They were once regular high school kids, right? Some of them didn’t even look that cool dude with a rock star potential. Some though still managed to look cool like Dimebag Darrell Lance Abbott or Wes Borland. The others? Not so much.
We rounded up a gaggle of funny photos of famous heavy metal, hard and alternative rock stars before they became music legends. The result is this most fascinating list that confirms what we already knew: any uncool-looking kid can become a rock star someday.
The annals of music history are rich with tales from the road — stories of questionable behavior, catastrophes in transit, run-ins with the locals, and shenanigans of the most bizarre and extreme order. Who could forget the infamous Led Zeppelin mudshark incident, or that time Frank Zappa was nearly killed when a crazed concertgoer, incensed by his girlfriend’s infatuation with the musician, pushed Zappa off the stage at London’s Rainbow Theatre?
Such anecdotes have become an art form, a time-honored tradition in the culture of any genre of contemporary music. Thousands of biographies and memoirs recount the exploits of musicians on tour. And the notion of the “crazy tour story” hasn’t disappeared as legendary musicians hang up their boots or pass on to that great gig in the sky.
A new crop of bands and artists has taken up this mantle, constantly refilling the anecdotal coffers with fresh tales of mayhem. Sure, there are sexed-up narratives to be told, but the typical “so I took her back to the tour bus” story only has so much mileage to it. Wilder is the violent episodes, the truly catastrophic stuff. And while the escapades of big-name artists can prove droll, those of grassroots, touring bands are often more intriguing.
Today, there’s an entire subset of the music industry, and innumerable careers, dedicated to chronicling such noteworthy events. Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, MTV News and TMZ — a dazzling array of media outlets keep us fully abreast of on-the-road monkeyshines of musicians from any stratum of fame, from one-hit wonders like Afroman, who recently made headlines for delivering a haymaker to a fan who was unlucky enough to be dancing behind him onstage, to superstars like Justin Bieber (no one’s forgotten what you did in Germany, Biebs). Outside the realm of celebrity, though, musicians are still getting into trouble, and their tour stories continuously add to the canon of lore that has come to define the archetype of the traveling musician.
“This is what rock and roll is all about,” says “Evil” Jared Hasselhoff (real name: Hennegan), bassist for the raunchy pop-rock group The Bloodhound Gang (think, “You and me, baby, ain’t nothin’ but mammals”►). He’s talking about a night in New Orleans 10 years ago, when he was working as a roadie on the Jägermeister Tour with Slayer, Archenemy, and Hatebreed. He tells this story between an anecdote about going to court to testify against some young punk (“this fucking ballbag”) who graffitied the Gang’s RV in Towson, Maryland, and a tale about filling his manager’s briefcase with old sushi one time in Berlin.
That night in New Orleans, the tour package was playing the House of Blues, and after soundcheck, Jared had gone to the Harrah’s next door to gamble a bit. “I made a huge mistake and had some mall sushi,” Hennegan says. The raw fish made Jared’s stomach churn and roil. He felt what he was sure was just a substantive fart building up, and he let ‘er rip. Unfortunately, Hennegan got more than he bargained for and his bowels voided themselves at that moment. “There was at least a solid cup of shit,” he claims. Jared’s stomach rumbled again and his gut expelled another wave of noxious waste. “It was everywhere,” he says. “It was, like, a quart of diarrhea.” Soiled, shit-stinking, and sick, Hennegan retired to his hotel room to lie down.
Several hours later, Evil Jared was back in action, hanging out with some other roadies in the venue’s VIP section. But the scene was grim: “No broads there; not a looker in the lot.” He grabbed the tour manager and headed to the bar next door, where they were soon approached by an enthused fan. “I think she’s half-Mexican, but she’s pretty hot,” he says.
“Yo, I know you work with the bands,” the girl proposed. “I’ll do anything if you get me into the show.”
Now, you might think you know exactly what happened next, but if you’re picturing a sordid, back-room exchange, you’d only be half-right. Evil Jared handed the girl “a shot of insanity hot sauce,” which she put down without issue. Then she took another. Jared escorted her backstage to the VIP section and went back to his hotel room to watch TV, while the girl proceeded to attack with gusto the green room’s generously stocked open bar.
