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10 Times Rock Performers Went Too Far

Rock hardly has a history of sitting quietly and keeping to itself – it has rebellion running through its very veins, after all. But sometimes artists of the rock persuasion can go a little - or a shitload - overboard.

Here are the top ten times we can think of, in no particular order, with not a crumb of clickbait to be found!

1. Fat Mike Kicks a Stage Invader

Now, some might say that to piss off a performer on their own stage deserves some sort of retribution. But to kick the guy in the face while he’s down? That seems like a few steps too far.

The stage invader in question got on the wrong side of injured singer/bassist of NOFX Fat Mike at a show in Sydney, Australia and got not only a bundling over, but the aforementioned kick in the face on the floor to go with it.

Thankfully, they came together to put it behind them, and Mike even let him get a very soft kick in to even the odds.

2. Josh Homme Shouts Homophobic Slurs at a Fan

Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme is no stranger to controversy both on and off the stage, so we aren’t going to go too deep into his troubles for fear of getting quite sad. We can, however, mention the time he hurled homophobic abuse at a fan. H- hooray?

After a frankly laughable apology for his actions in a 2008 show in Oslo, Norway, in which he said he couldn’t possibly be a homophobe because he threatened to have anal sex with the fan in question, Homme would then go on to kick a female photographer in the face less than a year later. What a run of form.

3. Slipknot’s Clown Huffs Dead Bird from a Jar, Feeds it to Fans

There are a hundred spun-out legends for every true story about the antics of the masked lads from Iowa, but the true stories about Slipknot are often stranger than fiction. Case in point; the bird jar.

Yes, Shawn “clown” Crahan carried a dead bird around in a jar before the band exploded, to “huff from” before shows. Invariably, this led to a lot of sick being ejected into the inside of rubber masks, before fans at one gig demanded they get a turn – before pulling the bird out and eating it.

Come to think about it, maybe it was the fans going too far for this one.

4. Led Zeppelin Trash Hotels, Get Freaky with Fish

We’re all well aware of Led Zeppelin’s less than positive attitude towards hotel rooms by now, but one of their more outrageous exploits involved a hotel window close enough to a lake to fish from.

To hear what happened over the space of a few rooms in The Edgewater Inn in 1969 borders on fantasy, but a few key elements cross over all the stories the bandmates have told. Notably, wardrobes full of fish – and one particular red-headed groupie full of fish as well.

5. Jim Morrison Exposes Himself at a Show

Man, 1969 was some year for rock antics, wasn’t it? If it wasn’t shark-infested groupies, it was Jim Morrison whapping lil’ Jim out for the world to see.

But his appearance with The Doors at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami was famous only partially for his indecent exposure, incredibly – when he wasn’t trying to start a riot by pissing off the 12,000 people in attendance, Jim was so drunk he could barely stand, let alone speak.

The band tried to pass off the event as a “mass hallucination”, due to the temperatures in the overcrowded room, but it was one flash that led not only to the death of The Doors but set Jim Morrison down the path to his own too.

6. Axl Rose Attacks Fan, Starts Riot

I could easily list the contempt that Axl Rose seems to have for his paying fans by showing up for most shows later than Spring in the Arctic, but his appearance at Riverport Amphitheatre in St Louis, 1991 paints a clearer picture than most.

Frustrated by a fans continued use of a camera despite his protests, Rose jumped into the crowd and started swinging, prompting a three hour riot to break out after he returned to the stage to smash his mic into it and went home.

Guns n’ Roses were banned from the entire city of St Louis until 2017 thanks to the act, which prompted questions both externally and from within the band itself. Complaints about camera use at shows can be argued both ways, but there’s no way to pass off starting a riot as justifiable.

7. GG Allin – Pick One

Seriously, there’s no one thing that the last mad bastion of the counter-culture did that wouldn’t make it on to this list, and that’s disregarding word-of-mouth stories like “the puppy bucket”.

With eating his excretions, eating other people’s excretions, eating a mix of the two and then spitting it into the crowd being three of about 600 of those things – there’s a reason I fully believe he would have gone through with his promise to commit suicide on stage had a heroin overdose not got him first.

9. Marylin Manson Rides the Bouncer Rodeo

We’ve all heard one story or another about Marilyn Manson and his genitals, but not many of them actually end in sexual assault cases being brought forwards.

However, at a 2001 show in Michigan, Manson not only rodeoed a security guard in attendance, but gave him a good ol’ crotch rub on his head to boot. Oh, and spat on him too, just to turn a sexual assault into a battery while he was at it.

The God of Fuck wound up paying a fine for disorderly conduct, which doesn’t seem like a thing someone called “The God of Fuck” would ever have to do. But there are lines we don’t cross for a reason and banging our testicles on some poor bouncer’s face is one of them.

10. Mayhem and The Bootleg Album Cover

One of the more infamous points on our list for all the wrong reasons. When Mayhem lead singer Per Ohlin tragically committed suicide by gunshot in 1991, guitarist Euronymous – for whatever reason – saw a photo opportunity.

And so it came to pass that their live album, The Dawn of the Black Hearts, contained a graphic and utterly uncensored scene of their former bandmate’s suicide. I would wholeheartedly recommend not looking it up.

Oh, also on Euronymous’ “weird shit I have to do with my dead bandmate” list was making necklaces out of pieces of his skull. Metal? Definitely. Messed up and too far? Without a shadow of a doubt. Euronymous would then go on to be murdered by a former bandmate, bringing this whole sad tale full circle.

Article photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

Posted by Eddie "one sick puppy" Hull published on: 15 Aug 2022

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