Not to generalize, but rock stars tend to have two main activities: Playing massive gigs in front of thousands of adoring fans, and partying pretty hard. Sometimes business and pleasure overlap, leading to an always interesting -but sometimes musically questionable- live performance! Not that we’re judging; rock ’n’ roll can be a pretty grueling business, and whether they’re just exhausted (like their publicists claim) or they need to blow off steam with a bender, these rebellious bad boys (and girls) are gonna do their thing their way. Read on for some infamous boozy gigs from 15 legendary bands. Raise a glass and enjoy!
15. Rihanna at Perth Arena, Australia (September 24th, 2013)
Riri did indeed seem a little out of it when kicking off the Australian leg of her Diamonds World Tour. But maybe it was just the killer jet lag! Whatever the case, at least she didn’t have to run off mid-song to throw up again…
14. Slash of Guns n’ Roses at New York City’s The Ritz (May 16th, 1991)
There are several priceless moments from this classic G’n’R gig. Slash plays the intro of “Welcome to the Jungle” in a totally different key, and isn’t above messing up the intro to “Sweet Child ’O Mine.” Come on, Slash- We can totally nail it on Guitar Hero!
13. Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day at the iHeartRadio Festival (September 21st, 2012)
Billie took an immediate trip to rehab after this infamous onstage meltdown, triggered when event organizers cut his set short. To his credit, he definitely isn’t Justin Bieber…
12. David Lee Roth of Van Halen at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California (May 29th, 1983)
You know, on second thought, Diamond Dave might just be naturally like that…
11. Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones (1981)
While launching into”You Can’t Always Get What You Want” during what we believe to be a date from the 2002-2003 Forty Licks World Tour, the Stones guitarist was looking a little stumbley and off-kilter…which is pretty impressive considering that he’s standing next hard-living poster child Keith Richards!
10. Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys in Sydney, Australia (March 19th, 1978)
It wasn’t all fun in the sun for these California boys. Their story is filled with all sorts of crazy twists and turns, including violence, incest, mental illness, and even run-ins with mass murderer Charles Manson! So with that in mind, baby Wilson brother’s slurry onstage performance isn’t all that shocking.
9. Avril Lavigne at L.A.’s Key Club (November 3rd, 2008)
Avril gets a pass here, because it wasn’t technically her own show. The band Steel Panther pulled her up for a rendition of this Joan Jett classic, as well as power ballad “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” Despite the band’s promises, it totally ended up in YouTube AND TMZ!
8. Ace Frehley of KISS (January 1st, 1995)
It’s a shade after midnight on New Years Day, so Ace also gets a pass for being kind of out of it.
7. Liam Gallagher of Oasis in France (1997)
The younger Gallagher brother is notoriously temperamental (remember the time he was “sick” for the Unplugged show?). He hates his biggest hit song, at this point he hates his (ex) band…so it’s really not a surprise that he would show up to a gig totally trashed. And while we’re at it…
6. Pete Doherty in Moscow (August 27th, 2009)
No list of onstage antics would be complete without an appearance from the hard-living Pete. Feel free to insert your own favorite!
5. Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots at The Woodlands in Houston, Texas (September 19th, 2010)
Scott is clearly pretty bummed, as he (semi) clearly states while ranting to the crowd during this performance where he admitted he was drinking again. The band halted the tour soon after the incident, in an effort to convince Weiland to straighten out. But his onstage meltdowns became increasingly commonplace, which contributed to the band’s decision to fire him in February 2013.
4. Jim Morrison of the Doors at the Seattle Coliseum (June 5th, 1970)
The Lizard King had more than his fair share of outrageous onstage incidents, but his March 1969 performance in Miami has gone down into rock ’n’ roll myth. The controversial singer antagonized the crowd into a riotous frenzy (the bad kind) and allegedly exposed himself to the crowd (despite no photographic evidence and repeated denials from his bandmates). A court case followed, which resulted in a 6-month jail sentence for the Doors frontman! He went free pending an appeal, but he definitely didn’t curb his onstage behavior…as this recording made a year later shows.
3. The Replacements on Saturday Night Live (January 18th, 1986)
The ’Mat’s got themselves banned from SNL for this ragged musical guest spot. The first tune in their set was salvageable, but things got bad later on in after they had a bit more time to stock up on the free backstage beverages. They switched clothes, swore at the audience (apparently), and the quality of their playing noticeably deteriorated as they staggered through “Kiss Me On The Bus”. Even so, the DGAF level of their appearance was insanely high, an it helped cement their status as rock renegades.
2. Keith Moon of the Who at San Francisco’s Cow Palace (November 20th, 1973)
Moon the Loon was on more than just booze, he was fighting with animal tranquilizers to stay upright during this performance. He made it seventy minutes into the set before he passed out at the kit, and had to be carried offstage to sleep it off. But the potential disaster held an amazing silver lining for one obscenely lucky fan. Guitarist Pete Townshend asked the audience if there was a drummer in the house, and soon 19-year-old Scot Halpin was pulled from the crowd and playing skins with his idols for three songs to close out the show!
1. Scott Stapp of Creed at Chicago’s Allstate Arena (December 29th, 2002)
Hey, remember that time that Creed gave such a poor performance that the audience collectively sued them for $2 million dollars? Lead singer Scott Stapp probably doesn’t! That’s because he was supremely “medicated,” to the point that he wasn’t able to perform. According to court documents, he “was so intoxicated and/or medicated that he was unable to sing the lyrics of a single Creed song. Instead, during the Creed concert, Stapp left the stage for long periods of time, rolled around on the floor of the stage in apparent pain or distress, and appeared to pass out while onstage.” Luckily he’s since gotten himself clean, and apologizes for the incident in the pages of his 2012 autobiography.
[Photo: Getty Images]