‘Glee’ Creator Ryan Murphy Butts Heads With Rock Stars Over Music

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 19th, 2013 at 1:25 pm,

Fox’s musical show Glee has featured some high-profile pop songs, but not everyone wants in on the action. Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl commented on series creator Ryan Murphy in a recent interview, citing the producer’s public complaints against bands who refuse to license their music to the show.

Grohl spoke to The Hollywood Reporter after the Foo Fighters denied Fox the rights to create a Glee episode with the band’s music. “It’s every band’s right, you shouldn’t have to do f—ing Glee,” said the rock star. The Foo Fighters join rock legends Guns ‘n’ Roses and alt rockers Kings of Leon, who also declined to license songs for Glee.

Grohl took particular offense at Murphy’s reaction to other bands’ refusals, saying:

“[Murphy] is so offended that we’re not, like, begging to be on his f—ing show… f— that guy for thinking anybody and everybody should want to do Glee… Slash was the first one. He wanted to do Guns ‘n’ Roses and Slash is like, ‘I hate f—ing musicals. It’s worse than Grease.’ Then [Murphy's] like, ‘Well, of course he’d say that, he’s a washed up ol’ rock star, that’s what they f—ing do.’ And then Kings of Leon say, ‘No, we don’t want to be on your show.’ And then he’s like, ‘Snotty little assholes…’ And it’s just like, Dude, maybe not everyone loves Glee. Me included.”

Murphy’s public spats with the previous bands made headlines in the world of both music and TV. After Kings of Leon turned the show down earlier this year, Murphy accused the band of disrespecting Glee fans and arts education in general. He had similar things to say of Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist Slash, calling his comments “uneducated and quite stupid.”

glee cast2 Glee Creator Ryan Murphy Butts Heads With Rock Stars Over Music

Glee has kept fans entertained in the last two years with special tribute songs and episodes, including adaptations of music from Britney Spears, Madonna, Journey, Lady Gaga and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Most musicians have been pleased with the high school-themed song and dance numbers.

The response from Ryan Murphy over bands refusing to allow their music on Glee seems unjustly vitriolic. As Grohl said, the show and its format isn’t for everyone, and musicians have the right to control portrayals of their work. While the backlash from Guns ‘n’ Roses and Foo Fighters is pretty much par for the course for rock stars, the hostility from the creator of a show aimed at such a wide audience is disappointing.

Despite the negative publicity and a recent small dip in ratings, Glee continues to dominate viewership in the crucial 18-49 demographic. this Tuesday’s episode had 11.2 million viewers, and the post-Superbowl tribute to Michael Jasckson’s Thriller netted an astonishing 26.8 million. Glee won 2 Golden Globe awards this year including best televised comedy or musical.


Glee airs Tuesday nights at 8 PM on Fox.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter via TV Guide

TAGS: Glee
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  1. Murphy is a turd. Respect the musicians’ decision.

    Glee should die. Literally has no plot.

    • It’s doing much better than your prime-time show!

      • Yeah it does fair good ratings, but that’s not an excuse for murphy to be a turd

  2. What a jack ass. I’m not a fan of Foo Fighters or Kings of Leon but they have every right not to have their music basterdized on that unrealistic show. Murphy should write his own songs and stfu.

    • AMEN to that sully! I’d rather bang my head against a concrete wall than watch that sh*tty program. Easily the worst freakin show on TV after Jersey Shore and all those other so-called “reality” shows.

  3. Dave just got so much more respect from me. I hate this show with a passion. If it was canceled today, I would be the happiest guy on the planet.

    That being said, I agree with the other comments and Dave. It is their music. They can do what they want. They don’t want a “glee club” in “high school” covering it on tv, they have every right to say no. They stopped McCain from using them in campaign songs, they have the right to do this. Just because someone doesn’t think you are God, Murphy, doesn’t mean you have to get pissy and insult them

    • Don’t forget Dave joining John Kerry’s campaign after George Dubya scooped “Times Like These”, or publicly declaring that Idol runner-up Bo Bice would never share a stage with his band? What would make Murphy think the Foos would even be on board for something like this?

  4. Wow, Ryan Murphy kind of seems like the quintessential tool.

    • Kind of?? Right now only Charlie Sheen is a bigger tool, IMO.

  5. This show isn’t educating anyone on creativity. They should have the kids writing their own songs. I would have much more respect for that.

    • the whole last episode dealt with them writing their own songs soo yeaa lol

      • Well I stand corrected. Still I think the show is crap.

        • Do you watch the show?

      • For once, glee did something decent

  6. I’m so damn happy real rockers are taking a stand against this garbage show. The fact that’s it’s the likes of Dave Grohl and Slash just makes it all the sweeter

  7. Just to say, the post superbowl episode was The Rocky Horror Picture episode. It was the episode with Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Two different episodes.

    • sorry meant post superbowl ep WASNT the rocky horror pic one. it was thriller.