Two hours later, Hennegan was back at the House of Blues and had run into a hot-sauce girl. “This is the guy who got me in!” she screamed, hammered after a go at the open bar. She threw her arms around Jared and shoved her tongue into his mouth. “We weren’t really making out, more like she was molesting me,” Jared offers. She was sloppy, but that was hardly a deterrent. Wanting privacy, Jared took the girl through the back of the venue to a quiet area, pulled open a door, and stepped into a small room. “Even working for Jägermeister, making out with some pissed-up slapper in the middle of the VIP area is frowned upon.”
“I realize we’re in the trash room,” he says. The couple was literally surrounded by gargantuan piles of trash, heaped high and probably smelling like the contents of Jared’s underwear earlier that night. Things started getting hot and heavy between the two, and suddenly, the girl stopped the action to make a request. “I’m on the rag right now,” she said, before asking Jared to place himself someplace fairly uncomfortable. “She asked me to fuck her in the ass,” Jared says.
“I think she was from Memphis,” he concludes.
The Cinder Block Brawl
Daniel Bray, a Toronto-based photographer, was on the road with the hardcore group, The Holly Springs Disaster, when the tour ran into some trouble with the residents of Stouffville, a small town in Ontario. The tour package had played an “awesome” show, and the bands were loading out when “out of nowhere, a hail of rocks and chunks of red bricks came raining down on us.” The groups turned to see two kids chucking stones from an empty lot nearby, and sent four or five guys over to deal with the situation.
They broke Hayden’s leg! Bray heard minutes later. “One of the dudes named Hayden, from one of the Calgary bands on tour, went over there to stop these kids who were throwing bricks,” he says. “And one of them picked up a full-size cinder block and threw it at Hayden, and it broke his leg badly above the ankle.”
While Bray stayed with Hayden to administer some rudimentary first aid and help him into a fan’s car, the rest of the tour package went off in search of the culprits. Heading back to the venue, Bray saw a kid dash past him, holding a skateboard, with eight guys in hot pursuit. Bray followed.
“I’m not sure who got to him first,” Bray says, “but they caught up to him right behind the backstop for the ball diamond. They tackled him and had him up against the chain-link [fence], feeding him punches, in no time. Everyone else joined in as soon as they got there.” The entire tour package laid into the kid, using his skateboard as a weapon against him.
One guitar player broke his hand on the kid’s face. “You know those oil barrels that are used as big garbage cans?” Bray asks, “I saw one of those full of garbage dumped on the guy then the barrel thrown at him. We beat this guy up till he was limp.”
A few minutes into the beating, two cops watched from the safety of their squad car. “Alright boys, he’s had enough,” said one, emerging from his car to drag the bloodied youth away from the melee. “The other cop told us that this guy was the town’s biggest shit disturber,” Bray says. “He fucked with every single band that came to town, and no one ever did anything about it.” According to Bray, the cop was “stoked we put an end to [the kid’s] shenanigans and taught him a lesson.”
Greyhound to Hell
It’s not unusual to hear of out-of-town bands getting into altercations with local folk, especially in rural areas and red states. Once, while on tour, I nearly found myself the victim of a hate crime in Knoxville, Tennessee.
I had been working for a tiny record label on the 2010 Vans Warped Tour for six weeks, hawking my solo album in parking lots and spooning bags of ice while sleeping on the floor of our 15-passenger Ford van, “Connie.” The day after the Atlanta stop of the tour was to be an off-day, to give us time to make the drive to Cincinnati while those bands lucky enough to ride in buses had the chance to do some volunteer work. We woke up that morning in the empty parking lot of the festival grounds where the tour had stopped. We were freaked out. We’d heard gunshots nearby the night before.
We stopped at a gas station — where some guys pulled up next to our van and tried to sell us a VCR — and discovered the card we’d been using to gas up had expired. All we had was a couple of hundred dollars in the cash box, just enough to get the van back to our home base in D.C. The owner of the record label and I made the call to send the rest of our entourage back to D.C., giving them the cash to finance the trip. We would continue on to Cincinnati to shore up our contacts, as we assumed we’d want to get on the tour the next summer. We headed to the nearest Greyhound station to buy bus tickets.
Outside the station, we killed time waiting for our bus, crushing up Vicodin into a mason jar that’d once been home to moonshine-soaked berries. We mixed in some raspberry schnapps and some Svedka and drank deep, knowing we had a long ride ahead. We found a bum who sold us a $5 bag of weed, rolled a joint, and smoked in the van until we heard a knock at the window. It was two cops, who warned us this was a “rough neighborhood” and walked away.
