FEAR: Have any musicians in a notable band ever been genuinely fearful of one of their bandmates?

Carl Mally writes ...

Watch the movie Beware of Mr. Baker. It tells about Ginger Baker the incredibly talented drummer for Cream. Everyone around was afraid of him or did not want to have anything to do with him because of his temper and nastiness.

Another story that is supposed to become a movie soon is Satan is Real, the autobiography of Charlie Louvin of the Louvin Brothers. It is a great book. A lot of it is focused on Charlie’s brother Ira and his drinking. Despite being smaller Charlie was always able to beat him down when things got too tough but dealing with Ira’s temper and blowups finally became impossible. At least once Ira was shot by a girlfriend in an argument. Charlie also talks about several of the old country music figures who were hard headed bar fighters. I believe it was Little Jimmy Dickens who had a habit of coming up from underneath in a fight and punching or kicking a guy in the balls. The whole book is a wild and tragic story that does not slow down through it and with a pretty good moral at the end.

Amy Christa writes ...

Bassist Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones was reportedly “terrified” of guitarist Johnny, as Johnny had physically assaulted him on multiple occasions. The band's original drummer, Tommy Ramone, quit the band partly because he also was afraid of Johnny and his threats of bodily harm.

Most of Ronnie Van Zant’s bandmates in Lynyrd Skynyrd were afraid of him, at least when he was drinking. Ronnie was a bad drunk — one of those people who was said to have a “night and day” personality when drinking vs. not drinking — and often became violent after a certain number of drinks.

The only one of his bandmates I’ve never heard of him assaulting was second drummer Artimus Pyle, who was as tough as if not tougher than he was. Despite their “hard” reputation, most of the guys in Skynyrd were not really fighters, and guys like Ed King and Allen Collins were easy targets when Ronnie was drunk and looking for a fight, because they didn’t fight back. Not the noblest aspect of RVZ’s personality.

Tim Kennedy writes ...

In the excellent band biography No Mercy written by David Buckley, Hugh Cornwell guitarist and singer of UK punk pioneers the Stranglers said he was nervous of bassist Jean Jacques Burnel who was a karate expert with a notoriously short fuse. Cornwell felt physically unsafe.

To be fair Jean Jacques himself has said if today he saw himself as a young man walking down the street he would avoid him.

Musically the band were one of the finest of their generation and successfully transcended the punk genre because of their great songwriting and musicianship.

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