Exes On Tour: White Stripes, ABBA, Lindsey & Stevie...
We're all familiar with the credo against intra-office dating, often crudely expressed as "Don't shit where you eat." Most of us subscribe to it, knowing the potential drama it could ensue. "How will this affect my work," we wonder. "What happens if we break up?"
But all's fair in love and war - and rock and roll... Or is it? The following artists took that hackneyed rule, threw it out the window, and took up with their "co-workers" - in this instance, their bandmates.
7. Juliana Hatfield & Evan Dando:
Considered by many the "it" couple of 90s alt-rock, the "My Sister" singer and Lemonheads front man never exactly confirmed their relationship, though we were all convinced of its existence. Hatfield often loaned her pixie-esque vocals to Dando's songs, the two becoming synonymous of one another. Dando eventually married model Elizabeth Moses in 2000, though the couple split earlier this year.
Hatfield and Dando performed together as recently as this September, when they reunited for a two-night gig at New York's Mercury Lounge. Though the duo has always kept their relationship undefined, Hatfield's aptly-titled "Evan," from her solo album Peace & Love, reveals a generous inkling of the pair's enduring 20-year bond. "I tried to write you off," Juliana professes, "But I can't so I'll give it up... Evan, I just love you, I guess." You do the math.
6. D'Arcy Wretzky & James Iha:
As if the Smashing Pumpkins needed any added drama to their rocky history, a love connection sprouted between guitarist Iha and bassist Wretzky in the early '90s. The relationship didn't last long; by the time the band released 1993's Siamese Dream, they had broken up. Fast-forward a decade, we saw D'Arcy's 1999 departure from the band and the eventual demise of the Pumpkins.
In 2008, Iha and Wretzky filed a lawsuit against the band's former label, Virgin Records, alleging the label, along with Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan amended the band's contract without their consent, paying royalties for digital downloads to Corgan, but not them.
The duo also both opted out of Corgan's 2008 revival of the band, Wretzky preferring a life out of the limelight, and Iha joining A Perfect Circle. After all these years, it seems the former flames still share a unifying bond - their distaste for their former front man.
5. Lauryn Hill & Wyclef Jean:
The Fugees' singers are believed to have dated throughout the majority of the group's five-year career, though it was a relationship that friends of the pair have referred to as "complicated." Considering Jean married wife Marie Claudinette in 1994, we'd believe it.
Though we were led to believe it was Hill who disbanded the group in 1997, Jean cast some light on the break-up in a 2003 interview with People, admitting his affair with bandmate Hill was the catalyst for the group's split. Ultimately, he chose to re-devote himself to his marriage and the bandmates parted ways. He confessed, "I was young, I was crazy, I was a ladies' man."
Hill too moved on, taking up with son of reggae icon Bob Marley, Rohan Marley. The couple has had five children together since 1997.
4. Gwen Stefani & Tony Kanal:
It's hard to remember the No Doubt front woman not on the arm of her dreamy husband, Bush's Gavin Rossdale. But there was a time--seven years, to be exact--she cozied up to boyfriend and fellow bandmate, bassist Tony Kanal. The couple dated for seven years, eventually breaking up while recording No Doubt's third album, Tragic Kingdom.
Stefani routed her sorrow into songwriting, penning songs like "Don't Speak" and "Sunday Morning," each inspired by her heartbreaking break-up with Kanal. A personal break-up that would lead to the band's collective breakthrough, Tragic Kingdom catapulted the Anaheim group into stardom, selling 16 million copies. While Stefani has since found love with Rossdale, Kanal and actress girlfriend Erin Lokitz are expecting their first child.
Is it safe to assume tragic break-up + tragic kingdom = happy ending?
3. The White Stripes:
Those who believe that tired PR story of Jack and Meg White being actual brother and sister can do themselves a favor and stop reading now. In 1996, Jack White (still known then as John Gillis) married local bartender Meg White, Gillis commencing his penchant for the unorthodox modus vivendi by taking Meg's surname.
After teaching his wife how to play (rudimentary) drums, the couple formed the White Stripes, claiming their relationship as brother and sister. The White Stripes upheld the White Lie for years, though rumors of their marriage circulated. In 2001, proof of their marriage (and eventual divorce) emerged via the couple's marriage license, and their cover was blown. "When you see a band that is two pieces, husband and wife... you think, 'Oh, I see,'" explains Jack White. "When they're brother and sister, you go, 'Oh, that's interesting.' You care more about the music, not the relationship."
Despite their 2000 divorce, the duo continued relentlessly recording and touring, earning widespread acclaim with 2001's White Blood Cells.
Since then, the exes have found love outside the workplace: In 2005, Jack married British model Karen Elson. Last year, Meg married Jackson Smith, spawn of Patti and Fred Smith... in ex-husband Jack's Nashville backyard.
These Swedes were evidently not all afraid to mix business with pleasure. In 1969, Agnetha Fältskog met Björn Ulvaeus, eventually marrying in 1971. Within weeks of Fältskog and Ulvaeus's introduction, fellow musicians Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad and Benny Andersson also became romantically involved. The two couples joined musical forces, forming the group they referred to as Björn, Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid. In 1973, they shortened it to the acronym ABBA. In 1978, Lyngstad and Andersson married.
It didn't take long for the stresses of stardom to take their toll on ABBA's member marriages. In 1979, Ulvaeus and Fältskog called it quits; two years later, Andersson and Lyngstad followed suit and also divorced.
The ABBA couples trudged through the aftermath of their divorces, releasing their seventh album, Super Trouper, in 1980. The group continued recording and touring as a band into the early '80s, disbanding rather fuzzily, and since then insisting against a reunion. In 2000, ABBA reportedly turned down an offer of $1 billion to embark on a reunion tour of 100 dates. Two pairs of unwilling divorcées in a tour bus? Sorry to say, but we'd turn down the money too. We can't all be the White Stripes.
1. Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham:
Perhaps the most notorious bandmate dating scenario, the members of Fleetwood Mac dabbled in intra-band dating throughout most of the 1970s. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham's fishbowl love affair began in the early '70s and endured - however tumultuously - throughout the greater half of the decade, ultimately ending in 1977 when Nicks conveniently moved on to still-married drummer and fellow bandmate Mick Fleetwood.
Around the same time, the McVies - bassist John and singer/keyboardist Christine - ended their own marriage. Drawing inspiration from such turmoil, the band channeled their grief into inspiration, recording what would become 1977's poignant Rumours. Despite the inevitable friction that follows such public break-ups, the band trekked on, touring together until Buckingham's departure in 1987 and Nicks' in 1991.
Lately, we've witnessed the now legendary band set aside their differences in the aftermath of failed romances for reunion tours - but we're still always intrigued to witness the palpable chemistry between Nicks and Buckingham, as she hauntingly serenades him during the same songs he very well - and very painfully - inspired.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.