A few weeks ago, when I saw What Made Milwaukee Famous at the Main Street Block Party, I wanted to like the band's performance, but I just couldn't ignore that the lead singer was texting during his set.
Sure, I thought that What Made Milwaukee Famous' cover of Wings' "Let 'Em In" was great and all of their own songs sounded live just as recorded, etc., but then the lead singer was texting and looking at his phone while singing to the point of ridiculousness. People behind me were wondering out loud if he was looking up his own lyrics.
That's so anti-authority, man. He just didn't care what anybody else thought about him texting. That's so rock and roll.
Wait, what? That's just... lame, or, for lack of a refined term, douchey.
Maybe that was a minor offense. I'll have to admit that most of What Made Milwaukee Famous' set was pretty decent.
Still, this little incident inspired me to provide you with a list of some of the greatest moments of onstage douchery. Granted, unlike just texting something along the lines of "lol bro I'm doing a show now," I'm thinking of some of great moments of bloated egos of rock 'n... whatever witnessed on stage. I'll provide you with five.
5. Guns N' Roses: In 1991, when G N' R were performing the song "Rocket Queen," lead singer Axl Rose spotted a fan taking pictures of the performance. He pointed out that fan and ordered security to confiscate that fan's camera.
When security failed to do so, Rose dove into the crowd and took the camera himself, then proceeded to punch a few members of the audience and security. When he finally made it back onstage, Rose said, "Well, thanks to the lame-ass security, I'm going home!"
He then slammed his microphone on the ground and left the stage. Avoiding the riot that was about to follow, the rest of the band members also left.
Here's a recording of the event:
4. Glenn Danzig: The former Misfits singer has long been known for being a diva. His most recently buzzed-about little prima-donna incident was at last year's Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, where he almost did not perform because he claimed that it was going to be too cold that night, he felt like he was getting sick, and he didn't like the way the stage was set up. He ended up coming on stage 45 minutes late, which left him enough time to play two songs.
Here he is performing:
Another example of his diva-ness reared its ugly head at a scheduled show in a Minneapolis venue called Cabooze. Upon 30 seconds of his arrival, Danzig called the show off. He didn't like the way that venue was set up either.
Danzig has some attitude. He got some attitude...
3. Billy Corgan: The lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins is known to dramatically abandon shows for various reasons, but the antic that stuck out to me happened in 2008 during the last show of a two-night stand, when Corgan invited a fan onstage, prodding him to vent about the band's much-complained-about weaker performance the night before. When the fan ended up telling Corgan that he's had better performances, Corgan mocked the fan. See the clip above.
Good one, Corgan. All that aside, I actually kind of love the Smashing Pumpkins.
2. Oasis: The British rockers put on shows that were note-for-note album perfection, but, in a great majority of their performances, something would go wrong involving how band members and brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher famously hated and -- continue to hate -- each other.
On several occasions, Liam would stop performing and plainly face the crowd or just walk off whenever his brother would play a song. Noel did this to Liam too. Here's a little example:
Looking back in anger, Noel recently launched a legal battle against his brother. I had to throw that in here.
1. Brian Jonestown Massacre: Captured in the documentary Dig!, all of The Brian Jonestown Massacre began fighting onstage at a show where they had invited several music-industry representatives in hopes of getting a record deal. Tension had been growing between the band members for a while, mostly due to front man Anton Newcombe's heroin use and generally erratic behavior. The band then entertaingly proceeded to fall apart that night.
Here's a recording of that show:
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Sitars were broken. Good times.