When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong: Metal Edition

Dave Chapelle teaches us that the art of "keeping it real" may sometimes go awry. According to, this occurs when "in the act of keeping it real, the outcome is unexpected and usually has a negative effect on the individual who decided to keep it real." Rock stars are not immune from this phenomenon.

1. Mötley Crüe: In 1984, drunk and heading home from a liquor store, frontman Vince Neil was involved in a head-on collision resulting in the death of Hanoi Rocks' drummer. Neil was charged with a DUI and vehicular manslaughter, only serving 18 days in jail.

The band later released two box sets in 2003 and 2004 entitled Music to Crash Your Car To. We are sure the surviving members of Hanoi Rocks ran, not walked, to their nearest Walmart to purchase them.

2. Metallica: While playing the Montreal date of the Guns N' Roses/Metallica stadium tour on August 8, 1992, Metallica's James Hetfield accidentally lit himself on fire while playing "Fade to Black."

Hetfield unknowingly stepped into the path of 12-foot-high pyrotechnics shooting up from beneath the front lip of the stage. He was "completely engulfed," recalled drummer Lars Ulrich. Fortunately for Hetfield, his guitar shielded him from the brunt of the blast.

Hetfield nonetheless suffered second- and third-degree burns to his arms, hand and face, causing him to head "off to Never-Never Land" during 17 days of the tour while in recovery.

3. Def Leppard. While on his way to a New Year's party in 1984, drummer Rick Allen claims that the driver of an Alfa Romeo began egging him on, refusing to let him pass.

In an enraged attempt to pass the car, Allen failed to see a sharp turn ahead and lost control of his Corvette. Allen's car sailed over a stone wall. He was thrown from the vehicle, and in the process, his seatbelt severed his left arm.

After his recovery, Allen's bandmates decided to keep him on as their drummer. Although we commend Allen for his bravery, we at Rocks Off are not exactly the sentimental kind. We have to say it: What has nine arms and sucks?

4. Great White: When Great White played a reunion show at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island, tragedy struck in what became one of the deadliest nightclub fires in American history.

Pyrotechnic sparks ignited the sound insulation foam in the walls and ceiling, engulfing the club in flames in a matter of minutes. Bassist Ty Longley as well 100 fans were killed in the fire. 230 people were injured.

5. Ozzy Osbourne: Ozzy's bat-biting and ant-snorting incidents pale in comparison to Tommy Lee's exposé on Mötley Crüe's Behind the Music. If we recall correctly, Sharon Osbourne once asked Tommy Lee to babysit a very intoxicated Prince of Darkness one night after a show.

As soon as the elevator doors closed at their very posh hotel, Ozzy pulled down his pants, took a dump and proceeded to smear shit all over the elevator walls. We shit you not.

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Valerie Alberto
Contact: Valerie Alberto