Following Kanye West’s bizarre outburst at the Big Chill Festival in the Uk over the weekend in which he complained that people compared him to Hitler, we thought we’d remind ourselves of some of our favourite rock star outburst and rants. There’s nothing like drugs, booze, stress, tiredness, sycophants and hangers on to inspire inappropriate public outbursts in rock stars but as it appears in Kanye’s case every time, it’s the fame and money fuelling the overinflated ego that makes them think that what they are saying is appropriate - let alone make sense.
Manic Street Preachers Always known for their outspoken rants, even hard core fans’ jaws dropped to the floor during a 1992 Christmas time gig in London when bassist Nicky Wire said “In this season of goodwill, let's pray that Michael Stipe goes the same way as Freddie Mercury pretty soon.” Queen front man Mercury had died of complications from AIDS the previous year and Stipe was falsely rumoured to have AIDS at the time.
Britney Spears You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but it’s hard to take the trailer park out of the girl. Britney Spears has never been accused of being an intellectual, but this one rant from her takes the cake. She said “I've never really wanted to go to Japan, simply because I don’t like eating fish, and I know that's very popular out there in Africa.” Americans are scary.
Noel Gallagher It was the height of the Britpop wars between Oasis and Blur in 1996, with both bands egged on by the media and no doubt a copious supply of Columbia’s finest. However, Noel Gallagher just had to take it that one step too far when he told an interviewer from The Guardian of his thoughts of Blur’s Damon Albarn and Alex James. “I wish they would catch AIDS and die.”
Brett Anderson - Suede The Suede front man infamously told a journalist for Melody Maker in a 1992 interview, when asked about his ambiguous sexuality, that “I'm a bisexual man who's never had a homosexual experience”.
Kula Shaker Front man Crispian Mills was in one of the hottest bands in the UK at the time when indispersed with some rather dodgy comments about ‘democracy not working’ he told a journalist that “[The swastika] is a brilliant image.” The band’s career bombed like a Luftwaffe Messerschmitt shortly afterwards.
Bob Dylan Dylan didn’t endear himself to feminists across the world, let alone many fans when in a 1987 interview he had an ill advised rant against female pop singers, saying “I hate to see chicks perform. Hate it... Because they whore themselves. Especially the ones that don’t wear anything. They fucking whore themselves.”
Brian Ferry – Roxy Music Brian Ferry didn’t really think his comments through when being interviewed by a German newspaper – a country where it is illegal to glorify the Nazi Party. Ferry unwisely mused "The Nazis knew how to put themselves in the limelight and present themselves. Leni Riefenstahl's movies and Albert Speer's buildings and the mass parades and the flags - just amazing. Really beautiful."
Brian Harvey – East 17 Alright, alright, everything’s gonna be alright when you boast that you’ve taken up to 12 pills in a night. Harvey found himself swiftly dismissed from the boy band after he extolled the virtues of taking ecstasy in a radio interview, saying “If it makes you feel better, and gives you something to do at the weekend, and you go out and have a good time, I don't see why not, because life's too short.”
Elvis Costello While in a drunken hotel bar argument with Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills & Nash in a Columbus Ohio bar in 1979, Costello was accused by Stills of stealing his licks from Ray Charles and James Brown, he referred to the latter as a "jive-ass nigger" and the former as a "blind, ignorant, nigger". Costello was forced to apologise amid media uproar.
Eric Clapton Admittedly Clapton was most likely under the influence of a lot of Class As and booze at the time, but telling an audience that he supported Fascist leader Enoch Powell and that Britain should "get the foreigners out, get the wogs out, get the coons out" was ill-advised. Although he later apologised, he has long been suspected of harbouring fascist and racist views.
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