We often say – and will continue to do so – that music is beneficial to us humans on so many levels: as a health booster, stress reducer, key to success, memory enhancer, and in many other ways. All of that is true. However, we thought it would be fun to explore the other side of the coin, so to speak: the feuds between famous musicians. Of course, these spats have nothing to do with music per se, but, rather, with the sometimes conflicting personalities of composers and performers.
After all, no matter how talented these folks are, they are merely human and, as such, not exactly infallible.
Rock musicians are the notorious “bad boys” of the music world, so you might be surprised to learn that even the classical composers sometimes quarreled with each other. Perhaps one of the best known conflicts in the history of music was the “War of the Romantics” – a conservatively minded group of composers led by Johannes Brahms, against a more progressive thinkers represented by Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner. Thankfully, their grievances were not petty or trivial, and had nothing to do with egos or fame. Rather, they were of artistic nature – the two groups butted heads over the traditional versus new forms of music. The former group favored music for music’s sake – that is, as entertainment. The second group, on the other hand, called for compositions that would include social, moral and cultural components. We are happy to report that the conflict, which put these distinguished composers at odds did not culminate in blows. It was limited to written manifestos and hissing at concerts.
The civility of the 19th century had not totally spilled over to the current times. For instance, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel’s feud has been well documented. The once successful pair broke up in 1970, when, after a furious row, Simon quit. To this day, Garfunkel blames the split on his band mate, calling him a “monster” and an “idiot.” Then there was the fight between one-time friends, Elton John and Madonna. The hostility was sparked in 2002 when John described Madonna’s theme song for “Die Another Day ” as “the worst Bond tune ever.” More recent spats include the one between Katy Perry and Lily Allen, whom Perry called “fat,” as well as Courtney Love’s jab at former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, whom she accused of being “sexually obsessed” with her late husband, Curt Cobain. These are just a few examples of conflicts, past and present, among musicians. There are many more!
Needless to say, most musicians don’t get into rowdy rows, and we can guarantee that our teachers never do, either. No matter what instrument they teach, they and their students play well together! So when you invite our teacher into your Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Riverdale home or office, you’ll get no quarrel from us!