When Your Favourite Musicians lose it. The essence of humanity, that is.
How do you bring yourself to doing that? Well, apparently, all you need is fame. Rockstars are rockstars, partly because of their irreverence for convention. After some point, they really don’t care, because the herd is too hypnotized to put down their actions for what they really are – outrageous.
Here is a look at some incidents in music history that became the watermark of many a brilliant career, because the obscenity/insanity/stupidity was too overwhelming to reason with.
And, of course, you can’t expect popular media to be exercising discretion or be tasteful at such times. They sense a coup of the voyeuristic kind, and immortalize these absurdities to traumatize generations to come.
Even brain-addled junky rockstars can learn to be inventive. Vexed by frequent strip searches by custom officials, gone-to-seed Velvet Underground chanteuse, Nico, found the perfect place to hide her stash while travelling through Europe in the early ’80s.
According to former keyboardist, James Young’s impressively lurid memoirs Nico: The End, whenever the band’s bus approached a border crossing, Nico would hand over her bloody works to the person sitting in the passenger seat with instructions to throw them out of the window.
Then, in full view of her poor bandmates, she’d tuck the smack up her ass in a Vaseline-lubricated condom. Worse, she even got her own son, Ari, hooked to the junk. Befittingly, the entrepreneurial young man was spotted at his mother’s funeral, peddling the methadone she’d left behind.
Sorry about the head, old boy
During his short life, many were touched by the debauched antics of The Who drummer, Keith Moon, but none quite like his chauffeur, Neil Boland. One night in 1969, Moon’s Bentley was besieged by thugs as it pulled out of a London club. Surrounded on all sides, Boland got out to clear a path for the car. Moon, who had no license or insurance, panicked, took the wheel and sped off.
About 100 yards down the road, he realized he was dragging something along. Moon stumbled out and reached below the automobile and came up with a handful of brains.
Boland was under the car, his head crushed like an eggshell, according to Moon’s wife, Kim. A contrite Moon escaped charges when his lawyer convinced the authorities that Boland had accidently fallen in front of the car and the whole mess wasn’t anyone’s fault. A very polite, British settlement, indeed.
Cradle Robbing Unplugged
When 32-year old Elvis Presley started dating 14-year old Priscilla Beaulieu, he dodged a Jerry Lewis-style scandal by charming her parents like a good Southern gentleman.
Even Marvin Gaye, who according to his biography, Divided Soul, started dating 16-year old Janis Hunter – his ‘Lets Get It On‘ muse – only after treating her mother and sister with ‘absolute respect’.
Still, some dirty old men prefer covering their asses legally before getting it on.
When 30-year old Ted Nugent developed a thing for 17-year old Hawaiian bombshell Pele Massa, he convinced her parents to sign documents that made him Pele’s official legal guardian. His pitch? Better a rich, horny, far-right bow hunter than a horny, stoner, poor high school student.
You sex video, I sex video
Never one to let the grass grow under his platfrom boots, or be upstaged by his drummer, Vince Neil of Motley Crue fame voluntarily released his own sex tape in 1996, proving that Tommy Lee isn’t the only rocker who “loves his women on tape” (the actual marketing rider).
Vince’s lucky partners? Porn queen/Blink 182 cover model, Janine, and a mercifully unidentified centrefold. The entire video was greeted with a huge collective yawn. Vince, dude, you’ve gotta remember; the keyword in the stolen sex tape sweepstakes are ‘stolen‘ and ‘litigation‘.
Dope and Grope
After wearing socks on their penises and singing songs like “Party On Your Pussy“, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were always in touch with their inner frat boys. But in March 1990, bassist Flea and drummer, Chad Smith, had a testosterone meltdown at MTV’s Spring Break festivities in Daytona Beach in Florida.
After their performance, Flea hoisted a 20-year old West Virginia college girl out of the crowd and onto his shoulders, upon which Smith pulled down her bottom and gave her a spanking. Flea then dropped her onto the sand, proposed oral sex and dry-humped her till network assistants intervened. Both Chilli Peppers pleaded guilty to various charges of misdemeanors.
They were both forced to apologize, fined $1000 and forced to donate $5000 to a rape crisis centre, beside a $300 giveaway to the state attorney’s office as prosecution charges.
And after all this, MTV’s Spring Break escaped with it’s prudish reputation intact.
This isn’t a top 5, this is a random 5. As this post is being typed, insanity is still reigning supreme in rockstar abode. Guitars are being swallowed, snakes are being used as picks and there are groupies being thrown in sacrifical pyres. Probably.
So watch out for a part two cuz we just can’t get enough of WTF moments from them reckless rockstars.