Life as part of a massive rock band is filled with drama – and when you’re touring and recording with the same people all the time relationships are bound to become a bit strained at times.
It’s not surprising then that some of the world’s most successful rock bands have had their fair share of high profile firings and legal disputes to keep the employment lawyers busy! Here is the 10 most famous and memorable instances of band members getting the sack from their own bands.
Brian Jones – The Rolling Stones
Brian Jones was a founding member of The Rolling Stones, but that didn’t stop the rest of the band giving him the boot in 1969 due to his increasingly unpredictable drunk and drug fuelled behaviour. Considering some of the stories about The Rolling Stones excesses, Jones’ behaviour must have been pretty bad for them to sack him! Just a month after he was sacked Jones was found dead in his swimming pool, with alcohol cited as the reason for his untimely accidental death.
Glen Matlock – The Sex Pistols
In what will probably go down as the biggest case of unfair dismissal in rock history, The Sex Pistols’ original bassist Glen Matlock was apparently sacked because he liked The Beatles too much – which takes the common ‘musical differences’ excuses to bizarre levels!
Pete Best – The Beatles
Poor old Pete Best. The original Beatles drummer was on the cusp of greatness with the emerging Liverpool band, but just as fame and glory was in touching distance the rest of the band decided Best’s drumming ability wasn’t up to scratch and so sacked him. Someone going by the name of Ringo Starr was installed as The Beatles’ sticksman two days after Best got his P45 – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Tony McCarroll – Oasis
In their almost maniacal desire to copy The Beatles in every conceivable way, Oasis ‘pulled a Best’ and dismissed their original drummer Tony McCarroll in the build-up to the release of their huge second album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory – replacing him with Alan White (who himself got the sack later and was replaced by Ringo’s son Zack Starkey!). McCarroll went on to sue Oasis and demanded an £18 million payout, but settled for £600,000. He also tried to get his own back with some tabloid ‘tell all’ revelations about Noel Gallagher’s controlling behaviour.
Ozzy Osbourne – Black Sabbath
Ozzy’s drink and drug habits are legendary, but his increasingly erratic behaviour became too much for his Black Sabbath bandmates who sacked him in 1979 and replaced him with Ronnie James Dio. Since then Ozzy has become a reality TV star and cleaned up his act (to a certain extent) and recently rejoined Black Sabbath.