As my buddy and I went to board our bus, a haggard-looking old man asked if we wanted to buy some Xanax, which we politely declined, as we were already pretty fucked up.
We got on the bus and, to our chagrin, the only two seats available were aisle seats directly across from each other. However, the seats weren’t entirely, well, available: the gentlemen taking up the respective window seats were so large that their torsos spilled over into our seats, leaving me and my buddy each with one cheek in the seat and one in the aisle. Uncomfortable as it was, it wasn’t long before we passed out.
I awoke at 5 p.m. at a bus station on the outskirts of Knoxville, irate and desperate for a beer. We had half an hour to kill, and I thought myself miraculously lucky when I found a bar right next door. But when I walked into the dank, dusky honky-tonk, I found myself in a scene akin to a classic movie. Every drunken day-shift worker put down his drink and stared right at me. These guys were white-bread, and I’m the kind of half-Indian who gets dark in the summer. On top of that, my tattoos were exposed and my beard was in full effect. “I’m going to die,” I thought.
As soon as I got my $1 Bud, this yokel sidled up to me and slurred, “Hey, brother, you better get off that Allah, man — it’s all about Jeeeezuss!”
“Oh. Oh no. No, I don’t like Allah. I love Jesus. I swear,” I swore. The man put down his beer and started to stand up; several of his peers did the same. I grabbed my Budweiser and made for the door, full beer in hand.
I made it back to the bus and on to Cincinnati in one piece. I was back on another Greyhound by 2 a.m. the next night, after paying a cabbie $10 to drive me over the bridge into northern Kentucky — where I’d stood in front of a line of cars at a drive-thru liquor and begged the cashier to sell me a fifth of whiskey. I didn’t tour much after that.
Detours and Disasters
Often, musicians on tour encounter pitfalls in the form of natural or man-made disasters — tempestuous weather, accidents, and calamities of every sort, ranging from mild delays to Almost Famous-esque transportation woes.
Geoff Bennington, the guitarist/vocalist of the Brooklyn indie-rock outfit Gillian, describes narrowly missing one such cataclysm while the band was en route to Johnson City, Tennessee. “I think it was only the second full day of our first time on the road together as a band,” he remembers. They’d almost reached their destination, driving south on I-81, when their phones began to buzz and flicker with messages announcing an area-wide tornado watch. “We had no idea what to do,” says Bennington. “We looked out the window and saw that [the sky] was, for the most part, totally clear and open,” so the band kept driving.
Minutes later, everyone’s phones lit up with a second emergency message, a tornado warning. The band drove on, watching as other motorists pulled over and switched on their hazard lights. “We’re fine as long as we’re not close to the exit for Route 21,” guitarist Paul Demyanovich said, trying to calm down the rest of the van’s occupants.
“The next sign we see says ‘Route 21, next exit’,” offers Bennington. “This also happens to be the road we have to take to get to Johnson City.” With no tornado in sight and their destination nearby, the band pushed forward. It didn’t take long for them to notice the broken signs and snapped trees littering the highway, so they got off 81 and made for the backroads.
“Suddenly, we could go no further,” Bennington says, “because a huge barn had been knocked over and into the road, along with some trees and power lines.” The van came to a halt as the band stumbled onto a harrowing, almost biblical scene: farm animals, loose, milled about in terror. In the middle of the road, an enormous barn lay in ruin, having dragged down a number of trees and power lines with it.
On the side of the road, people were emerging from storm cellars and damaged homes, their faces contorted in shock and dismay. “Apparently, we missed it by about two minutes,” Bennington says of the tornado. “Suddenly, I felt bad for discouraging that last quick bathroom stop we took that probably saved our lives with its serendipitous timing.”
As long as fans of music are willing to shell out their hard-earned money to see live performances, there’ll be occasions for artists to get into trouble, to get involved in situations they’ll end up recounting to friends, fans, and journalists. These few snapshots into the lives of touring musicians are mere drops in the bucket, pages in an elephantine tome of booze-addled tomfoolery, waylaid van trips, vicious tempests, and snafus involving the locals. Every tour story, every new bit of oral tradition, adds another layer to the lore of the itinerant musician and another episode in the vast history of on-the-road antics we’ve come to expect from bands the world over.
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As much as you want to believe, most rumors about famous rockers are completely FALSE. But considering the lifestyle, it’s not surprising that almost every rock star has a few rumors surrounding them. But, again, most of these simply AREN’T true.
