The Most Famous Rock Star Arrests
27 November 2018, 07:30 | Updated: 27 November 2018, 07:31
Rock stars aren't always sweetness and light, oh no. Sometimes they misbehave. And sometimes they go off the rails - spectacularly.
The Rolling Stones
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, the Stones were constantly running into the law. In 1967, a drug raid at Keith Richards’ house saw him and Mick Jagger sentenced to some extremely harsh sentences; three months for Jagger and a year for Richards! Luckily they got off on appeal, and rock n’ roll could continue – phew! Their most undignified brush with the law saw the band getting done for urinating on a garage wall in 1965 - they were fined £5 each.
In May 1980, at a gig in Hamburg, Joe Strummer was arrested for hitting an audience member with his guitar. But that wasn't The Last Gang In Town's misdemeanour. In 1977, Strummer was arrested with drummer Topper Headon for spray painting "The Clash" on a hotel wall! But more recently, in 2011, bassist Paul Simonon (also of The Good, The Bad & The Queen) was arrested for sneaking on board a Greenpeace ship and storming an oil rig with a group of other activists. Right on!
For a man who only lived 27 years, Mr. Morrison was in an impressive amount of scrapes with the police. Although he was normally arrested for drunkenness and, um, vagrancy, in 1969 it was a count of public indecency that saw the cops pulling him off stage. During a show in Miami he allegedly dropped his trousers and exposed himself, and found himself sentenced to six months following a trial over a year later - but he remained free on $50k bail. In 2010, over forty years after the event, he was given an official pardon by the state of Florida, despite having died in 1971.
In 1992 the Guns N' Roses frontman was arrested for inciting a riot at The Riverport Amphitheatre in Missouri. Rose got frustrated with an audience member taking photos from the crowd and after the security failed to retrieve the camera, he dove down and snatched it himself, striking security and audience members alike. He returned to the stage, slammed the microphone down, and left. The gig finished and a riot ensued. Luckily, in the end, the judge ruled in his favour.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
The Beatle was putting the finishing touches to the “White Album” in October 1968 when police busted the flat that was home to Lennon and his new partner Yoko, finding hashish and traces of marijuana and morphine 3e780-98r4er. The star pleaded guilty to the offence to protect Ono, and ended up with a £150. The stress was too much, however, and the pregnant Yoko sadly suffered a miscarriage shortly afterwards.
D’arcy Wretzky of Smashing Pumpkins
In 2011 Pumpkins bassist D’arcy was sentenced to six days in jail for failing to attend four dates relating to a failure to control her horses. Did she let them out intentionally, or was it an accident? Nobody knows. But if it’s taught us anything, it’s that you should probably always attend your court dates.
Peter Buck of R.E.M.
In 2001, Peter Buck (pictured left) had something of a "turn" on a British Airways flight from Seattle to London. After supposedly consuming fifteen refills of wine, Buck ransacked the cabin. As well as trying to hide cutlery up his sleeve, he also attempted to insert a CD in a trolley thinking it was a CD player and fought with staff over a yoghurt. He blamed the sleeping pills, the prosecution blamed the booze. He was arrested but not charged.
The Stone Roses frontman came a cropper when he was arrested after a flight back from a gig in Paris in February 1998. He was accused of threatening to “chop a flight attendant’s hands off” and was apparently caught banging on the door of the cockpit. Brown denied all the charges, but the judge sentenced him to four months in prison - he served two, using the time to write a number of songs, including Free My Way.
The late, lamented Lady Winehouse often found the police knocking on her door regarding illegal substances. One of the more unusual cases was in 2009 where, after consistently heckling a performance of Cinderella at the Milton Keynes Theatre, she attacked a member of staff who tried to move her. Police charged Winehouse with a public order offence and common assault.
During the 1980s, The Prince Of Darkness became wrapped up in a story that has gone down in rock 'n’ roll history. Ozzy had his clothes locked up by Sharon in order to prevent him heading out on yet another binge. Alas, it did not work. Instead, Ozzy went out in one of her dresses. Reports claimed that he was caught urinating on the historical landmark The Alamo, resulting in a 10-year ban from the city of San Antonio. However, he'd actually weed on another, less famous memorial.