Best Rock N’ Roll Drug Busts
Celebrity drugs busts are a dime a dozen – barely a week goes by without someone we’ve heard of getting done for possession. Naturally, the wads of cash that seem to come with celebrity give the famous the proximity, the temptation and most of all the money to take drugs that cost a bit more than the sneaky joint people might have in the backyard or out the front of a gig. When it comes to rock stars, however, it would appear that they appear to figure in a disproportionate percentage of celebrity drug busts. These are some of our favourites.
Considering his massive cocaine intake over the years (check out the Alan Yentob documentary Cracked Actor if you want to see the effects of cocaine addiction on someone) it was ironic that Bowie was busted for marijuana possession in 1976. At 250 grams it was quite a big baggie and he could have copped up to 15 years in the clink, but luckily his lawyers were able to get the charges dropped.
In 1989 U2 were on the brink of being the biggest band in the world and had a squeaky clean image. Hence their management weren’t too pleased when bassist Adam Clayton was arrested in Dublin for marijuana possession. A large donation to charity helped smooth things over and the charges were dropped.
The much loved Beatle managed to clock up an impressive pot bust in 1969 – he was arrested for marijuana possession along with his bride to be on their wedding day!
Well, where do we start? Michael was only recently released from jail after being busted in possession of marijuana after driving his car in to a photo processing shop while on the way home from London’s Gay Pride march last year. He’d previously clocked up busts for marijuana possession twice in 2006.
Unsurprisingly, Wino was busted in Norway with marijuana in 2007. Issued with a fine, she later had a US visa denied to her because of the offence. She's since clocked up drug busts for a whole chemist's worth of pills and powders yet claimed mental illness to escape jail.
Although best known for his prodigious alcohol intake, Scott was one of the first rock stars in Australia to be busted for marijuana possession in 1968 before he joined AC/DC while playing with a band called The Valentines. The band would disband over the fallout from the drug bust.
Well he does rhyme about the ‘erb every day – indeed he’s made a career out of it. So it was probably not a smart move to leave his car parked in a loading zone in 2006 with a car full of weed and unlicensed weapons.
Lennon’s London flat was raided in a blatant publicity seeking raid by Detective Sergeant Norman "Nobby" Pilcher, a Scotland Yard officer who had made a name for himself targeting rock stars including Donovan and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. Lennon had been tipped off that the fuzz was on to him and had his flat, which Jimi Hendrix had previously lived in, meticulously cleaned. However the late night raid found a small amount of drugs, with the press turning up within 7 minutes. Despite only receiving a small fine, the conviction would make Lennon’s life a misery as he tried to gain the right to live in the US permanently.
Paul McCartney was arriving in Japan for a Wings tour early in 1980, having finally been granted clearance to enter the country, previous denied due to past drug possession offences. So what did Macca do? He bought over 250 grams of the green with him in his luggage, which customs officials found on arrival in Tokyo. He was banged up in jail for 9 days facing a lengthy jail term before authorities decided to deport him.
Keith Richards, Mick Jagger & Marianne Faithful
Ah, the ultimate rock n’ roll drug bust! Rolling Stones members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were relaxing at Richards' Sussex country house for the weekend with members of The Beatles and associated friends. A squad of 20 police, tipped off by a tabloid newspaper which had a vendetta against Jagger who had been suing them for libel, raided the property. A small amount of prescription drugs were found for which Jagger and Richard would be jailed to much public outcry. It was also the setting for the urban legend of the Mars Bar party, in which the story goes that Jagger was found consuming a Mars Bar from the unusual food receptacle of girlfriend Marianne Faithfull’s vagina – a story all present have denied.
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