AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
In the annals of rock and roll splits, the White Stripes had what could only be described as an amicable divorce. Announcing they were calling it quits yesterday, Meg and Jack White said they wanted "to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band."
Awww, that's nice. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for some legendary rock acts...
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1. The Beatles: The heartbreaking demise of the Fab Four always get blamed on Yoko Ono, but tensions within the greatest songwriting team in pop-rock history, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, were strong enough to fuel a decade-long chill between the two childhood pals (not mention some unkind words and songs aimed at each other, too). Eventually, they repaired the relationship and there was even talk of a Beatles reunion, but Lennon's tragic murder meant the iconic quartet's end would never be rewritten.
2. Pink Floyd: The U.K.'s greatest psychedelic band has gone through numerous sonic evolutions in its 40-year history, but none more potent than the music created by the classic lineup of Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason, who created four groundbreaking albums between 1973's Dark Side of the Moon and 1979's The Wall. Long-simmering resentments prompted Waters to leave, however. He sued to prevent his former bandmates from using the Pink Floyd moniker and lost—though an eventual thaw allowed the foursome to reunite one last time for 2005's Live 8 concert.
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3. Ike & Tina Turner: Known for their high-energy live performances, the pair first met at a Tennessee nightclub when Tina was barely 17, and knocked out a series of '60s hits including a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary." But by the mid-'70s, after suffering from what she described in her memoir I, Tina as Ike's physical and emotional abuse, Tina finally left and became a success in her own right as a solo artist. Their relationship, especially as captured in the film What's Love Got to Do With It?, now serves as a cautionary tale regarding the potential pitfalls of love and career.
4. Guns N' Roses: Axl Rose need for control is generally cited as the reason for the dissolution of America's best hard rock band of the '80s. After the Guns hit with the release of 1987's Appetite for Destruction, they spent the next few years indulging that appetite as members quit or were replaced, including finally guitar god Slash. In the intervening years, Axl made news for the long-gestating Chinese Democracy album, as well as for showing up late for gigs. As the only original member now left, Rose has kept the band's flame alive with a host of new members.
5. The Smashing Pumpkins: The Chicago alt-rockers' classic lineup included frontman Billy Corgan, guitarist James Iha, bassist D'Arcy and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. However, the group began to splinter following the fatal overdose of touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin and the firing of Chamberlin in 1996. D'Arcy left in '99 and was replaced by Hole's Melissa Auf der Maur, but by then the end was near. After the Pumpkins farewell show in Chitown in Chicago in 2000, Corgan lamented later that Iha walked out without even saying goodbye. After launching and disbanding the band Zwan, Corgan resurrected the Pumpkins in 2005, but without his original mates.