From Axl Rose To John Mayer: Five Classic Onstage Meltdowns

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All Photos Getty Images: Robert Laberge, Timothy A. Clary/AFP, Frank Micelotta, Scott Harrison

All Photos Getty Images: Robert Laberge, Timothy A. Clary/AFP, Frank Micelotta, Scott Harrison

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Why make this list of incidents that may make us sad and lose faith in our rock heros? Because like a mountain or a train wreck, they’re there and we cannot look away.

1991: Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses is onstage in St Louis, sees a fan with recording equipment in the audience, starts yelling for security to grab him and his gear, but then dives into the audience to do it himself. This starts a riot, 60 people are injured, Guns N’ Roses leaves the stage, and is forever banned from performing in that town again. Here’s the crazy proof:

2002: Scott Stapp of Creed gets drunk onstage in Chicago and the fans decide to sue him. Fans say he stumbled around and at times couldn’t stand up or sing his Creed songs. They won the lawsuit and were all refunded. Creed broke up a year later. We don’t have that exact video, dammit, but here’s one of him defending himself poorly on TV.

2008: Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins was playing night 2 of a stint in New York. Night 1 had been panned by critics, so during Night 2, Corgan asked a fan to come up and critique the show, and the brave fan did. Enjoy:

1993: Kurt Cobain of Nirvana stopped the show to get some face time with the cameras. Call it a meltdown or performance art, this scene during Brazil’s Hollywood Rock Festival still makes the list.

2010: John Mayer apologizes onstage in Nashville for talking about his, um, “member,”  in a previously printed Playboy article. Also in the article he said, “My dick is sort of like a white supremacist,” he dropped the n-word, and compared ex-girlfriend Jessica Simpson to crack cocaine. During this show, he decides to apologize for his words, to only dig himself deeper into his little hole.

Satisfied or feeling dirty all over? Me, I’m headed off for a Listerine shower. But, not before we send you away temporarily, (because this vid is full of obscenities,) to watch the meltdown that sent Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day into rehab last year.

-Lee Callahan, Jack FM Seattle

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