have a trove of tracks they have recorded together, that sometimes leak online.
The DeLeos in Stone Temple Pilots, Dean and Robert, are seemingly at the mercy of Scott Weiland's whims, but seem to be stable on their own. The Greenwoods, Jonny and Colin, are dutiful Radiohead soldiers, and the only person in that band who seems to be haughty is Thom Yorke.
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The brothers, and cousin, in Kings of Leon have been known to get into dust-ups, like seen on the trailer for their upcoming documentary, Talahina Sky, but it looks like they benefit from not spending 24 hours a day together.
Then there are the ones who take blood-relation fussing and feuding to a whole new level, with their own problems and drama almost overtaking the music until all you remember are the fights and bitchy bickering. Tons of bands, great ones, have been undone by brotherly rivalry.
The story of the Everly Brothers is one of the most prominent when it comes to brother-on-brother hatred. For two siblings that made such sweet enduring melodies, they hated the shit out of one another. Don and Phil Everly made music that would help give birth to the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel alike, but they were at odds for the last decade of their union together until July 14, 1973, when Phil smashed his axe onstage and Don finished the show drunk and alone. They deserve a biopic too.
Ray and Dave Davies are forever the Kinks, helping craft some of the best garage and proto-punk hits over the heyday of the band. Did you know that there were stabbings with forks over stolen fries, trashed gear, and fistfights during their time together? They officially broke up in 1996, but there have been rumblings of one-off reunion shows for a few years now, though Dave thinks it would be a morbid affair. During Ray's solo gigs, he usually tells warm stories of the '60s smackdowns, though, so he doesn't seem sore still.
Some people have never even heard an Oasis song, yet when you bring up Liam and Noel Gallagher, they know that these Brits hate each other's guts in an almost biblical fashion. It finally broke up the band a few years ago, and now the guys claim to have excised all human ties with each other. See you at the reunion show next decade.
Rich and Chris Robinson seems to be undone by their success in the Black Crowes. Their relationship soured as the band got bigger to the point where they rarely spoke outside of musical duties. They are now on an indefinite hiatus, and Chris Robinson's new project, the inventively named The Chris Robinson Brotherhood is at Fitzgerald's on August 27. Like Oasis, expect a $$$-loving reunion in a few years.