Wild Moments From Rock History You Forgot

Wild Moments From Rock History You Forgot

1

Billy Idol is removed from his hotel room by the Thai military.

billy idol

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Just after a difficult breakup in 1989, the British-American rock legend and some pals embarked on a weeks-long trip to Thailand wherein Idol and his gaggle of sycophants engaged in all the usual shades of rockstar bad behavior (namely the copious consumption and alcohol and drugs). While under the influence, Idol proceeded to totally trash the hotel room he was staying in, leading to complaints from fellow guests and the hotel’s management asking him to leave. Idol refused and continued his bender until management contacted the military for assistance in removing Idol. Thai military officials arrived at Idol’s hotel room alongside a nurse who administered a tranquilizer, allowing the soldiers to strap Idol to a gurney and escort him from the hotel’s premises. When Idol began to emerge from his drug induced stupor, he’d already arrived at the airport and been slapped with a bill for roughly $250,000 worth of damages during his stay.

2

Charles Manson writes a song for The Beach Boys.

updated charles manson photo released

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In spring 1968, The Beach Boys co-founder Dennis Wilson sparked a friendship with Manson Family cult leader Charles Manson after meeting Manson at a mutual friend’s home in San Francisco. At the time of their meeting, Manson was a struggling musician hoping to break in and Wilson had expressed interest in signing Manson to the Beach Boys’ record label, Brother Records. Manson wrote a song titled “Cease to Exist” about the Beach Boys’ ongoing internal strife in hopes the group would record the song. The group purchased writing credit rights from Manson in exchange for cash and a motorcycle before reworking large swaths of it and including it on the B-side of their “Bluebirds Over the Mountain” single and changing the title to “Never Learn Not to Love”.

3

James Brown brandishes a shotgun in an insurance office.

james brown

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The self-described “Godfather of Soul” had a string of brushes with the law throughout his life, beginning at just 15 years old when Brown was arrested for breaking into cars. Brown’s run-ins with the authorities hit a zenith in 1988 when Brown, shotgun in tow, burst into the insurance company office located next to his own and began erratically waving the gun and complaining about strangers using his bathroom. After the police were called, Brown fled, leading the authorities on a high-speed car chase between Georgia and South Carolina. Brown was only able to be apprehended after police shot out two of his tires and were able to arrest him. Brown was later convicted on charges pertaining to the incident and was hit with a six-year prison sentence, but he was released on parole in 1991 after serving less than half of it.

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4

Ozzy Osbourne bites the head off a bat.

ozzy osbourne, former lead singer of black sabbath, in his hot tub in the garden of his luxury home in beverly hills, californiaapril 1982

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During a 1982 performance at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, the Black Sabbath frontman bit the head off of a dead bat that was thrown onto the stage by then 17 year-old fan, Mark Neal. When the bat’s carcass landed on stage, Osbourne had assumed it was a rubber toy and only after picking it up and biting into it did he realize that the bat was, in fact, very real. After the concert ended, Osbourne was quickly taken to the Broadlawn Medical Center for testing and was prescribed three weeks of very painful rabies shots for treatment. Despite Osbourne claiming he’d thought the bat was a toy, the singer’s behavior held precedence given he’d ripped the dead off of a dove during a meeting with CBS records executives after signing his first solo deal. To commemorate the macabre imbroglio, Osbourne began selling plush bat toys (complete with detachable velcro head) on his website in 2019.

5

Travis Barker narrowly survives a plane crash.

travis barker

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On September 19, 2008, the Blink 182 drummer boarded a private flight alongside his entourage including his security guard, Charles Still, personal assistant, Chris Baker, and childhood friend Adam Goldstein, following a performance in Columbia, South Carolina. As the plane, a Learjet 60, sped down the runway, a tire burst, causing the pilot of the flight to prematurely abort the aircraft’s takeoff. The jet barreled past the runway and across a highway before coming to a stop in an embankment and catching fire. Still and Baker were killed in the crash alongside pilots Sarah Lemmon and James Bland but Barker and Goldstein were both able to escape the wreckage. Both Barker and Goldstein suffered severe burns necessitating skin grafts and weeks-long stints in the hospital. Barker (understandably) developed a serious phobia of flying and did not board another plane until 2021 when flying to Mexico alongside his wife Kourtney Kardashian, her mother Kris Jenner, and Jenner’s partner, Corey Gamble.

6

Izzy Stradlin is arrested after urinating in front of flight passengers.

izzy stradlin guns n roses holding shield for ml popularity vote and sake at a hotel

Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music//Getty Images

In 1989, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin boarded a flight from Indianapolis to Los Angeles and staged a melodramatic onboard temper tantrum after being made to (gasp) wait to use the plane’s restroom. By the time the plane had touched down in Arizona for a layover, Stradlin had berated a flight attendant, lit up a cigarette, and urinated on the plane’s galley floor leading to him being booted from the flight and subsequently arrested. Stradlin was given a year’s probation for the incident and then returned to his family’s home in Indiana to get sober after years of intense drug and alcohol abuse. Stradlin’s newfound sobriety led to him actually leaving Guns N’ Roses after finding it difficult to cope with his bandmates’ continued drug use, though he’d later reunite with the group in 1993 for a series of shows across the Middle East and Europe.

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7

Eddie Van Halen drove a tank to Fred Durst’s house before pulling a gun on him.

eddie van halen performs at the us festival

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After the Van Halen and the Limp Bizkit frontman met at a party, a record executive wisely suggested Van Halen and Durst link up for a “jam session” to explore a potential collaboration. Following a predictably unproductive meeting at Durst’s Beverly Hills home, Van Halen abruptly left Durst’s abode, leaving behind some equipment in his desperate scramble to leave. Van Halen tried to contact Durst to reclaim his belongings, but became enraged when Durst failed to get back to him within a day. Van Halen decided to take matters into his own hands, driving a tank he’d purchased at a military auction to the Beverly Hills home Limp Bizkit was rehearsing at and marching to the door, gun in hand, demanding Durst return his belongings.

8

ZZ Top’s buffalo escapes in Pittsburgh.

zz top plays atlanta fulton county stadium, atlanta

Tom Hill//Getty Images

In June 1976, ZZ Top’s notoriously eccentric “Worldwide Texas Tour” made a stop at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium for one of their most memorable performances. The Texan rock group wanted to bring a bit of the Lone Star State on the road with them, so they toured with a miniature menagerie of native Texan animals including rattlesnakes, vultures, a Texas Longhorn steer, and a buffalo. The Pittsburgh show was a particularly raucous one, with audience members launching beer bottles at opening act Aerosmith, and culminating in the band’s buffalo escaping the following day. This band’s buffalo escaped again on November 28, 1976 and almost destroyed a collection of limousines rented for the group.

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