The Nastiest Band Fights That Happened Right In Front Of Fans

Once in a blue moon, a band turns a live show into an impromptu Jerry Springer musical. Or if you're The Who, you might beat Keith Moon black and blue. During the first leg of their legendary run, the band was infamous for having blowups, which isn't a euphemism for snorting cocaine, although it should be. In a 2017 interview, Who frontman Roger Daltrey recalled knocking out Pete Townsend with a single punch in a fistfight. Well, Daltrey had the fistfight — Townshend insisted on hitting him with a guitar. Daltrey and Moon came to "bad blows" over drugs. There were also lighthearted cake fights with John Entwistle.

For the purposes of this article, the fight that takes the cake happened in front of fans on May 20, 1966. As Ultimate Classic Rock recounts, The Who were slated to play at the Ricky-Tick club, but Moon and Entwistle showed up two hours late.

Who do you think you are?

Per Ultimate Classic Rock, Moon and Entwistle had been out drinking with Beach Boys vocalist Bruce Johnston, who was The Who's guest. Daltrey and Townshend had started the party without them, recruiting members of the opening act, Jimmy Brown Sound, to replace Moon and Entwistle.

The overdue Who members ousted their replacements mid-show. Discord ensued as Moon and Townshend sniped at each other, and when the drunken drummer wrecked his kit, a cymbal bashed Townshend on the leg. Townshend, apparently intent on guitar-jousting with a speaker, missed his target and struck the percussionist. "I lost my grip on the instrument and it just caught him on the head," Townshend says in his autobiography.

The hits that followed weren't accidents. Bruce Johnston called it "the biggest fight I've ever seen. Guitars are swinging; everybody's just in a frenzy." Moon walked away with an ankle injury, stitches, and a black eye. He and Entwistle soon announced that they were walking away from the band altogether. But the hard feelings over the blowup blew over, and they reunited.

Wonder Wallop

Even a band of brothers sometimes fights like it's the Civil War, and most of the time, that band was probably Oasis. Sibling archrivals Liam and Noel Gallagher had a relationship that ran like clockwork, specficially like the torture scene from A Clockwork Orange in that the brothers combined torment and music. As described by Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, the Gallaghers' open displays of hostility include Liam drunkenly peeing on Noel's new stereo, Noel pummeling Liam for questioning the paternity of Noel's son, Liam heckling Noel while while the latter performed, Noel refusing to let Liam perform with Oasis, and Liam cracking Noel over the head with a cricket bat.

And then, of course, there was the tambourine. It happened in 1994 on Oasis' first American tour. During a gig at Whiskey a Go Go, the band was allegedly methed up, messing up the show in spectacular fashion. Liam had a go-go at his brother by altering the lyrics of "Live Forever" to say, "Maybe I don't really wanna know/Why you pick your nose." He then picked a fight with his brother by smacking him on the head with a tambourine. Noel quit, but before long, the brothers were back together and back at war.