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November 7, 2006



THE 10 BIGGEST ONSTAGE MELTDOWNS IN ROCK HISTORY


In honor of Gun's N' Roses finally returning to the rock scene, the New York Post has put together a list of the best onstage meltdowns in rock history. This is to honor Axl Rose failure to go to a show about a year ago, cancelling the GNR return, and the rock world's greatest comeback instead became its shortest.


1. KINKY KIDS STUFF
Ray and Dave Davies: Brothers of the fist

As the name of the band's 1965 album, "Kinks Kontroversy," suggests, the classic British Invasion band mixed rock prowess with the violent excitement of professional wrestling. Onstage punch-ups between brothers Ray and Dave made the Gallaghers of Oasis look like ballerinas. But Dave didn't save his venom for Ray alone. During one '60s concert, in a fit of anger, Dave knocked over one of Mick Avory's drums, prompting Avery to smack him with a cymbal. In later years, when Ray and Pretenders vocalist Chrissie Hynde were an item, Dave stormed off when Ray brought his new love onstage. Dave returned moments later - to spit on her.


2. WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?
Pete Townsend bludgeons Abbie Hoffman at Woodstock

When The Who kicked off their set at Woodstock in 1969, radical activist Abbie Hoffman watched from the wings, tripping his brains out on LSD. After the band played "See Me, Feel Me" from "Tommy," Hoffman snatched the mike to preach about the arrest of a White Panthers member for marijuana possession. Not realizing (or, probably, caring) just who was disturbing his band's explosive late-night set, Townsend whacked Hoffman in the head with his guitar and directed him to "F--k off my f--king stage!" Hoffman denied the event ever happened.


3. NO SYMPATHY FROM THE DEVILS
The Rolling Stones slay 'em at Altamont

Just a few months after Woodstock, the Stones headlined a free show at California's Altamont Speedway, and someone thought it would be a good idea to have a local Hells Angels chapter provide security. The concert was fueled by bad drugs and violence, and while the Stones played "Under My Thumb," 18-year-old Meredith Hunter flashed a gun in front of the stage and wound up stabbed to death by one of the Angels.

Mick Jagger, unaware that the stabbing was fatal and hoping to avoid a riot, continued the show, intermittently begging the crowd for a calm. A few details are still in contention, but almost everything was caught by the documentary film crew responsible for 1970's "Gimme Shelter." It wasn't until last year, though, that local authorities considered the murder investigation closed.


4. RAUNCH ROCK
G.G. Allin's sick stunts

Punk singer Allin didn't meltdown so much as explode onstage, consistently putting on the most disturbing shows in rock history. Allin's concerts might better be described as orgies of violence, during which he would regularly slice himself with broken bottles and can lids, physically attack (and be attacked by) his fans, and urinate and defecate onstage.

Unsurprisingly, the typical Allin gig ended prematurely after authorities intervened. After threatening for years to commit suicide during a show, Allin, who was born Jesus Christ Allin (really), died of a much more mundane heroin overdose in 1993.


5. ARROGANT AXL
GN'R = Gaffes 'n' Riots

Rose's 2002 flake out was hardly his first display of bad onstage behavior. In 1992, Rose and GN'R embarked on a co-headlining tour with Metallica. During a stop in Montreal, Metallica singer James Hetfield was severely burned in a pyrotechnics mishap, abbreviating the group's set. Metallica hoped GN'R would make it up to the crowd with a great show, but Rose procrastinated for hours before taking the stage.

Then, citing vocal problems, Rose cut his band's set short after just four songs. Now feeling cheated by the two hottest bands in rock, the crowd exploded in a full-scale riot, smashing car windows, setting fires, and looting local stores. In inciting Canadians to violence, Axl earned a distinction not even Saddam Hussein could claim.


6. SCARED SURLY
Cat Power's stage-fright freakout

Wildly neurotic Chan Marshall (aka) Cat Power, has developed an eccentric performance style that includes false starts and abrupt ends to songs, forgotten lyrics and ongoing apologies to fans for her self-inflicted deficiencies.

Her low point came during a 1999 Bowery Ballroom show, when Marshall went into the audience mid-song and finished it with her nose to the floor. Fans tried to soothe her quivering nerves by stroking her back. Later, she turned to her band and said of the audience, "These guys hate me."


7. APPLE, UNPEELED
Fiona loses it at Roseland

Fiona Apple's songwriting is highly regarded for its brittle sensitivity, but her thin skin was the catalyst for a notorious melodrama that outdid her "This world is bulls---!" rant at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards.

Three years later at Roseland Ballroom, bothered by sound problems, Apple started whining that she couldn't hear herself.

"F---, this is a nightmare," she announced before berating members of the press and leaving the stage in tears.


8. GOLDEN BOY
Ryan Adams becomes his own bouncer

With his frequent onstage hissy fits, Adams has become our brattiest rocker. During shows, he's been known to complain about the lights, sound, air conditioning, and even fans talking during songs. But his most famous bitch session came during a 2002 concert in Nashville, Tenn. While harmonizing with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, an obnoxious fan taunted Adams with requests for the Bryan Adams song "Summer of '69." Adams stopped playing, had the house lights turned up, reimbursed the guy for the cost of his ticket and had him thrown out.


9. GREAT WHITE WAY
Horrors in a nightclub

Rockers Great White were playing at The Station, a club in West Warwick, R.I., when the band's pyrotechnics ignited the soundproofing at the back of the stage. The fire spread rapidly, prompting fans to stampede. 100 people, including gutarist Ty Longley, were killed.

Great White finished its tour, praying onstage each night for the families of the victims. The group's tour manager and the club's owners all faced charges for negligence and manslaughter. All three pleaded guilty. Two are still in jail.


10. RIP HIM TO SHREDS
Blondie's big kiss-off

When Blondie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, former Playboy Bunny and frontwoman Deborah Harry showed her true heart - of broken glass.

Just before the band was to play, former guitarist Frank Infante, who had been with the band through it biggest years, bum-rushed the stage and begged to join the performance. "Debbie, aren't we allowed?" he asked. Her terse reply: "Can't you see my real band is up there?"



Posted by emomixtape at November 7, 2006 7:34 AM
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