However, don’t despair, because, in the jumble of countless made-up or exaggerated tales out there, some of these rock star rumors are actually true! Hopefully, this 100%, actual, we’re-not-lying-at-all, real-life true stories about rock giants will give you something to think about.
Keith Moon and Mama Cass Died in the Same Apartment
Rock stars are taken from us too young way too often, and it just so happens that two brilliant musicians died in the same apartment. On September 7, 1978, Keith Moon of The Who overdosed on a sedative in an apartment he rented from musician Harry Nilsson; on June 29, 1974, Mama Cass of The Mamas and The Papas died of heart failure (not of choking on a sandwich as the rumor goes) in the very same apartment. Flat #12 at 9 Curzon Square, Mayfair, London, England.
Axl Rose Recorded Himself Having Sex for Rocket Queen
There’s a rumor that, on the Guns N Roses song “Rocket Queen,” which closes out the band’s debut album Appetite for Destruction, you can hear Axl Rose having sex with a woman who may be Adriana Smith, a 19-year-old stripper and drummer Steve Adler’s girlfriend. According to Steve Thompson, an engineer on Appetite, “Axl wanted some pornographic sounds on ‘Rocket Queen,’ so he brought a girl in and they had sex in the studio. We wound up recording about 30 minutes of sex noises. If you listen to the break on Rocket Queen it’s in there.”
Do you think Adler cared? According to Smith, Adler “fucking freaked out” when he discovered what happened. “I ended up drinking and using drugs over this for a really long time because I had this extreme shame and guilt and stuff,” she admitted to Rolling Stone.
Ozzy Osborne Snorts Ants and Will Apparently Bite the Head Off Anything
Yes, Ozzy, old news perhaps but we’re not going to have someone say hey, WTF, you’re not going to mention the Prince of Darkness?
You could do a whole list of true Ozzy Osborne stories, but this true rumor is particularly hard to believe. While on tour with Motley Crue, Osborne allegedly got into a one-up-the-other contest with Nikki Sixx that ended with Ozzy snorting a line of ants.
We’ve all heard the story of Ozzy Osborne biting the head off of a live bat while on stage, but that wasn’t the first time that Ozzy decapitated a flying friend. Apparently, when first meeting with Columbia Records, Sharon Osborne told Ozzy that he would make an impression on the executives if he released two doves in the office. Instead of letting them go, Ozzy grabbed one and bit its head off in front of the executives. I’m sure he definitely made an impression.
Steven Tyler Adopted a 14 year old Girl So He Could Date Her
Steven Tyler was known for having relationships with some of the most beautiful women of their day, but one of his most substantial relationships arose from much different beginnings. In 1975, Tyler somehow managed to have custody of a 14-year-old groupie signed over to him from her parents so they could live together. They were together for three years, during which time she drank, used drugs, and kept up with the wild rock star. They split when she was 18, partly due to the strain that an abortion put on their relationship. (I love Aerosmith’s music in the 70s but, dude… you were a filthy drugged-out savage back then.)
Van Halen Really Didn’t Want Any Brown M&Ms in Their Dressing Room
Some people use this story as an example of all the prima donnas in rock music, and others use it to show that rock stars aren’t quite as hardcore as society thinks they are, and still others simply can’t believe it’s true. But Van Halen really would not allow any brown M&Ms in their dressing rooms before a show. But it’s not for any of the reasons listed above: in fact, it was a safety concern. Van Halen had extensive contract and safety guidelines, so in order to make sure that the venue had followed all of their safety requests, they buried a line in the contract about the candy. If there were brown M&Ms in their dressing room, it proved that the venue had not done their job.
Led Zeppelin Defiled a Groupie with a “Snapper”
On July 17, 1969, Led Zeppelin was staying at Seattle’s famous Edgewater Inn, and from their balcony, they could fish in Seattle’s Puget Sound. So the story goes that after a few days of fishing, and a few days of rocking, the Zep had a raucous party at their hotel room. While there, a few bandmates stuck some of the fish that they caught into a groupie’s um… sensitive areas. There are many versions of this story that differ on the particulars, but it is safe to assume that something fishy happened that night.
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31. Rick James Kidnapped a Woman And Held Her Hostage For Two Days
If this list has taught us anything it’s that rock stars really don’t have all that much respect for women. Especially not when cocaine is involved, but can narcotics ever be an excuse for kidnapping?
