4 Rock Stars Who Hated Their Own Songs

Most artists know what it’s like to create something and then very quickly hate it. It’s simply the nature of being a creative person; even if the output is good, one always feels like one could do better. For these famous rock stars, their hit songs ended up becoming their biggest headaches. Let’s look at a few rock stars who have said that they hated their own songs!

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1. Kurt Cobain Hated “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Diehard Nirvana fans likely know this little factoid already. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” became Nirvana’s biggest pop/rock hit, and it’s still one of the most popular grunge anthems of all time. However, frontman Kurt Cobain eventually came to hate it and even nixed the track from the live setlists. 

“I can barely, especially on a bad night like tonight, get through ‘Teen Spirit’,” Cobain said in a Rolling Stone interview. “I literally want to throw my guitar down and walk away. I can’t pretend to have a good time playing it.”

2. Slash Hated “Sweet Child O’ Mine”

It wouldn’t be a list of rock stars who hated their own songs without mentioning Slash. Slash quite famously hated the Guns N’ Roses hit “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. It was the band’s only no. 1 single to date, so there was no way to avoid playing it live. Still, Slash is on record saying that he at least appreciates the song now.

“I hated it for years,” Slash said in an interview. “But it would cause such a reaction, so I’ve finally gotten to appreciate it.”

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3. James Hetfield Hated Metallica’s “Escape”

Metallica’s James Hetfield wasn’t fond of “Escape”, even though he wrote the lyrics for the hit metal song. Though, he has said that the lyrics were written last minute and simply weren’t the best he could have done. He avoided playing it for years, but eventually had to perform it live when the band performed their hit album Ride The Lightnight in full at Orion Fest in 2012. 

4. Pete Townshend Hated The Who’s “Pinball Wizard”

Pete Townshend has no qualms with complaining about things or people he doesn’t like. One object of his ire is The Who’s “Pinball Wizard”. It’s one of the band’s biggest songs and has become a bit of a cult classic. Townshend is on record saying that the song is terrible and “the most clumsy piece of writing I’ve ever done.”

Photo by Frank Micelotta

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