The Bizarre Reasons Behind 7 Famous Bands’ Breakups

Creative differences. Alcoholism and drug abuse. Legal issues. The untimely death of a band member. These are the reasons we typically see cited for band breakups. But, as a recent piece about David Bowie’s legendary Ziggy Stardust-era band, the Spiders from Mars, has reminded us, sometimes far stranger and sillier things cause famous collaborators to go their separate ways. After the jump, we’ve rounded up some of the most bizarre examples, from a public prank to an insult in front of Mick Jagger.

David Bowie’s Spiders from Mars: a Lambourghini

“When the kids had killed the man I had to break up the band.” That’s how the dissolution of the Spiders from Mars went in “Ziggy Stardust,” but the real-life breakup was much less exciting than that. As Classic Rock magazine reveals, unrest in the band began when drummer Woody Woodmansey and keyboard player Mike Garson were on a plane, talking about a Lambourghini Woodmansey was lusting over. When Garson implied that his band mate should be making enough money to buy it, they discovered the huge difference in what David Bowie was paying them. Although the tour continued after a tense negotiation, the pay inequity irreparably damaged morale within the band and led to Bowie’s famous announcement in July 1973 at the Hammersmith Odeon that the show would be the Spiders’ last — news that came as a surprise to Woodmansey and bassist Trevor Bolder.