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Top 10 Most Outrageous Onstage Incidents, Antics & Meltdowns

Scott Stapp behaved himself at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in September 2010.
Scott Stapp behaved himself at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in September 2010.
Photo by Jim Bricker

Everyone has their meltdown moments, no doubt about it. We make mistakes and, most of the time, we try to correct them. We have them because we are all human.

Unfortunately, though, when you are in the spotlight, your hurts, tantrums, mistakes and meltdowns are all magnified for all the world to see. That is exactly what happened to these people.

A teenager fills in on drums for Keith Moon: One night while the band was performing at the Cow Palace just outside of San Francisco, a teenager got the dream chance of a lifetime: To play with his favorite band. During the tour to support the Quadrophenia album, drummer Keith Moon passed out on his drum set no thanks to having some horse tranquilizers and brandy.

Enter Scot Halpin, a 19-year-old drummer who answered the band's audience request for someone to fill in. Halpin played such songs as "Smokestack Lightning" and "Spoonful," among others. Halpin also won the praise of lead singer Roger Daltrey as well as the opportunity to play with one of the greatest rock bands in the world. Sadly Halpin died in 2008 at age 54 of an inoperable non-malignant brain tumor.

Dimebag Darrell's onstage assassination: Thrash-metal band Damageplan, and the extended Pantera family, suffered a tragedy onstage the night of Dec. 8, 2004. While Damageplan was performing in Columbus, Ohio, gunman Nathan Gale walked onto the stage, put a gun to Dimebag's head, and fired off three shots. The apparent motive was that Gale, a paranoid schizophrenic, thought the band could steal his thoughts and that they were laughing at him.

Other band personnel were shot that night as well, including the other band that played that night, Damageplan's drum technician John Brooks and Damageplan's tour manager. Police shot and killed Gale shortly thereafter.

Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon's onstage meltdown in Dallas: Last July, the Kings of Leon were slated to come to Houston to perform at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. However, that particular show never happened because of what happened the night before in Dallas .

Lead singer and guitarist Caleb Followill kept complaining that he was feeling ill and that he was "fuckin' hot." He then proceeded ramble on about random things before telling the audience that he was "going to go vomit, drink a beer, and I'm gonna come back out and play three more songs." Shortly thereafter, the tour was canceled and Followill entered rehab for alcoholism.

Scott Stapp's drunken performance in Chicago: At the height of Creed's career, to misquote one of the band's album titles, lead singer Scott Stapp was virtually living in his own prison: He was in the throes of a battle with alcoholism.

One night, things came to a head when Stapp was performing while intoxicated. He could barely sing, passed out and even left the stage for long periods of time. The audience was so disgruntled that they filed a class-action lawsuit against Stapp and his bandmates because they could not get a refund for their tickets.

The suit was dropped in September 2003; shortly thereafter the band called it quits and Stapp even attempted suicide. Luckily, Stapp saw the error of his ways, became sober, and Creed has even reunited. They are slated to return to Houston's Bayou Music Center April 30 and May 1 to perform their albums My Own Prison and Human Clay, respectively.

 

Random acts of lip-syncing starring Milli Vanilli and Ashlee Simpson: Lip-syncing is a career no-no in rock and roll. It's a career killer. That's exactly what happened to acts such as Milli Vanilli and pop star Ashlee Simpson.

Milli Vanilli suffered a mishap in the form of the cd they were lip-syncing to started repeating while they were performing onstage in Bristol, Conn., for Club MTV. Following an allegation made public by Charles Shaw, one of the singers on their album All or Nothing, Milli Vanilli came forth, confessed that they didn't sing on their record, and gave back their 1990 Grammy award Best New Artist. Sadly, member Rob Pilatus died in 1997 of an accidental drug overdose.

Fast-forward to 2004: Ashley Simpson is slated to perform her hit single "Pieces of Me" and "Autobiography" on Saturday Night Live. When she was supposed to perform "Autobiography," she put the mike to her mouth and the song that she sang earlier, "Pieces of Me," came over the speakers. She started dancing and then left.

Faith Hill calls out a fan for touching her husband's junk: Country singer Faith Hill is usually known for being rather graceful onstage -- a family act, if you will. However, that grace took a backseat when during a performance with her husband Tim McGraw, a rabid fan decided to grab her husband's balls. Rightfully so, Hill called out the fan.

Heart and "the great KABONG! Incident": In the late '70's, Heart was a lot like Fleetwood Mac in the form of their own personal relationships. Lead singer Ann Wilson dated manager Mike Fisher and guitarist Nancy Wilson dated Mike's brother, lead guitarist Roger Fisher.

According to VH1 Classic's Behind the Music Remastered, Nancy broke up with Roger because she found herself falling in love with drummer Denny Carmassi. This made Roger furious because, even though he apparently cheated on Nancy, he still loved her.

One night while in Portland, Ore., Fisher went crazy onstage and threw his guitar down. According to Ann, he also did the same thing backstage and nearly caused physical harm to Nancy. Needless to say, Fisher was fired from the band.

Woodstock 99, all of it: Let's face it -- Woodstock 99 was total CHAOS. Theft, rape, assault, arson, looting, and plenty more crimes were all rampant. However, when the artist actually encourages concertgoers to do things like this, that's very irresponsible. But that's exactly what artists like Limp Bizkit and the Red Hot Chili Peppers did.

Here's what went down. Aside from the fact that everything was overpriced, the record-breaking heat, lack of security, and long lines for basically anything, Limp Bizkit decided to encourage the already overheated and mad crowd that "it's one of them days y'all. Everything's fucked up. You just wanna break some shit. You feel me?" shortly before breaking into "Break Stuff."

During the song, people started breaking off plywood from the walls, while CNN also reported incidents of sexual assaults and rape during the set.

While the Chili Peppers played, some major bonfires began because a peacenik group called PAX decided to pass out candles to be lit whenever Keidis and Co. played "Under the Bridge." Unfortunately those candles were used for bonfires, which were later fueled by some punks who wanted to burn stuff.

Lead singer Anthony Keidis made a comment about the bonfires looking like Apocalypse Now and then launched into "Sir Psycho Sexy" and then a rendition of "Fire" by Jimi Hendrix at the request of Hendrix's sister. Though the band wasn't responsible for the fires, it was definitely one of those "you're not helping matters" moments.

 

2. Courtney Love goes crazy in Brazil: Hole lead singer Courtney Love is well-known for her infamous onstage antics. However, one time while in Brazil, not only did she yell and curse at a fan for holding up a picture of her late husband, Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, she told the perpetrator "Yeah, I don't need to see a picture of Kurt, asshole, and I'm gonna have you fucking removed if you throw that out."

She went on to say "throwing that out is stupid, and rude and I'm gonna beat the fuck outta you if you do it again." She then flipped the bird at the audience and left. Later in the show, she came back and decided to show off her breasts.

1. Van Halen ruins "Jump" in Greensboro: Once upon a time, guitarist Eddie Van Halen was the greatest guitar player next to Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. However, one night that changed as the band was playing their classic single "Jump."

Not only did Eddie play the wrong notes to the intro, but in the video, lead singer David Lee Roth seems to be struggling to find the right key. Well, at least mid-song Eddie got the solo right.

Honorable Mention: Lady Gaga falls down onstage in Houston, Whitney Houston sings "I Will Always Love You" off-key, and Lindsey Buckingham's onstage meltdown in New Zealand in the '70s.


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