The rock star lifestyle has been explored in popular culture for decades and these bands don’t just live sex, drugs, and rock and roll they define it. Below you will find tour stories from Britain’s most notorious invasion of rock and roll rabble rousers and the bands who set the world on fire with their wild antics.
“The hotel smashing is one way I get relief from the public image. I have no temper. I do it in a spirit of amusement rather than anger.”
Joining The Who at just 17, Keith Moon had only been drumming for a few years but found himself with a natural talent on the instrument. Moon also had a natural talent at being completely unpredictable. The band was a smash hit, literally, known for breaking or exploding their instruments on stage. Pete Townshend would destroy his guitar while Moon would kick over his drum set, but this was tame compared to Moon’s extravagance that would come. As the myths go, there is no smoke without fire. During a performance filmed for television, Moon blew up his drum set with explosives to conclude the end of “My Generation,” to the shock and surprise of the TV hosts and fellow band members. If he wasn’t going out with a bang, he still made sure all eyes were on him. Another stunt was when Moon, dressed as a cat, filled up his clear drum set with water and live goldfish. Moon’s goofy antics didn’t stop on stage, he was also well known for demolishing his hotel rooms, throwing furniture off balconies, lighting objects on fire, blowing up the toilets with M-80 fireworks or cherry bombs, and even driving a car straight into the Holiday Inn pool. His larger than life personality and self-destructive behavior gained him the nick name “Moon the Loon.” Even though he only lived to be 32, Moon’s cosmic force in music keeps his starlight going.
“When we do something, we just do it bigger and better than anybody else.”
Rocking all night and partying all day, Led Zeppelin became known as the most record-breaking British rock band of all time. Taking sex, drugs, and rock and roll to a new level of extremes, Led Zeppelin have no shortage of wild tour stories. From trashing fancy hotel rooms and dumping televisions out the windows, Bonham being wheeled into a crowd of groupies covered in whip cream, multiple drug arrests, to the times Jimmy Page had to be handcuffed to the toilet in order to keep him out of trouble. The band always seemed to find their way into trouble, the most infamous of Led Zeppelin tour stories is dubbed the ‘Mudshark incident’. Although the accounts of that night all vary, the mud shark incident took place in 1969 at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle. John Bonham and Led Zeppelin’s manager went out for a day of fishing and decided to stash the fish inside the closet and wardrobe of their hotel rooms. Later that night the crew and band were partying and between the groupies and drugs, the guys used the mud sharks to get involved in some debauchery with the groupies, which ended with the band being temporarily banned from the hotel and decades long tales of this odd incident.
“If you’re going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use both feet.”
Keith Richards is one of the greatest guitarist’s in history and is a legend for his wild and crazy ways. The Rolling Stones became a mainstream staple for the counter-culture movement of the 60’s, their song lyrics are laced with sex, drugs, and rebellion. With hits like “Satisfaction” it seemed true that nothing could satisfy the band’s hunger for rock and roll. Richards was a true rabble rouser, with multiple drug arrests it was no secret Richard’s liked to indulge, but he did shock fans and press when he claimed to have sniffed the ashes of his late father. Richards’s edgy life has made him the personification of what it means to be a rock star and the poster boy of bad behavior.
By Devon Saccomanno for the Joe Bonamassa Official Blog