Jailhouse Rock – Stars Behind Bars

on 31 January 2011 in Slideshows


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Ahh rock stars in jail – they go together like crack and cocaine, bourbon and coke, hookers and errr... rock stars. People who spend their careers in bands sticking it to the man have been known to go just a wee bit far and end up cooling their heels in the clink. The Clash didn’t infamously cover Sonny Curtis & The Crickets’ ‘I Fought The Law (And The Law Won)' for nothing. These are some of our favourite rock stars behind bars.

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    Ahh rock stars in jail – they go together like crack and cocaine, bourbon and coke, hookers and errr... rock stars. People who spend their careers in bands sticking it to the man have been known to go just a wee bit far and end up cooling their heels in the clink. The Clash didn’t infamously cover Sonny Curtis & The Crickets’ ‘I Fought The Law (And The Law Won)' for nothing. These are some of our favourite rock stars behind bars.

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    10. – Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix was locked up as a youngster after being nabbed joyriding in a stolen car. The judge gave the then 17 year old Hendrix the option of going to jail or joining the army. Hendrix went on to be a paratrooper in the US Army before leaving to become a rock star.

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    9. Paul McCartney Paul McCartney was busted for possession of eight ounces of whacky baccy at Tokyo Airport in 1980. The Japanese took a very dim view of rock stars carrying such amounts of the green stuff on them and Macca spent nine days in the clink, forcing Wings to cancel their tour.

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    8. Pete Doherty The Libertines and Babyshambles front man has been in and out of courts over the last few years for various drug offences, but it was breaking in to his Libertines band mate Carl Barat’s flat and burgling it in 2003 that saw him serve two months in jail.

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    7. Tommy Lee The Motley Crüe drummer was convicted of assaulting his then wife and sex tape co-star Pamela Anderson in 1999 and sentenced to four months in the clink.

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    6. Mick Jagger The Rolling Stones front man was arrested at band mate Keith Richard’s mansion, Redlands, in Surrey in the UK in 1967 when his then girlfriend Marianne Faithfull was involved in the infamous Mars Bar Incident. Mick was arrested for possessing some illegal Italian diet pills and banged up in Brixton Prison, which he described as "not much worse than a motel room in Minnesota".

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    5. Johnny Cash The Man In Black was banged up a number of times for various alcohol and drug related offences over his career, but interestingly, his most infamous prison stint saw him arriving of his own free will. He recorded one of the greatest albums ever – Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison playing a live show for inmates of the California jail.

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    4. ‘Lil Kim It’s not just the bad boys of rock n’ roll ending up behind bars – the girls have it down pat too. ‘Lil Kim was busted for marijuana possession in 1996, but it was when she was convicted of conspiracy and perjury – lying to a Federal jury – in 2001 over a drive by shooting in New York City that she was banged up for 10 months in a Philadelphia Jail.

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    3. Sid Vicious Sid just about takes the cake for the ultimate rock n’ roll jailbird. The Sex Pistols was banged up at Rykers Island prison in New York City for almost two months on suspicion of murdering his girlfriend Nancy Spungeon in December 1978. On his release on bail on the 1st of February 1979, Sid promptly fatally overdosed on heroin.

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    2. Ian Brown The Stone Roses front man had just embarked upon what was to be a successful solo career when he was convicted of using threatening behaviour towards a British Airways stewardess on a flight from Paris to Manchester in 1998. Brown argued he had only been joking when he threatened to ‘chop off her hands’ but the judge didn’t find it funny, sentencing him to four months jail.

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    1. Rick James Rick James, who once played in a band called the Mynah Birds with Neil Young, went a bit nuts with his fondness of the ‘ol Columbian marching powder in the 80s and 90s, living up to his infamous saying ‘Cocaine is one hell of a drug.’ The ‘Superfreak’ singer was banged up in jail in 1993 for almost three years after an incident in which he and his wife Tanya Hijazi kidnapped a 26 year old woman and viciously assaulted her.

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