Scandals, violence, destroyed TVs, and even fecal matter. These are the images in your brain when you think of rock and roll. While entertaining for those on the outside, these lude acts follow musicians for the remainder of their careers. Last week, 5 rock stars were caught in indecent behavior, this week’s blog cranks it up to 11. This is the second edition of The Life and Crimes of Rock and Roll.
Walter Axel Rose- Crime: Disturbing the Peace
Before cleaning up his act on the current tour, the Guns N’ Roses front man had a penchant for being late to concerts. Rose would often come onstage anywhere between an hour to a whopping 3 plus. His concert in St. Louis Missouri in 1992 was no exception. This time the delay came during the Guns n Roses show. During the performance, Rose was visibly upset when he saw fans taking pictures throughout the show. Angered, Rose wanted security to take the camera from the fan. Security was unable to locate the person, during this time, Rose decided to it upon himself to remove the camera. He dove into the crowd, smashing his microphone as he leapt from the stage. This incident sparked a three-hour long riot. Police were unable to apprehend Rose until a year later. Charges were later dropped as the judge believed Rose did not directly start the riot.
Heinous Ranking: 7/10- While not guilty of starting a riot, he did directly attack a fan.
Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, and John Entwistle: Crime- Indirect Manslaughter
Like The St. Louis incident before it, The Who have up until 2022 been banned from Cincinnati. The Who were currently on their 1979 tour, their first without drummer Keith Moon. Fans were originally told through a radio station that general admission holders would be allowed in around 3 PM. A sizeable crowd formed by 5 PM even though only a pair of doors off to the side of the venue were opened. As concert goers began to push through the crowd to get into the venue on time. Meanwhile those at the other doors began to assume that they would never open, the crowd began to knock on the doors. Around 7:15 the knocking persisted, it escalated when the crowd heard The Who soundchecking, thinking the band had gone on earlier than advertised. The crowd then surged towards the two doors that had been pushed open previously causing many to get trampled and sustain injuries. 11 concertgoers died and 26 reported injuries. The show went on to quell further panic. Pete Townshend regretted performing during the show.
Heinous Ranking- 7/10- The band expressed regret and was not directly involved. The blame falls on the venue owner.
Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes): Crime- Against Music
Rich Robinson may be well known for his whacky antics with his brother Chris, prompting The Black Crowes to break up time and again. Though this crime is not a violent crime, it is one that goes against the very music the Crowes make. In the late 90’s, Jimmy Page was a fan of the band, so much so that he reached out to tour with them. Tour, they did. Chris Robinson was on lead vocals, covering Robert Plants parts in the dozen or so Led Zeppelin covers the band performed. The tour was successful, so much so that Page offered an olive branch to the band in the form of collaboration. During this time in their careers, the band was becoming more niche and not the powerhouse it was when their 1991 debut dropped.
Upon being asked to offer help writing a song, Rich Robinson committed the single worst crime of his career. He looked Jimmy Page directly in the eye, the man who wrote some of the greatest guitar licks of all time, and said “no, we are good”. That one statement turned Jimmy Page away from the band and caused their drummer and manager to freak out. The record they made debuted at number 20 on the Billboard 200. None of The Black Crowe’s records reached the level of success of their debut. This turn away leads many to wonder what a collaboration with Page could have been.
Heinous Ranking: 10/10- You don’t turn away Jimmy Page, no matter how good you think you are.
Phil Rudd (AC/DC): Crime- Assassination Attempt
When AC/DC wrote the song “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, it was not meant to be taken literally. Phil Rudd, the driving force on records like 1991’s Thunderstruck hired a hit man to kill two people. In November 2014, Rudd’s home was raided, and Rudd was brought in for possession of methamphetamine, cannabis and hiring a hitman. The reason for this hiring was that his solo album had flopped, and Rudd had wanted justice. He threatened his personal assistant, saying that he wanted him taken out. He even cold called the assistant threatening his life saying that he wanted him killed. The charges of possession and threatening the assistant’s life were dropped. He later rejoined AC/DC and went on tour with the band when Axl Rose fronted the group.
Heinous Ranking 9/10- Phil got away with attempted murder.
GG “Jesus Christ” Allin
GG who was born Jesus Christ Allin, (you can already see where this is going), lived an all but normal life. He performed with various bands including The Murdur Junkies and The Stabbers. Though what he was notorious for was his stage show. He lived for the danger, he beat down on his fans, and even swallowed laxatives live on stage. That’s just some of the things he’s done that can be talked about in this blog. Unsurprisingly Allin was arrested for assault for great bodily harm, nearly beating someone within an inch of their life. He spent a year in prison but continued the same violent patterns upon being released.
10/10- You can’t fix a broken record.