In 1991, funk pioneer Rick James was arrested for torture and kidnapping charges after he took a woman, Frances Alley, a prisoner in his home for two days whilst forcing her to have sex with him and burning her with a hot crack pipe. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he was busted for doing pretty much exactly the same thing to music executive Mary Sauger. We don’t care how good his music was or how prodigal he was, he should have been locked away the first time around.
32. Keith Moon And Mama Cass Died In The Same Apartment
Whilst the crazy rumors floating around indicating that Mama Cass of The Mamas and the Papas died after choking on a ham sandwich aren’t true, the rumor that Mama Cass and Keith Moon died in the same apartment is 100 percent confirmed. And that’s a little terrifying, don’t you think?
Both artists died in singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson’s apartment. Cass passed away in July 1974 whilst doing a run of concerts in London. It was confirmed that she died of heart failure, whilst the iconic drummer Keith Moon died from a fatal overdose in 1978 after taking a substantial amount of sedative. If that apartment was on some kind of tour, we don’t think we’d risk stepping inside of it. At least it’s still a more romantic story than Sid and Nancy.
33. Prince And Sinead O’Connor Got In a Fist Fight
It doesn’t seem in character with Prince’s flair to get in a fistfight with a woman. Then again, it didn’t seem likely that he would go door to door as a Jehovah’s Witness, but we’ve already seen that that’s true. It turns out that the incident in question occurred as Sinead O’Connor didn’t approve of Prince’s language after a discussion on who would use the lyrics to hit the song, ‘Nothing Compares to You’.
The fallout between the two iconic stars happened in the ’90s and was reported by Sinead O’Connor herself, who didn’t seem all too sorry for the fact that she spat all over him during the fight. Stay classy Sinead. Stay classy. We suppose if any song is worth fighting for, it’s that one.
34. Carlos Santana Credited a Spirit Named Metatron For His Success
We told ourselves that if this one is true we will love Santana even more than we already do (if that’s even possible). Turns out it is true! We’ve always seen Carlos Santana as quite an ethereal spirit, but now we just want to know how many drugs were taken before he comes up with this ungodly concept for inspiration.
Whilst it’s not all that uncommon for music artists to give credit to God for all of their musical notoriety, Santana took things to a new extreme and admitted in 1999 to Rolling Stone magazine that he took the inspiration for his comeback album ‘Supernatural’ from a metaphysical mystical spirit named Metatron. We’re all up for a bit of meditation, but this is just too much.
35. Serge Gainsbourg Sang About Incest With His Daughter
We have always been a firm believer in the fact that lyrics are very much open to interpretation, therefore as much as we don’t want to believe that the Serge Gainsbourg rumor is true, we’re probably going to have to accept the fact that it is.
The legendary French Pop singer was always a little ‘strange’ for lack of a better word, but to create a track called ‘lemon incest’ was a bit extreme. His young daughter even helped him out with backing vocals. The lyrics went a little bit like this: “The love that we will never have together is the most beautiful… Exquisite outline, delicious child, my flesh and my blood, oh my baby my soul, incest lemon, lemon incest.” It’s a little bit sick, don’t you think, Serge?
36. Whitney Houston Joined a Cult
Whitney Houston has never been one to stay out of the limelight for her crazy escapades – we suppose she felt compelled to upstage Bobby Brown and his rampantly questionable activities. But, of all of her questionable life choices, the one to join a cult has to be the most interesting.
Houston traveled to Israel back in 2003 to spend a significant amount of time with a pretty extremist cult labeled the ‘Black Hebrews’. If that wasn’t strange enough, the reason she made her pilgrimage wasn’t quite a journey of self-exploration. She just wanted to find inspiration for her next Christmas album. We don’t know if she missed out on the irony of spending time with Jewish people to get inspired about Christmas. At least she made it back in one piece.
37. Phil Spector Kidnapped The Ramones
It only takes a quick glance at Phil Spector to know that under that insane exterior is an equally tormented interior. Whilst he may be a legendary producer and songwriter, we’re going to be rather bold and say he isn’t quite all there. Which he proved when he kidnapped The Ramones. It turns out the rumors are in fact true!
The kidnap wasn’t Phil Spector’s first misdemeanor after he pointed a loaded gun at Leonard Cohen’s head (that’s not okay, Phil). He also waved a pistol around in front of The Ramones before locking them in the studio and making them play “Baby, I Love You” repeatedly until 4:30 in the morning when he was kind enough to let them leave. We would have been terrified and exhausted.
