Five Onstage Meltdowns Funnier Than Courtney Love In D.C.
Universal Music Group
As far as Rocks Off knows, everything is hunky-dory for Hole's show at House of Blues this evening. Courtney Love and friends are scheduled to play from 9:45 to 11:15, which Rocks Off is interpreting as they could go on anywhere from 9:45 to 11:15.
As Hole's rambling, sloppy, completely iPhone-filmed, borderline-coherent June 27 performance at Washington D.C.'s 9:30 Club has already become legendary, Rocks Off scoured the Interwebs today to see if we could find anything to top it.
What do you know? We think we may have.
1. Elvis Presley: Bloated and under the pharmaceutical thumb of various Dr. Feelgoods, Elvis spent most of the '70s in such a fog that he had a hard time remembering what city he was in - and that was the least of his worries; he was also prone to telling his backup singers they "smelled like catfish." Never one to let an opportunity go by, Presley's manager Col. Tom Parker collected enough of the King's unintentionally stream-of-consciousness onstage banter to release as the 1974 LP Having Fun With Elvis On Stage on Parker's Box Car Records.
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Although it contains very little (if any) music, Having Fun topped the list in Jimmy Guterman and Owen O'Donnell's 1991 book The Worst Rock and Roll Records of All Time. The All Music Guide simply said "hearing it is like witnessing an auto wreck that somehow plowed into a carnival freak show, leaving onlookers at once too horrified and too baffled to turn away."
2. Scott Stapp: Ah yes. The once and future Creed front man perhaps takes more than his share of grief from the media, but then again, he is the only person we can think of who has been sued by his own fans. As Encyclopedia Dramatica says, "What more could be expected of a man whose chosen initials are A.S.S.?"
Four Chicago fans filed a class action lawsuit against Stapp (legal name Anthony Scott Stapp), claiming the singer was so "medicated and/or intoxicated" at Creed's December 29, 2002 concert that he couldn't remember any lyrics, rolled around on the ground for long intervals, left the stage a number of times and finally appeared to pass out. Creed apologized - sort of - saying, "we hope that you can take some solace in the fact that you definitely experienced the most unique of all Creed shows," and went on extended hiatus not long after. (Read: They broke up and reconsidered when their various solo projects fell flat.)
Stapp later told hometown paper the Orlando Sentinel his actions were actually a "symbolic gesture," thus confirming what many critics had been writing about Creed all along.
3. Wavves: How do you, as a relatively unknown San Diego garage duo, make a name for yourself at a major European festival after Phoenix, My Bloody Valentine and Aphex Twin have already played? By coming apart at the seams in what Pitchfork described in May as "what must have been the most epic onstage meltdown a band of their small size could conjure."
That would include flustered front man Nathan Williams arguing extensively with both the sound man and drummer Ryan Ulsh, playing a set that had little to no resemblance to anything the band had put on record, and mocking both the crowd and the festival's host nation. The band did manage to impress the crowd at Barcelona's Primavera Sound Festival at least once - when Ulsh got up from behind the drums and poured a full beer over Williams' head.
4. Josh Homme: At the 2008 Norwegian Wood festival, a flu-stricken "Ginger Elvis" took two whole minutes to upbraid (and rather vehemently) an adolescent fan who had the bad judgment to fling a bottle at the stage. Like Queens of the Stone Age's music, Homme's tirade is significantly more concentrated than the average Love rant, but probably contains just about as many f-bombs. But since the festival was in Oslo, there's a good chance the poor kid had no idea what Homme was saying... lucky for him.
5. Axl Rose: Oh, why do we have to choose? Any one of these three will do nicely.
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