This week, Pat Carney of The Black Keys 'apologized' to Nickelback regarding his 'controversial' yet true comments about the Canadian quintet. In my eyes, the drummer of the Akron-bred band had no reason to apologize, true or not true. Over the past decade or so, rock (not hip-hop, which deserves a column onto itself) feuds have gone the way of the Beta Mac, which is to say, non-existent. Thus, professional courtesy between bands reigns supreme rather than the competitiveness that made groups strive to outdo their peers, which has led to some groups to greater heights, anothers to battle both physically and verbally.
As far back as The Beatles and Beach Boys with McCartney/Lennon vs. Wilson as the main event, groups were always trying to one up each other. What started with Revolver, which led to Pet Sounds to St. Pepper's and recently, SmiLE, the Fab Four and California's finest went back and forth, and brought out the best in each other in the process.
In 1983, Van Halen and The Clash feuded before their US Festival (remember that?) gig. Van Halen received an upfront sum of $1 million to headline the festival, which was put together by Apple Computer exec Steve Wozniak. The fee was changed to $1.5 million after it was discovered that David Bowie was to be paid $1 million. The extra $500k was due to VH's contract clause that they would be paid more than any other act at the festival. Contrarily, The Clash refused to play unless some donations were made to charities or other such noble causes by Wozniak and some of the other major bands. The British punks' criticism didn't go over well with David Lee Roth, who barbed “I wanna take this time to say that this is real whiskey here… the only people who put iced tea in Jack Daniel's bottles is The Clash, baby!” Now that's a feud.
Later that decade, Metal powerhouses Guns 'N Roses and Motley Crue were the next to do battle. With two of the charismatic singers in music, the two bands came to a head in 1989. Allegedly, when GNR guitarist Izzy Stradlin he left the stage after jamming with Tom Petty, he hit on Vince Neil's wife, and the Crue singer punched him. Naturally, sparked a huge feud between the bands, with Vince Neil telling the press that Izzy had hit on his wife, and then kicked her when she had turned him down. Ever the good bandmate Axl Rose told the press that Neil's wife had hit on Izzy, and then got annoyed when Izzy turned her down. This all led to Neil challenging Rose to a boxing match where the proceeds would go to charity. Needless to say, it never happened.
The closest thing we've had to these rock feuds in recent memory has been the Limp Bizkit–Creed feud, and that was a snore to say the least. In a time where indie rock bands have a lovefest with one another, it's refreshing to see that Carney isn't afraid to speak his mind and say what most people are thinking. Facebook had it right when it asked if a pickle could get more fans than Nickelback. We're in need of a good rock feud, so for that, I hope that other bands aren't afraid to hold back and speak their minds, even if it means hurting someone's feelings.