Rock and Roll Hall of Beef: Guns N' Roses Versus Nirvana and the Cure Versus Morrissey
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced candidates for induction for the class of 2012, and we at New Times have taken a look at what we think are the two frontrunners of the lot. While the list does include highly talented and influential acts like Eric B. & Rakim, as well as Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, it is our opinion that the natural leaders of the pack would be Guns N' Roses and the Cure.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame states that eligibility for nomination means that "an individual artist or band must have
released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year
of nomination." The current nominees must have released their
first recording prior to 1986.
In addition to musical virtue, cultural relevance, and performing acumen, we believe that all the Hall of Famers had to deal with haters and thrived in spite of them. Henceforth, here are two of the cattiest feuds in rock 'n' roll history: Guns N' Roses versus Nirvana and the Cure versus Morrissey.
The Undercard: The Cure Versus Morrissey
Steve Double / www.retna.co.uk
Our first feud features that of the rivalry between Cure singer Robert Smith and fellow crestfallen crooner and Smiths' frontman Morrissey. In many exchanges of harsh words dating back to the 1980s, Smith showed that he is apt to respond to Morrissey's criticisms. It reportedly started when a writer asked the Moz which famous Smith he would off -- Patti, Robert, or another poor bloke -- and the answer turned out to be all three. He later claimed that the Cure "gave a new dimension to the word 'crap'" and that Smith was a "whingebag" and a "fat clown with makeup weeping over a guitar."
Naturally, Smith fired back, taking note of Morrissey's signature vocal stylings: "The press try to categorize me as a 'doom-and-gloom' singer. But take a look at Morrissey! That man's a professional moaner!"
And his maudlin tone: "Morrissey's so depressing... if he doesn't kill himself soon, I probably will."
As the catfight intensified, Smith commented on Morrissey's stand on vegetarianism, which was the centerpiece of discussion with the Smiths' record Meat Is Murder: "If Morrissey says not to eat meat, then I'm going to eat meat; that's how much I hate Morrissey."
Over time, the two set aside their differences, although Cure founding member Lol Tolhurst did infer that the conflict was instigated by Morrissey: "We had never met Morrissey or the Smiths at that point, and Morrissey
made a very uncalled-for remark concerning Robert in the English press. I
never understood why as we or Robert had done nothing to upset him that
I could think of, but after that it kind of snowballed... Especially
as journalists love feuds!"
We kind of do. And in terms of declaring a winner, this one is a no-brainer. Morrissey's band was called the Smiths, and so his mouthing off comes off as little more than the self-loathing he's known for. Plus Bobby Smith and his band have the ultimate bragging rights as Rock and Roll Hall nominees, and the Smiths are merely number 11 at rocksnubs.com -- way below Weird Al Yankovic.
Victor: The Cure by TKO
The Main Event: Guns N' Roses Versus Nirvana
Anyhow, let's to our next feud, one of middle-school proportions. It began with a Guns N' Roses invitation for Nirvana to play with them on tour, which Kurt Cobain declined. He went on to air his views on G'n'R, stating that they were talentless and wrote crap music.
Things came to a head at the 1992 MTV music awards. Kurt, alongside then-wife Courtney Love and daughter, jokingly called for Axl Rose to be the godfather of their baby. Rose tactfully replied by saying, "Why don't you shut your bitch up?" After a few more heated exchanges, Rose challenged Cobain to a fight and then called him a homosexual. In an interview with MTV later, Cobain joked about the situation: "I couldn't help but laugh because I've never been in that kind of situation since the sixth grade."
Watch the video here:
Additionally, this recording of Kurt Cobain recalling the situation at a performance has surfaced:
Nirvana won't be eligible for the Rock Hall until 2013, and it's not going to be a question. Still, it's surprising that Kurt Cobain seems to be more of the vicious one in this little feud. As far as we know, he didn't say anything mean to Slash.
Victor: This is a draw. That Guns N' Nirvana tour would've been historic!
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