38. Guns N’ Roses Guitarist Izzy Stradlin Peed In The Galley Of An Airplane
Was it just an accident? Or did Izzy Stradlin just have absolutely zero respect for his fellow passengers? It turns out that it may have been both. During a flight from Indianapolis to Los Angeles, the Guns N’ Roses guitarist lost a little bit of patience waiting for the bathroom to become vacant.
Can you really blame him? When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. The FBI agent’s report indicated that Izzy got quite aggressive and aggravated during the incident before declaring that he wasn’t going to wait any longer before relieving himself in front of other passengers in the gallery. Their angel of a PR rep tried to excuse his behavior by saying it was a form of expression.
39. Boy George Handcuffed And Beat a Male Escort
Whilst Boy George has never been depicted as one of the most friendly creatures in Pop culture it’s almost a little hard to believe that this rumor is true. Sadly, it is. In 2009, the 29-year-old Norwegian male escort Audun Carlsen went to Boy George’s home with the intention of modeling for a naked photoshoot.
However, what he didn’t anticipate was Boy George’s intention to tie him to a wall fixture and then beat him repeatedly with a chain. It’s not surprising to hear that Boy George was under the influence of cocaine during the despicable performance that stripped him of any credibility he once had. He told the courts as he sat trial that he believed the escort to have hacked into his computer.
40. Skid Row Singer Sebastian Bach Bit a Pub Owner’s Hand
We’ve all been there, right? When pub owners annoy us so much we’re driven to bite them? No? Just Sebastian Bach it is. On a trip to the pub in his hometown of Peterborough, Ontario in 2010, the former Skid Row singer got enraged by the fact that the musicians on stage and the owner of the pub weren’t too keen to share the show with him.
Rather than accepting the rejection of their impromptu proposal, Bach and Co. decided to sit and heckle the performers before proceeding to throw ice cubes at them. After the group was requested to leave for their arrogant behavior, things got a little hairy as the pub owner waited for the police to arrive. Bach bit the owner in the meantime.
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21. The Song “Kickstart My Heart” By Motley Crue Was Inspired By Nikki Sixx’s Overdose
We know that rock stars have a bit of a devil may care attitude to their mortality, but rumors such as these really bring the gritty reality of the rock star lifestyle home to those still thinking it’s all glamour and frivolity. Sadly, this rumor is indeed true, and “Kickstart My Heart” was written after Nikki Sixx enjoyed too many hits of heroin.
After the fatal overdose incident, Nikki Sixx had to be revived in the hospital after being declared legally dead for two minutes until the medical staff was able to revive him. The event didn’t put much of a kink in his party plans after Nikki ripped out the tubes attached to him and returned to the party.
22. Keith Richards Snorted His Father’s Ashes
While the rumor of The Outlawz smoking their fallen brother, Tupac’s ashes in a joint are fairly well known, the rumor that Keith Richards snorted his father’s ashes isn’t all that widely circulated. As one of the most iconic Rock Stars of recent history, it’s not all that surprising that it’s true. Even more baffling, he felt no shame after the event.
The Rolling Stones’ legendary guitarist openly admitted the fact that he snorted his father’s ashes mixed with cocaine after his father died in 2002. He unashamedly told an English rock magazine journalist writing for NME the full details of the event. I don’t think there’s anything else left for Keith Richards to snort that would surprise us. In fact, that’s probably one of the safest things he’s snorted.
23. On The Night Of His Death, John Bonham Drank 40 Shots Of Vodka
Considering the earlier stories about Led Zeppelin on this rumor list, mainly involving the mudfish incident, we can’t say we share much sympathy for the fact that the night John Bonham died he ingested 40 shots of vodka. Whilst death by vodka may not be the most extreme collision a rock star has had with their mortality, it’s really not surprising that 40 shots of vodka is enough to finish someone off.
After he passed away on September 25th, 1980 the coroner found 40 shots worth of vodka the day he died, which he had consumed following a rehearsal earlier that day. The official cause of death was determined as inhalation of vomit. Nice. At least the sex charges won’t stand.
24. Frank Zappa Was Attacked Onstage And Almost Killed
As massive Frank Zappa fans, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would feign such hostility towards one of the most ingeniously experimental minds to have ever graced the rock scene. He wasn’t your typical average aggrandized rock stool. We could have understood someone wanting to punch Axl Rose in the face. But not our precious Zappa.
