During The Who’s performance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967, the band decided to destroy the set at the end of their finale while playing “My Generation”. Keith Moon had explosives rigged to his bass drum, but apparently there was a little bit too much gunpowder juicing up his kit. Legend has it the explosion damaged guitarist Pete Townsend’s hearing.
9) Guns N’ Roses and Metallica Tour Riot
Montrealers take their hockey seriously and also their hard rock. Hundreds took to the streets after Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose stopped a 1992 set early at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium due to throat issues. This occurred after a long delay following a pyro mishap that injured Metallica frontman James Hetfield. The crowd had enough and stormed Montreal, starting fires, overturning cars, and wreaking havoc on the city.
8) Donita Sparks Throws Tampon into Crowd
Comedians hate hecklers, musicians hate when you throw stuff at them. Well, L7 lead vocalist Donita Sparks took it into her own hands (literally) by throwing her bloody used tampon into the rowdy crowd at 1992’s Reading Festival. Apparently Sparks didn’t take kindly to the mudslinging that was aimed at her.
7) Ozzy Osbourne Snorts Ants
On tour with Mötley Crüe, The Prince of Darkness snorted live ants. Crazier than biting a live bat’s head off or pissing on The Alamo? That’s for you to decide.
6) Mike Patton Eats a Shoelace at a Faith No More Concert
And spits it back out again.
5) Sinead O’Connor Rips the Pope
Sinead O’Connor set late night TV abuzz when she ripped a picture of Pope Wojitila on live television. The Saturday Night Live performance is remembered to this day for O’Connor’s bold statement.
4) K Foundation Burn a Million Quid
K Foundation (aka The KLF), comprised of art duo Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, decided to burn one million pounds sterling on the Scottish island of Jura. This was the remainder of the money they made off of record sales after expenses and taxes. The duo stated, “We were just sitting in a cafe talking about what we were going to spend the money on and then we decided it would be better if we burned it.”
3) Nikki Sixx Returns to Life
If you’re a rock star, anything’s possible. In 1987, Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx was revived by a paramedic who pumped Sixx’s heart with an adrenaline shot following a drug overdose. Not only did Sixx survive, he overdosed again the next day and lived to tell the tale. The events would later be the catalyst for writing the popular Crüe tune “Kickstart My Heart”.
2) Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift’s VMA Speech
Although not the most extreme of rock n’ roll moments, Kanye’s interruption of Taylor Swift’s VMA speech not only left Beyonce and the rest of the VMA crowd with their mouths wide open, but it further solidified Kanye’s persona as an unpredictable and unashamed celebrity and invited an onslaught of parodies and memes.
1) Jimi Hendrix Sets Guitar on Fire
When people think Jimi Hendrix, they often think Woodstock. While Hendrix pulled off one of the greatest guitar solos of all-time with his rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock, he went a little crazier at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 where he set his guitar on fire.