LOS ANGELES - APRIL 1980: Rock and roll legend Ozzy Osbourne poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images)
Back in the day, concerts weren’t as visually dramatic. There were few pyrotechnics and almost no special effects. And being a rockstar often means they’re more than just another performer – they’re an entertainer and it’s up to them to keep their audience captivated.
Sometimes, it’s the shock factor that makes them superstars. Other times, crazy stunts are just part of the show. In rare instances, it’s a spur-of-the-moment thing. Some are shocking but others are straight up disturbing. Either way, we’ve compiled five of the most insane stage antics rockstars have ever done.
It takes a lot of balls to do this in front of hundreds of thousands of people. This happened during Red Hot Chili Peppers’ set at the Woodstock 1999. He did the same thing a few times more at the Reading and Leeds Festivals and for some of their Californication tour shows.
On September 15, 1967, The Who appeared on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. At this point, the band was already famous for being aggressive and destructive on stage and according to Pete Townshend, the Brothers actually asked them to destroy their instruments. Most of them weren’t aware of what Keith Moon was planning. He added so many explosives to his drum kit that it was about three times his usual firepower. During their performance of “My Generation”, Moon’s drum exploded. Not only did it singe Townshend’s hair, it also caused his hearing problems later on.
37 years ago, Ozzy Osbourne shocked his audience during a concert in support of Diary of a Madman. It was at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa and while performing, someone from the crowd threw a live bat directed at Ozzy’s feet and Ozzy thought it was a rubber toy. He bit its head off and belatedly realized it was the real thing. After the show, he was rushed to the hospital and was immediately treated for rabies. Just this January, Ozzy celebrated the 37th anniversary by releasing a bat plush toy with a detachable head. Classic.
Iggy Pop lives for wild moments but even though the audience somehow knew what to expect, it was still hard to keep up with him. At a show in Max’s Kansas City in support of Raw Power, a chair slipped and a glass table shattered sending shards on the floor. Iggy Pop crawled over the broken glass and kept on performing even if he was already cut up and bleeding.
GG Allin had done numerous disturbing things which made him controversial. He had a fondness for self-mutilation and kept on repeating he would commit suicide onstage. But one thing most people remember him by is when he had some laxatives, stripped naked, took a dump on stage, smeared it all over himself and threw it at the audience. Yep, he wasn’t the most loved rockstar for sure.
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