The Lizard King Gets His Lizard Out Jim Morrison, the self appointed American Poet and drug and booze addled front man for The Doors, was playing a homecoming show of sorts at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami on 1st March 1969. Morrison was drunk, swearing at the audience and forgetting song lyrics when he decided to liven up proceedings by simulating oral sex with guitarist Robbie Krieger and then flopping his old feller out for an encore. He was later convicted of profanity and indecent exposure, sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay a $500 fine. He avoided serving his jail time by dying in mysterious circumstances in the bathtub of his Paris apartment in 1971.
Serge Gainsbourg Chats Up Whitney Houston The eccentric French drunk, womaniser, pervert and national treasure Serge Gainsbourg clocked up a litany of transgressions in his career; from performing a duet with his 14 year old daughter entitled ‘Lemon Incest’ to recording an album of Nazi songs. He’s perhaps best remembered for his chain smoking, drunken appearance on a French TV chat show in 1986 where he was joined on the couch by a pre-crack cocaine Whitney Houston. He ‘charmed’ the pants off her by announcing live on TV ‘I want to fuck you.’
Lou Reed & David Bowie Have a Punch Up Notoriously cranky Lou Reed was in London in April 1979 playing a show at the Hammersmith Odeon in London when David Bowie joined him for an after gig meal at a restaurant in posh Knightsbridge. Supposedly, Lou Reed asked Bowie to produce his next album, to which Bowie replied that he would if Lou curbed his drinking and cleaned up his act. Reed reached across the table and proceeded to vigorously punch Bowie in the face. Dragged apart by minders it appeared things had calmed down until Reed stood up mid meal and started punching Bowie again before being thrown out of the restaurant.
Keith Moon Drives His Rolls Royce Into A Swimming Pool The Who’s drummer set the bar for rock and roll bad behaviour at a very high level while celebrating his 21st birthday while on tour at a Holiday Inn, in Flint, Michigan. Spending his day drinking with the touring party and guests around the hotel swimming pool, by the time evening arrived and the cops arrived to break up the party ‘Moon the Loon’ could barely stand. Deciding to hightail it out of there he jumped in to a Rolls Royce in the car park and disengaged the brake. Too drunk to get the keys in the ignition the Roller rolled down the hill and crashed through the fence, ending up inside the hotel swimming pool. For his efforts he was arrested, given a $24,000 bill by the hotel and banned from the Holiday Inn chain across America.
Jerry Lee Lewis Marries His Cousin Jerry Lee Lewis was only 21 and had already been married twice (at the same time) when in 1956 he married his cousin. Although a blind eye was turned to the practice of marrying first cousins in some parts of the southern states of the US at the time, there was also the small issue of the fact that she was just 13.
Varg Vikernes Murders Euronymous Church burnings became all the rage in the Norwegian black metal scene in the 1990s, with a number of houses of worship torched and a few satanic rituals partaken of. Varg “Count Grishnackh” Vikernes, lead singer with the popular band Mayhem stepped it up a notch, however, when he murdered his band mate Euronymous; stabbing him 23 times for good measure. Sentenced to 21 years in jail, Vikernes was released early in 2009.
Axl Rose Causes A Riot In July 1991 as Guns n’ Roses began the mammoth Use Your Illusion World Tour, the Guns n’ Roses front man caused a riot when he jumped in to the crowd to take a video camera off a fan filming the gig in St Louis, Missouri. No stranger to brawling, arrests and bad behaviour, Rose stormed off stage which led to a riot in the venue. Rose was later charged with assault and property damage, which resulted in a conviction, two years' probation and a US $50,000 fine. For good measure, the band was banned from St. Louis for life.
Sid Kills Nancy Erstwhile Sex Pistols bassist, heroin addict and loose cannon Sid Vicious was living in a room in New York City’s Chelsea Hotel with his American girlfriend Nancy Spungen, a fellow addict and sometime prostitute following the break up of the Sex Pistols. While the details of what happened are subject to much speculation, the consensus is that Sid stabbed Nancy to death in a drunken fight over drugs, of which he had no memory. Sid died of a heroin overdose while on remand in New York's Rikers Island prison.
Happy Mondays Bankrupt Their Label Almost a byword for bad behaviour throughout their career, the Happy Mondays managed to do what no act had before done, although many angry rock stars would have liked to themselves over the years. They effectively sent their label Factory Records bankrupt. Never exactly run with sound business sense, Factory Records decided to send the band, who were completely addled by heroin, to the Caribbean Island of Barbados to record with Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads as producers. Lead singer Sean Ryder managed to break four weeks’ supply of heroin substitute methadone when he dropped it checking in at Manchester Airport, while on arrival the band discovered to their glee that although smack was unavailable, the island was awash with crack cocaine. Costing a rumoured £1 million+ to record, the band embarked on a crack frenzy, then refused to hand over the master tapes until they were given more drug money. The record was a flop and the final straw in sending the label bankrupt.
Marianne Faithfull and the Mars Bar One of the most famous rock n’ roll stories of all time, no-one has ever confirmed that this ever happened, and it may well be apocryphal. However, let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good yarn. When police raided Keith Richards’ home in Sussex in England looking for drugs in February 1967, urban legend has it that Mick Jagger was interrupted removing a Mars Bar from a very intimate part of his girlfriend Marianne Faithfull’s anatomy. Furiously denied by Faithfull in her autobiography years later, it’s one of those stories that has stuck over the years.
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