Rock n’ roll can be a risky business – and that’s just in day to day life, let alone on the touring musician’s workplace, the stage. Whether it is the stage collapsing, parts of it falling on top of artists or even artists tripping and falling on it, it’s a place that wouldn’t pass muster with many OH&S inspections. That’s even before you get around to the fact that there’s live electricity all over the place and, bigger stages are often outdoors and then worst off all, you’ve got fans trying to get on stage. We take a look at some of the worst stage injuries suffered by rock n’ roll artists.
10. Michael Jackson
Jackson was performing on a sound stage in a Los Angeles film studio in 1984 when his luscious locks of hair accidentally caught fire when a firework display went wrong, showering him in sparks and leaving him with severe burns to his head.
9. Bret Michaels – Poison
The Poison front man and star of the execrable Rock of Love TV show is suing CBS and the producers of the Tony Awards, claiming being hit on the head by a part of the stage being lowered on to him at a Tony Awards show in 2009 which caused him to suffer a brain haemorrhage in 2010.
8. James Hetfield – Metallica
During a Guns n’ Roses – Metallica double headline tour performance at a stadium in Vancouver, on August 8, 1992, , Metallica front man Hetfield accidentally stepped in front of a chemical flame that was designed to shoot off the edge of the stage during the song ‘Fade to Black’. The flames covered his whole left side, seeing him rushed to hospital with second degree burns.
7. Bono – U2
Always bit of a klutz on stage, Bono celebrated the opening night of the band’s Elevation tour in 2001 by walking backwards without paying attention to a different type of Edge on stage. He promptly fell off in to the pit in front of the horrified audience.
6. Steve Tyler – Aerosmith
Steve Tyler has come a cropper several times of late, seriously injuring himself by falling off stage during vigorous performances of ‘Love In An Elevator’. Curiously, he received his injuries in 2009 and 2010 both while performing this song.
5. Scott Weiland – Stone Temple Pilots
The Stone Temple Pilots front man was performing on a high stage in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2010 when he spectacularly misjudged his step and took a massive tumble off stage. Two burly security guards were required to get him out of the pit.
Joining Michael Jackson and James Brown on stage in 1983 in one moment of rock n’ soul awesomeness, Prince decided to end the performance by swinging off a prop lamppost which wasn't fixed to anything, suddenly going from being a sexy performer to being caught by the crowd.
3. Krist Novoselic – Nirvana
At the end of Nirvana’s performance of Lithium at the 1992 Video Music Awards, Novoselic decided to throw his bass up in the air to celebrate. His hand to eye coordination wasn’t great, however, and he missed catching the instrument, instead using his face as an accidental landing pad for it. A bloodied and dazed Novoselic had to be carted off to hospital for observation and stitches.
2. Curtis Mayfield
The soul star was playing an outdoor gig in Brooklyn, New York in 1990 when a lighting rig fell on him, leaving him paralysed. This led to complications which included diabetes and he was to have a leg amputated before dying in 1999.
1. Dimebag Darrell – Pantera/Damageplan
Not so much an accident as cold blooded murder, Dimebag Darrell was murdered by deranged fan Nathan Gale who shot him three times in the head while on stage in Columbus, Ohio, killing him instantly. Three other audience members and crew were also killed, as well as seven being seriously injured.
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