  8. Instead of focusing on rejection by the bands – which is completely justified Murphy should look to follow their example and try composing original songs.

    I just hate it that shows like Glee tend to get way more ratings than great shows like Smallville but each to their own.

  9. Well, how dare these rock stars not let someone else do the songs that they worked on? I mean, it’s so completely unfair. People acting like just cause they did the work and have the rights that they have the right to say no. *snark*

    Murphy’s acting like a baby that just had its bottle taken away… except the baby has an excuse to whine.

  10. Why is this an issue. So guns and roses won’t let glee use their songs, who cares, pick a different song. Just say no thankyou, move along, and get over it

  11. i cant wait for glee to get canceled and all the dolts will cry. i will enjoy hearing their pain and suffering.

    • Its gonna be around for a long time. It wins Emmys. It wins Grammys. It wins Golden Globes. It makes money off clothing lines, song purchases, and tickets for their live shows. It makes too much money to be canceled anytime soon. Heck,it get renewed for a season 2 and 3 like a quarter of the way through season 1 last year.

  12. Yes, Glee is the fav of every little girl in the world.

  13. I’ve never watched an episode of this show and likely never will. That’s not the point. The point is that a band’s songs are their own to do with as they please. This guy acts like he’s doing them a favor when all he’d do is deliver bastardized versions of their songs in a musical format not fitting to the music (stick with the vanilla pop; I’m guessing the hard rock fanbase doesn’t overlap too much with the viewers of Glee). Then again, in the world of show-business, coming across like a self-righteous tool is apparently one path to success.

  14. What would he have to gain by having his songs on a lame-assed show like Glee? As if anybody that watches that crud would go out and buy a Foo Fighters album because of it. It’s a totally different demigraphic. All Dave Grohl would get out of it is a loss of cred.
    Dave Grohl has earned even more respect from me. Stick it to Murphy, he’s the quintessential douche. If everybody told him where to go we might not have to endure those painful Glee ads. I have never been able to sit through an entire episode, the ads are bad enough. Glee should die.
    Kudos to Dave Grohl!

  15. While interested in Glee (and NOT a little girl, Juan), I’m highly disappointed in Ryan Murphy’s attitude about bands that don’t want to “get GLEEful”; seriously man…if they don’t want to play on your playground, then so what?

    The world will continue to spin on its axis…new life will be born as older lives pass on…just like it has for the millions of years before Glee showed up on FOX.

  16. Glee is fine for the POP, so don´t mess with ROCK music, they are going to make it sound like popy songs, so what is the point?

  17. I read that Murphy justified his show by saying that it helps kids to connect with music. What kid doesn’t connect with music?? Isn’t that pretty much one of the core teen activities these days – watching TV, surfing the net and listening to music?

  18. I have been very dissapointed with S2 so far. The plot is more or less just meandering, the characters act completelly out of character every other episode and the regionals episode was especially appaling, being straight up boring.

  19. Hahaha. The bands have a right to where and how their music is used. Murphy has the right to say what he wants about the band, but he had better develop some thicker skin, or just be happy with what he gets. I mean, he’s had it pretty good, some big names, and to squawk now? Good job, Murph’.

  20. Glee was an okay show the first season…. but now… I just sucks! Its wayyyyy overrated! Also takes credit from great shows like supernatural or smallville…. If an artist doesn’t want to let you use their songs, move on! Unless your already the type of artist to be all over pop radio (which I dont even concider music) then of course these bands dont want their songs on glee. Stick with overplayed pop music and Journey glee.
    I am also a big fan of Foo Fighters! Rock on Dave Grohl!

    • Grohl is a pretentious douch anyway.. He’s not aging well either. This is the same ass hole who mocks an insane crack head, , supports HIV denial, and says, oh I’m soo for gay rights but says drag queen in his song..
      Not everyone likes the foo fighters, they’re just as overhyped and overrated as glee. Grohl was lucky that his “buddy” died, otherwise no person would give one shi t about his band

  21. I’m a fan of Glee but I know full well that it’s shockingly written and that Ryan Murphy is a first class jerk to both fans and haters. It annoys me though when people say that only “real rock stars” like Axl Rose and Grohl don’t let Glee cover their music. Hello?! Do Queen, The Rolling Stones, Kiss etc. not count?! Also the cast can sing. Half of them were on Broadway for Christ’s sake. Your showing your own ignorance by commenting and saying that they’re “talentless”.

    • Yes i realize most of them were on broadway but like you can hear the autotune in their voices on the show and axl is a prettybig ass but he didnt say axl rose denied the the music he said slash

  22. Murphy either has rocks in his head or is just plain stupid to think that heavy rock and roll bands such as Guns & Roses and the Foo Fighters, would want anything to do with husy show.
    He should contact Justin Bieber and One Direction, not Slash and Dave Grohl instead. Stupid idiot.

  23. 2 years later and Glee is total crap with horribly low ratings.