Breaking up is always hard to do, but some partings are funnier than others — especially the bands on this list. Here are the funniest breakups in rock history.
In 1980, the Eagles had recorded 10 hit singles, released 6 platinum albums and amassed enough grudges to put each other in the hospital. During the last concert before their first breakup, two bandmates were so eager to scrap backstage that they taunted each other as the setlist neared its end.
"Only three more songs till I kick your ass, pal," Don Felder allegedly told Glenn Frey onstage. "Great, I can't wait," Frey replied according to his account of the infamous concert in Long Beach, California on July 31, 1980.
But Felder remembers the altercation differently. He says Frey walked up to him during the set and said, "Fuck you. I'm gonna kick your ass when we get off stage."
What makes the altercation even funnier is the fact that it happened while the band played 'Best of My Love,' which isn't exactly an anthem for ass kicking.
"Eat A Peach"
At least Felder and Frey got a chance to formalize the Eagles' demise onstage. That wasn't the case for Stephen Stills, who found out that Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were breaking up in 1970 when he arrived at a gig in Chicago and discovered that his bandmates had flown out of town earlier that day after getting fed up with Stephen's indulgent stage antics.
He went through the same thing years later when the Stills-Young Band broke up abruptly while on tour. The band's entire caravan was en route to the next gig in Atlanta when Young instructed his driver to break off from the pack and head for Memphis instead. Backstage, Stills learned of the breakup when Young sent a telegram that said, "Dear Stephen, funny how things that start spontaneously end that way. Eat a peach. Neil."
Despite Stephen Stills' reputation for self-indulgence, nobody showboats quite like Jack Bruce of Cream, according to former bandmates Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. The two proved that Bruce's ego was out of control during a concert when they stopped playing to see if Jack would notice.
"There was, in fact, one gig where Eric and I stopped playing for two choruses," drummer Ginger Baker later told Guitar World. "Jack didn’t even know. Standing in front of his triple stack of Marshalls, he was making so much noise he couldn’t tell.”
They knew at that point that the band was over, but they managed to patch things together to record the 'Goodbye' album, which included the hit single 'Badge.'
Archie and Jughead vs. The Zombies
In 1969, American rock fans could see two different groups that called themselves The Zombies, yet neither was the British band that recorded 'She's Not There,' 'Time of the Season' and other hits. That band had broken up two years earlier after (ironically enough) failing to achieve commercial success.
But demand to see the group was so high that Bill Kehoe of Delta Promotions decided to pay two bands — one from Texas and one from Michigan — to go on tour as The Zombies. And he got away with it for a while because this was before Wikipedia and Google, so not many fans knew what their favorite bands looked like.
Plus he told the counterfeit bands that he had legally purchased the right to use the band's name (he hadn't), and when a few people asked who these imposters were, he said that each group had one original Zombie (they didn't).
The confusion got so bad, that when Chris White — the frontman for the real Zombies — called a local DJ to warn him that one of the sham bands was rolling into his town, the DJ didn't believe him because there was no way to tell if the caller was the real Chris White or an imposter.
The fake Zombies finally came to an end when Kehoe tried to cash in on the success of the cartoon band 'The Archies' with another group of fakers. When 'Archies' impresario Don Kirshner found out, he sued Delta Promotions and put an end to the sham band industry. So Archie and Jughead broke up the counterfeit Zombies.
But that's not the last we heard of them. The Texas Zombies included Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, who would later form the legit rock band ZZ Top. Check out the whole story in this clip.
In 1969, Eric Burdon and the rest of The Animals decided to break up the blues-rock group. A year later, Burdon forcefully broke up a group of imposters that were hired by— you guessed it — Delta Promotions to call themselves The Animals and go on tour.
When Burdon caught wind of the scam, he crashed a clone Animals concert — bringing a major-league weapon and a platoon of outlaws with him.
“Eric Burdon and a bunch of bikers chased them around and threatened them,” recalled Tom Hocott, a former DP employee.
After nearly getting butchered onstage by Burdon and the bikers, the fake Animals wisely decided to call it a day.