Top 10 Talented Musicians Kicked Out of Bands for Absurd Reasons
As a Dead Kennedys fan, DH Peligro's death hit especially hard. After the Dead Kennedys broke up, Peligro drifted around from band to band for the rest of his life, briefly playing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and fronting his own band, Peligro, for 3 albums. DH Peligro, East Bay Ray, and Klaus Fluoride would reform the Dead Kennedys in 2001, without Jello Biafra, and spent the next 20 years using a stable of street performers pretending to be singers to front the band.
10. DH Peligro
After the death of Hillel Slovak, drummer Jack Irons left the Chili Peppers due to the band's extreme drug use. Peligro stepped in during the Mother's Milk recording sessions, including writing credits on 3 songs, and was terminated for drug use. A collection of junkies tossing a friend overboard right on the precipice of the band breaking out from the underground.
9. Twiggy Ramirez
After playing with the band Marilyn Manson on and off for 20 years, including songwriting credits on many of the band's biggest hits (that weren't covers), Ramirez was terminated in 2017 for allegations in of raping a former girlfriend.
In nearly any other band in America, that's a legitimate reason for terminating your relationship with a musician.
But Ramirez was terminated from the band Marilyn Manson by THE Marilyn Manson. Just 3 short years after Ramirez's termination, Manson himself would be hit with countless allegations of rape, assault, and Nazi Infatuations.
8. Flavor Flav
The year 2020 brought the curious case of Public Enemy vs. Flavor Flav. In March of 2020, lawyers for Public Enemy stated that Flav had been fired and Chuck D owned everything in relation to the Public Enemy Brand. Public Enemy was nothing more than a glorified Chuck D solo project with D pulling all the strings.
There were rumblings that the press release didn't sound like Chuck D at all and the Public Enemy breakup was nothing more than a Publicity Stunt. On April 1 of the same year, Chuck D confirmed that it was a publicity stunt. Flavor Flav said "oh no it wasn't."
Flav does have one production credit on Public Enemy's new album and appears on the band's website. So apparently the termination was a ...?
7. Ace Frehley
Per Consequence of Sound "Ace and Peter have gotten three chances. They were in and out of the band — fired — three times. For drugs, alcohol, bad behavior, being unprofessional."
To which, Ace responded, and I'm paraphrasing here, 'technically I quit twice and was fired once.' Whatever the case, it could be argued that Frehley was the most talented musician in the band.
Lots of musicians behave badly, but Simmons' argument seems to be that Frehley was fired for being a bad businessman. Yet the KISS Business Model was sex, drugs, and Rock and Roll, check out the lyrics of such 70's staples as Christine Sixteen and Love Gun. Simmons and Stanley currently own the rights to the Frehley Spaceman Character.
6. Dave Abbruzzese
In 1994, Pearl Jam was one of the biggest Rock Bands in America, but the low-key members of the band fired Abbruzzese for acting like, wait for it.... A Rock Star!
Oh the horror.
5. JD Fortune
According to INXS.com, INXS was one of the greatest bands of all time.
(Editor's Note: Uh... no.)
Then, in 1997, their charismatic frontman, Michael Hutchence died. The band should have died with Hutchence, but they wanted to carry on and shuffled through with a series of guest singers.
Fast forward to 2005, INXS agreed to host a reality show to find a new singer. I actually watched the production and Homeless JD Fortune was clearly the man for the job. Un-FORTUNE-ately, JD had quite an appetite for drugs, just like his predecessor, and by 2011, the replacement singer had been fired from INXS, not once, but twice.
Fortune's crime? Acting like Hutchence did. INXS had tired of their "new" lead singer's debauchery and fired him before they broke up the band.
Fortune, just last month in Rolling Stone Magazine: "I Had It All in my Hand, And Couldn't Hold Onto It."
4. Matt Hollywood
The 2004 documentary Dig! documented the infighting between members of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, which was legendary. In 1998, the co-founder of the band, Matt Hollywood, left the BJM, as seen in the film, after a physical altercation with leader Anton Newcombe.
In 2010, Hollywood returned to the band, only to be fired in 2015. The reason for Hollywood's termination? Unknown. Outward appearances are that Hollywood was fired because band management wanted the satisfaction of firing him before he could quit again.
3. Joey Jordison
In 2013, Slipknot released a statement that Joey Jordison had left the band. Days later, Jordison released a counter-statement that he had been fired from the band. With a diagnosis of Acute Transverse Myelitis in hand, apparently Slipknot didn't want to wait to see if Jordison's health improved to keep moving.
After Jordison's death last year, Slipknot alluded to Jordison's many "demons" as being a secondary factor in his termination.
<Ahem> They're Slipknot, they all had demons.
2. The Revolution
The Revolution started out as Prince's Live Band and evolved into his Studio Band. Before Prince parted ways with the Revolution, they had won 3 Grammys together. You want to argue that technically Prince only fired Wendy and Lisa, and then the rest of the band quit in solidarity?
What about when Prince fired Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis?
What about when Prince fired Questlove?
What about when Prince fired Alexander O'Neal?
Why did Prince fire anyone? Because he was Prince, he didn't have to tell you anything.
1. Dave Mustaine
In a band of alcoholics, Dave Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica for being the biggest alcoholic. That's not just me speculating, Metallica were such legendary drinkers, the term AlcoholiccA exists.
40 years later, Dave Mustaine has released 16 studio albums fronting the band Megadeth, but he still answers questions from his Metallica days. This nugget from just last month:
Dave Mustaine Wants to Write Music with James Hetfield Again