Turns out, the myth is true, and he was verbally attacked quite frequently for his ‘strange’ and experimental musical tastes. But he was also physically attacked on stage during a live performance and ended up being hospitalized after he was thrown off the stage. We don’t think you could call that person Frank Zappa’s biggest fan! We hope after that he increased his stage security. God rest his fabulous soul.
25. Keith Moon Gave Led Zeppelin Their Name
Whilst this isn’t all that extreme or insane, it’s a little bit fascinating. Plus, everyone likes a fun fact every now and again, don’t they? Well, here you have it. It was through a sardonic offhand joke from Keith Moon, the drummer for The Who, that gave the iconic band their name that probably won’t be forgotten for as long as music exists.
If the stories are true, the name came about when Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and John Paul Jones were discussing forming a band. The conversation happened in earshot of Keith Moon who said their music would go over like a lead balloon. When the collective decided to commit to the project they later recalled Keith Moon’s witty offering and so Led Zeppelin was born!
26. The Beatles Smoked a Joint In Buckingham Palace
Now, the details around this one are more than a little hazy (pun intended), but given the photographic evidence, we’re going to say that it’s pretty likely that the rumors are true, at least in part. The rumor was denied by George Harrison years later, but why would John Lennon Lie? (John Lennon was always our favorite.)
Whilst it can’t be proven that they blazed up within the walls of Buckingham palace or just enjoyed a sneaky one on the way down to meet the queen, they definitely look as high as kites in the photos that have been in circulation since they met her majesty, the queen of England. More power to them we say, plus, surely, they’re not the first high people the queen has encountered?
27. Bob Dylan And The Beatles Smoked a Joint Together
There’s nothing we love to see more than rock stars hanging out together. We don’t know why, it just makes us a little warm and fuzzy, like we’re all part of one big happy family. If there was one smoke session we would have loved to have witnessed, it would have been one involving Bob Dylan and the legendary pop artists, The Beatles!
The happy communion happened when the Beatles set about their first official US tour and Bob Dylan kindly offered to share his illicit substances with the doe-eyed, innocent appearing pop stars. What’s the best bit you ask? Ringo smoked the entire joint completely oblivious to the fact that he was smoking anything other than tobacco. Didn’t we tell you that they were innocent?
28. Iggy Pop Fought a Heckling Biker And It Was All Caught On Tape
Iggy Pop was known for his extremely short temper, so this story isn’t exactly shocking. Whilst it’s not the most ‘crazy’ addition to the list, it’s 100 percent true and the evidence stacks against Iggy for his slightly reprehensible behavior. But we suppose we can forgive him. The Passenger was an absolute tune.
We’ll cut a long story short and tell you that the fight broke out after the biker heckled Iggy and refused to stop. Unfortunately for Iggy, he didn’t come out on the winning side. The entire fight was caught on tape by another fan and all we have to say is that maybe Iggy better pick on someone his own size next time. With respect to Iggy for the attempted take down attempt.
29. Jim Morrison Told a Cop To “Eat it”
Whilst the quote isn’t the most reprehensible to have come out of a rock star’s mouth in the last few decades, it’s still a little impressive that he threw so much caution to the wind when verbally confronting an officer.
Jim Morrison proved that he doesn’t much care for authority after a police officer walked backstage and caught him getting a little too involved with a female fan. The officer told the couple to put an end to their debauchery, but it seems by his response Morrison wasn’t all too impressed. Who can blame him? And, what the hell was a policeman doing backstage anyway? Everyone knows anything goes down backstage. Surprisingly, the incident didn’t result in Jim Morrison’s arrest. Stick it to ’em, Jim.
30. Keith Moon Used To Blow Stuff Up
You know how you always have that one friend who is an absolute liability? It turns out that Keith Moon was ‘that guy’ to all of his fellow bandmates in The Who. He even managed to snag himself the nickname ‘Moon the Loon’. Whilst it’s not quite as edgy as modern names for Rock Stars, the cap definitely fit.
Alongside filling his drums with water and occasionally dressing like a cat, Moon also had a bit of a penchant for explosives. Which would have been all fine and well if he went off out into a field or desert, but no, Keith Moon’s primary targets were hotel rooms. Sometimes he blew up hotel room furniture and sometimes he threw explosives at windows. What a fabulous liability.
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