The 30 Harshest Musician-on-Musician Insults in History


Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2011. We’ve selected it as one of the posts we’re republishing for our 10th anniversary celebrations in May 2017.

Our recent, wildly successful posts about author-on-author insults and filmmaker-on-filmmaker insults got us thinking about similar cattiness in the music industry, which has long been a breeding ground for both feuds and lunatics. An investigation of the history of musician-on-musician insults didn’t disappoint, and we’ve collated 30 of the harshest after the jump. It’s interesting comparing them to the previous pair of posts, too. The verdict: what musicians might lack in verbosity, they more than make up for with vitriol. And UK musicians are far bitchier than US ones (or, perhaps, the UK music press just delights in reporting on insults). Anyway, don’t let your boss catch you reading this…

30. Wayne Coyne on Arcade Fire “I get really tired of their pompousness [sic]… We’ve played some shows with them and they really treat people like shit. People treat Arcade Fire like they’re the greatest thing ever and they get away with it… They have good tunes, but they’re pricks, so fuck ‘em.”

29. Christina Aguilera on Lady Gaga “I’m not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don’t know if it is a man or a woman.”

28. David Lee Roth on Elvis Costello “Music journalists like Elvis Costello because music journalists look like Elvis Costello.”

27. Lily Allen on Cheryl Cole “Taking your clothes off, doing sexy dancing and marrying a rich footballer must be very gratifying. Your mother must be so proud. Stupid bitch.”

26. Trent Reznor on Marilyn Manson “A malicious guy [who] will step on anybody’s face to succeed, and cross any line of decency.”

25. Mark E Smith on Mumford & Sons “There was this other group warming up … and they were terrible. I said, ‘Shut them cunts up!’ And they were still warming up, so I threw a bottle at them … I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers.”

24. Courtney Love on Dave Grohl “As for that drummer, well, he’s hit on me so many times. He’s just a very very conflicted guy about me, which is why he continually writes songs about me to hear he ‘hates’ me more than ‘anyone else.’ Kurt loathed HIM more than anyone else (except a journalist) … He’s just sub-mediocre kind of [guy] who does this ‘nice guy’ nonsense.”

23. Dave Grohl on Courtney Love “She’s an ugly fucking bitch.”

22. Kathleen Hanna on Courtney Love “Where’s the baby? In the closet with an IV?”

21. Paul Weller on Freddie Mercury “He said he wanted to bring ballet to the working classes. What a cunt.”

20. Richey Edwards on The Levellers “You could go to any Levellers concert and stand in the middle and shout, ‘Jeremy!’, and 75% of the audience would turn round.”

19. Kurt Cobain on Guns N’ Roses “They’re really talentless people, and they write crap music, and they’re the most popular rock band on the earth right now. I can’t believe it.”

18. Nick Cave on Red Hot Chili Peppers “I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the fuck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

17. Noel Gallagher on Kaiser Chiefs “They play dress-up and sit on top of an apex of meaninglessness. They don’t mean anything to anybody apart from their fucking ugly girlfriends.”

16. Alan McGee on Coldplay “Coldplay are the dictionary definition of corporate rock. The singer is about as weird as Phil Collins. They are career rock personified. EMI should’ve signed Otis The Aadvark instead. At least he only sucks his thumb rather than corporate cock.”

15. Elvis Costello on Morrissey “Morrissey writes wonderful song titles, but sadly he often forgets to write the song.”

14. Noel Gallagher on Jack White “He looks like Zorro on doughnuts.”

13. Rick James on Prince “A little short ego-ed fucker who I had a feeling didn’t like people of his own race and wanted to be white and taller.”

12. Mark “E” Everett on The Beatles “John Lennon sings about peace because he’s a woman-beater. Hippies are so full of shit.”

11. Richey Edwards on Slowdive “We hate Slowdive more than we hate Hitler.”

10. Ian Brown on Bono “He’s such a fake, isn’t he? When he did Live Aid, which made them a worldwide group … he looked out and [saw] that black girl in the middle of all them people, and she’s from Hackney or something, and he was like, ‘Here’s a great shot for me around the world to show I’m Mr Africa.’ It’s like colonialist times with a big white hat.”

9. Robert Smith on Morrissey “If Morrissey says not to eat meat, then I’ll eat meat — that’s how much I hate Morrissey.”

8. Morrissey on Bob Geldof “Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Band Aid was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.”

7. Noel Gallagher on Liam Gallagher “He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.”

6. Boy George on Madonna “A vile, hideous human being with no redeeming qualities.”

5. Boy George on Elton John “All that money, and he’s still got hair like a fucking dinner lady.”

4. Elton John on Keith Richards “It’s like a monkey with arthritis, trying to go onstage and look young.”

3. Morrissey on Brett Anderson “He’ll never forgive God for not making him Angie Bowie.”

2. Anton Newcombe on Eric Clapton “People talk about Eric Clapton. What has he ever done except throw his baby off a fuckin’ ledge and write a song about it?”

1. Tupac on The Notorious BIG All of “Hit ‘Em Up,” really, but particularly this: “I fucked your bitch, you fat motherfucker.”