Celebrities fight just like they have sex: randomly and with whichever fellow celebrity is closest at hand. At least it seems that way, based on the long history of odd and seemingly pointless brawls between famous people.
#10. Axl Rose vs. Tommy Hilfiger
Axl Rose may not have released an album of new music in nigh on 15 years, but if there's one thing at which he' nothing but prolific, it's challenging other celebrities to fights and not having the stones to follow through.
He demanded that Kurt Cobain "shut [his] bitch up" at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, but was stymied when Cobain told Courtney Love "Shut up, bitch!" and the two laughed and walked off. He repeatedly challenged Motley Crue's Vince Neil after he beat up Izzy Stradlin for kicking Neil' wife in the stomach, but backed down when Neil proposed they settle things in a boxing match. Rose has even been known to engage in empty threats that don't involve his endorsing violence toward women, as when he singled out music critics by name and challenged them to fight in Use Your Illusion II' "Get in the Ring." Spin publisher Bob Guccione Jr., a nine-year karate student, gladly accepted, but nothing came of it, presumably because Axl became distracted by some celebrity' wife that needed a beating.
So how did he finally end up fighting 55-year-old fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, of all people?
Well, he didn't-or at least, he didn't fight back. The dispute happened at Rosario Dawson's birthday party at New York club The Plumm in May 2006 when Rose moved Hilfiger's girlfriend's drink, supposedly to keep it from spilling. Hilfiger, allegedly already steamed about having been asked to make room for Rose' entourage and enormous hairdo, smacked his arm and told him to put it back. The argument escalated into a melee, with Hilfiger punching Rose on the cheek.
Hilfiger, who Rose described as "foaming at the mouth," was eventually pulled out of the club kicking and screaming by his own bodyguard. Rose then played a scheduled set, dedicating the song "You're Crazy" to "my good friend Tommy Hilfiger."
Actual photo of event
Hilfiger. Sure, Plumm owner Noel Ashman credited Rose for being the bigger man: "Axl was a gentleman and had the good sense not to retaliate." But, Rose's track record indicates that he once again fucked with the wrong guy' girlfriend and chickened out when he got called on it. Seriously, who has Rose ever actually beat up besides his ex-wife Erin Everly?
Hilfiger, on the other hand, not only defended his girlfriend-and it seems improbable enough for a male fashion designer to even have one-but also beat up the biggest rock star of the 1980s in the process. If there's anything less rock 'n' roll than getting your ass kicked by a fashion designer, we certainly can't imagine what it is. With all due respect to Buddy Holly's plane crash, Axl Rose having his ass handed to him by Tommy Hilfiger is most certainly the day that music died for anyone raised on Appetite for Destruction.
#9. Sinéad O'Connor vs. Prince
"I'd kick her ass if she were a guy," Frank Sinatra famously declared after Sinéad O'Connor tore up a photo of the pope during her notorious Saturday Night Live appearance. But, gender lines were no barrier for Prince, a small but scrappy nymph whose previous bouts include a fistfight with Morris Day on the set of Purple Rain.
O'Connor may be a girl, but she's Irish, she's crazy, and going to the tale of the tape, she actually has 2 or 3 inches on the diminutive Prince. In 1990, O'Connor scored a hit with an unauthorized cover of Prince' "Nothing Compares 2 You." This upset the Purple One, who'd planned on giving it to one of his female proteges. Their meeting to discuss this did not go well.
"He invited me to his house in Los Angeles and started to give out to me for swearing in interviews. When I told him to go fuck himself, he got very upset and became quite threatening, physically. I ended up having to escape," says O'Connor. "He can pack a punch. A few blows were exchanged. All I could do was spit. I spat on him quite a bit." It's unclear whether Prince made her pancakes when it was all over. One thing is clear: If Prince invites you to his house, you should probably bring a video camera because nobody's ever going to believe the shit that' going on over there.
Prince. Which brings up an important question: Is there another scenario in the world in which a man could invite a woman over to his house, beat her up, and rather than being horrified, you'd be sort of impressed that he won? Maybe if Prince beat up Serena or Venus Williams, but really all scenarios involve Prince.
#8. Bill Murray vs. Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase is a dick, plain and simple. Between that and the star treatment he got as the breakout member of the Saturday Night Live cast, anyone who worked with him could be excused for taking a shot at him. But here' the thing: Bill Murray never actually worked with him. Murray replaced Chase after he left SNL for a film career. Murray also got a lot of hate mail telling him he was a shitty replacement, so there's that.
