The 10 Messiest Band Breakups

The bitter ends of the Clash, the Police, Guns N' Roses and more

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The Police
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The Police

The Police were formed in 1977 by drummer Stewart Copeland, along with schoolteacher Gordon "Sting" Sumner and guitarist Andy Summers. Within a year, they were rock's next big thing, but tensions began bubbling over as Sting took control of the band. The others began to feel like his employees and they began fighting like crazy, even as the band got bigger and bigger.

In his 2006 memoir, One Train Later, Summers recalled a fight while the band recorded their 1981 LP Ghost in the Machine. "Sting goes berserk on me," he wrote. "Calling me every name under the sun with considerable vehemence, leaving everyone in the room white-faced and in shock." Sting summed up the group's problem in a 2007 interview with Rolling Stone. "We didn't have a great deal in common," he said. "We were different generations, in Andy's case, welded together by a flag of convenience . . . Part of the frustration was that Stewart and Andy were driven to write. It's difficult to tell somebody it's not a good song, and it was usually me." Sting pulled the plug in 1984 after a long stadium tour in support of their massive album Synchronicity. "It wasn't my intention to punish Stewart and Andy in any way," Sting said. "I was following my instincts."

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