Led Zeppelin never won a Grammy Possibly one of the most legendary stories abounding of the frequently sordid activities of Led Zeppelin and their awful treatment of groupies; this one occurred when the band checked in to the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle in July 1969 as they were about to play the Seattle Pop Festival. It was a popular choice with bands due to the fact that you could actually fish in the sea out of the windows of the hotel rooms, but Led Zeppelin took it a tad further. Although there are varying versions of what actually happened in circulation, it appears that several band members tied up a 17 year old redhead groupie to a bed and then proceeded to stuff parts of a locally caught red snapper into her vagina and rectum. Supposedly, the band members involved - being taken with the fact that she had red hair - were heard to say ‘Let’s see how your red snapper likes this red snapper!’ Charming.
Mötorhead Visit Dresden Mötorhead front man Lemmy has an obsession with military clothing and has quite a large collection of Nazi ephemera. However, he’s also somewhat tactless. Those of you history buffs will know that the Allied forces in Europe carpet bombed the German city of Dresden at the end of World War 2 in a militarily irrelevant move which cost hundreds of thousands of lives. This tour in 1979 of Europe by the band was entitled the Bomber Tour. The piece de resistance of the stage set was a life size replica British Lancaster Bomber hanging above the stage. Cleary not dwelling on the sensitivity of these types of bombers blowing the town to bits in February 1945, Lemmy came on stage, loudly greeting the crowd with the words ‘Good evening Dresden. Bet you haven’t seen one of these in a while!’
Pete Townshend & Cornflakes Life on the road can get very tiresome for bands and all manner of japes have been pulled of the hotel room trashing variety. Some bands elevated it to an art, however. Those of you who have lived in share houses and left half eaten bowls of cornflakes on the sink for days will know that these flakes get encrusted on the bowl, taking on a concrete like form. The Who’s windmilling guitarist Pete Townshend would order bowl after bowl of cornflakes and milk off room service, while filling up the bathroom sink with the contents. On the day of checking out he’d turn up the room’s heating so that by the time a maid arrived, the contents had taken on the consistency of dried cement, requiring chisels and days of scrubbing to remove.
Mike Patton & The Hairdryer Ah, rock stars and hotel rooms. There’s a never ending supply of stories, but some really stand out. Faith No More front man Mike Patton has quite a way of leaving the next guest in the room a reminder of the rock n’ roll royalty that has preceded them. See, he likes to get the hair dryer in the bathroom, screw the blower off and take a Number 2 into it. He then seals it up (presumably after having wiped his arse) and then leaves it for the unsuspecting guest to force a gust of hot air onto their just showered hair, all filtered through his dried out Bondi cigar.
Nikki Sixx & Tommy Lee Refuse To Wash Mötley Crüe weren’t exactly known for minding their manners - in fact rogering groupies, fighting, drinking and overdosing on whatever was going around was a fairly typical day at the office. To relive the boredom of tour, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx decided to have a bet on who could go longest without washing and yet still sleep with as many groupies as usual. This went on for two months. Two months of playing a nightly two hour set in tight leather pants, sweating it out under stage lights, drinking at least a bottle of spirits a night and also having sex with between three and four groupies a day. On the fateful day the bet was decided, Nikki Sixx - by now no doubt smelling like a sewer - was having some err, oral relief applied to him by a willing groupie when the smell of his appendage got too much for her. She proceeded to vomit over his lap – most of it being chunks of undigested spaghetti. Tommy Lee was summonsed to be informed that he had won the bet, and the incident was referred to in Los Angeles music circles for many years as ‘The Spaghetti Incident’.
Elton John’s Party Entertainment Elton John is known for his flamboyant homosexuality, as well as for his prodigious drug intake in the 1970s and love of lavish spending. Elton, who once infamously ran up a florist’s bill in 2000 for £293,000, also likes to put on a good time for his friends. At a party at his mansion in the UK Home Counties before marrying his husband David Furnish, he invited along all his friends who were of the 'flamboyant musical theatre loving' bent. As the after dinner entertainment, he switched on searchlights over the massive back lawn as the drone of a plane was heard to buzz overhead. Guests were treated to the sight of a number of buff male parachutists gliding down on to the lawn, all stark bollock naked.
Chuck Berry’s Sandwich Chuck Berry’s treatment of groupies is up there with Led Zeppelin at their worst, but he also likes to get his priorities right. One time during the late 70s he was booked to play a Midwestern college town in the USA and come show time, was enjoying a young college student applying oral relief while he ate sandwiches off the backstage catering. The support act came in to his room to say that the tour manager was giving him his five minute to stage time notice. Looking in shock at the blowjob going on in front of him, the support act is even more bewildered when Berry casually says, “Aww kid. Have a heart. At least let me finish my sandwich’.
Keith Richards & The Shepherd’s Pie During the Rolling Stones’ Voodoo Lounge tour in 1994, all band members had separate dressing rooms with individual riders. One day in Toronto, Keith arrived at the venue to find that his specially requested Shepherd’s Pie has been apparently snaffled by one of the tour crew. As such, Keith refused to go on stage. The tour manager started sweating profusely as nearby restaurants are called to provide a Shepherd’s Pie and Mick Jagger fumed in his own dressing room. Already an hour late going on stage, a courier arrived with the Shepherd’s Pie. Keith took one solitary bite of it and proceeded to pick up his guitar and walk on stage. It is thought he may have already eaten the pie on the rider himself and did it just to piss off Mick.
Freddie Mercury and the Dwarves It’s an oldie but a goodie. Flamboyant Queen front man Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS in 1994, was fond of excess and parties. His parties were most legendary for his procurement of dwarves who would be naked except for studded collars and arseless leather chaps, carrying trays of cocaine around on their heads for guests to partake of.
Kurt & Courtney leave a deposit on Axl’s piano The 1992 American MTV awards were a year to remember, with performances and appearances by Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Metallica, Nirvana, Guns n’ Roses and Elton John. After the legendary ruckus between Axl Rose, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love backstage, Kurt n’ Courtney decided to get their revenge. They snuck beneath the stage where on a riser was the piano on which Axl Rose was to rise up through the stage while performing epic ballad ‘November Rain’. Deciding to get their revenge on Axl, the two deposited a film of urine, nostril mucus and sperm on the piano keys. After they settled back in their seats they were horrified to see that it was secret guest Elton John who rose up through the stage playing the piano in a duet with Guns n’ Roses.
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