During the show' second season, Chase returned as the guest host and Murray, channeling the resentment of the rest of the cast, decided it was go time. "I got into a fight with Chevy the night he came back to host. That was because I was the new guy, and it was sort of like it was my job to do that," Murray says. "It would have been too petty for someone else to do that. It' almost like I was goaded into that."
Tension simmered between the two all week and finally boiled over in a pull-apart brawl only moments before the show went on the air. Witnesses say Murray started it by pointing out how everybody hated Chase, while Chase responded by comparing Murray' acne-pocked skin to the surface of the moon. "I don't know if Chevy provoked it or not," says cast member Laraine Newman. "But it culminated with Billy saying to Chevy, 'Why don't you fuck your wife once in a while? She needs it.' And I don't even remember who threw the first punch, Billy or Chevy. But it was ugly."
Recalls Blues Brothers director John Landis: "I didn't know Bill Murray, but he's screaming, you know, foaming at the mouth, 'Fucking Chevy,' and in anger he says, 'Medium talent!' And I thought, 'Oh boy, that's funny. In anger he says "medium talent."' That really impressed me. I went, 'So, Bill Murray - wow, who is that guy?'"
Murray. Chase gets credit for going out and doing the monologue only moments later. It' true-you just can't reasonably call him a no-talent. And, he claims to have buried the hatchet with Murray when the two appeared together in 1980s Caddyshack. But look where the two of them are now. Murray' a critically acclaimed comedic and dramatic actor with triumphs such as Rushmore and Lost in Translation. Chase is barely working and was scarcely able to scrounge up any old friends to lambaste him at his Friar' Club Roast. Since this is more or less a battle of words, Murray wins for his scathingly precise diagnosis of Chase' talent years before Chase would prove him right.
#7. Mick Jagger vs. Charlie Watts
It' hardly extraordinary for members of a rock band to come to blows (For example, Bret Michaels and C.C. Deville of Poison infamously brawled onstage at the MTV Video Awards in 1991.). And, it' inevitable that one of the Rolling Stones would eventually take a swing at the oft-insufferable Mick Jagger.
What' surprising, though, is that it wasn't Keith Richards, considering their decades-long love-hate relationship. It was quiet, unassuming Charlie Watts, the country gentleman who sits behind the drum kit and looks comatose most of the time.
The final straw was Jagger's unscheduled wake-up call to Watts during a band meeting in Amsterdam in October 1984. Richards and Jagger had gone out boozing, returning to Richard's room at five in the morning. Watts was fast asleep. Nevertheless, Jagger dialed his room, bawling "Is that my drummer? Why don't you get your arse down here?"
Watts reportedly got up, shaved, got dressed in a custom-made Savile Row suit, put on a crisply knotted tie and freshly shined shoes, came downstairs, and-in Richards' words-"dished him out a great fucking right hook." Jagger was knocked into a plate of smoked salmon, and Richards had to grab his leg to prevent him from sliding along the table, out the open window and into a canal 20 stories below. "Don't ever call me 'your drummer' again," Watts told Jagger. "You're my fucking singer."
Watts. Getting dressed to the nines in the middle of the night specifically to, in a punch of Mortal Kombat proportions, almost knock some asshole out a window for waking you up? Charlie Watts may have more balls than anyone else on the planet.
#6. Jimmy Stewart vs. Henry Fonda
Not only do they enjoy reputations as Hollywood' most saintly leading men, but Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda were also lifelong best friends. They met at age 20 while doing summer stock theatre. They also were roommates in New York and in Hollywood and even whiled away many quiet hours later in life painting model airplanes together. So, what could cause these heterosexual life partners to come to blows? Politics. Stewart was a staunch Republican, while Fonda was a flaming liberal Democrat.
After a heavy night of drinking during the spring of 1947, Stewart and Fonda had a bitter argument over Sen. Joseph McCarthy's investigations of Communism involvement in the film industry that escalated into a fistfight.
Fonda. Afterward, they were both so appalled at themselves that they agreed never to talk about politics again. They kept this vow and remained best friends for the rest of their lives.
But not only did Hammerin's Hank reportedly get the best of Stewart in their dust-up, Fonda also went on to sire an even more radical daughter, dubbed "Hanoi Jane" for her sympathy for the Communist foe during the Vietnam War. Better yet, she then married broadcasting mogul Ted Turner, who so upset Stewart by colorizing his classic It' a Wonderful Life that Stewart appeared before Congress begging them to end this practice. In the long term, Stewart got owned.