Every band has their bad days. Rock stars especially are known for being hot-headed, and some fans are genuinely asking for it. We’ve taken a look at some of the most ridiculous examples of rock stars coming to blows with their fans in spectacular fashion – or narrowly avoiding a brawl.
Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age)
At a festival in Norway, Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme is hit in the head with a bottle by a fan. Understandably annoyed, an apparently unwell Homme launches into an unfortunate slur-laden tirade, and somehow convinces the fan to come forward to the photo pit where he actually bottles the restrained teen back. As it’s plain to see from the exasperated band members, this was not Homme’s finest moment.
Fat Mike (NOFX)
An eager and admittedly “way too drunk” fan rushed the stage to get some one-on-one time with Fat Mike during NOFX’s concert at Sydney’s Enmore Park, but sobered up quickly after he was elbowed and kicked in the face by the irate frontman.
Axl Rose (Guns N Roses)
Possibly the most famous example on this list. At a Guns N’ Roses concert in St Louis, Axl Rose gets annoyed (as he’s prone to doing on occasion) when he spots a fan recording the concert. When security are too slow to react, Axl dives into the audience and tackles the fan.
A riot ensues after the band refuse to play any more, blaming poor security, and results in an estimated $200,000 in damages and a ban on the band returning to perform.
Angus Young (AC/DC)
At an AC/DC show in Phoenix, Arizona a fan throws a glass of beer at guitarist Angus Young halfway through the breakdown of ‘Badboy Boogie’. Angus walks over and points the guy out to security. Another drink then drenches Angus, who furiously takes his guitar off and lowers himself down to the fan.
When he is within reach, rather than thumping the fan across the chin like others on this list, he simply pinches the guy’s nose and hurls what were no doubt a few choice words. The offender was then lead out by security, and the show continued uninterrupted.
Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones)
During a Stones show at Hampton Coliseum in 1981, a fan jumps on stage to try and grab Keith Richards’ discarded vest. Not partial to a stage invasion and attempted theft, Keith takes off his guitar and proceeds to hit the man multiple times with it. Almost effortlessly, he then puts the guitar back on and keeps playing like nothing happened. Pure Keef.
Not all fights are with angry or annoying fans, however. In 2006, indie band Shit Disco were playing Rock N Roll Cinema when, during their last song, they asked repeatedly for the guitar to be turned up in the drummer’s monitor.
How does the disgruntled sound guy respond to this request? By jumping onstage and headbutting lead singer Joel Stone, of course! That’s professionalism for you.
KISS concerts are hard to take too seriously at the best of times, as evidenced by this clip of Paul Stanley taking to task a member of the audience who has been using a laser pointer on the members of the band throughout the show.
Stanley finds out the hard way that it’s tough to take someone seriously when they’re wearing platform boots and leather pants, and this one doesn’t end up in a violent altercation – I guess it’s rude to hit a man in face paint.
Ian Brown (The Stone Roses)
During a concert in San Francisco, the Stone Roses frontman gets into an altercation with a staff member. Although we’re not sure why it started, the staff member escalates the war of words when he tries to take a swing at the rocker.
Brown’s entourage quickly seize upon the man and, well… they kick the shit of him. Even Brown gets in a few (cheap) shots. Note to self, never cross King Monkey – at least not when his crew is around.
Headlining a festival in Portugal – the first time the band had ever played in the country – Nickelback get a rather cool reception with rocks pelting the stage. Tired of the miniature avalanche, Chad winds things up mid-song and makes the mistake of asking if there are any Nickelback fans in the audience.
The silence is almost deafening, and when he turns around someone throws a water bottle square at his head. Nickelback immediately cancel the rest of the show, leaving behind an audience of… disappointed fans? It’s hard to say.
Noel Gallagher was attacked by a fan in Canada, of all places, who rushed the stage and ended up causing the more relaxed Gallagher a fair bit of injury.
The attack itself isn’t funny, but it’s hard not to laugh at the ridiculous posturing by brother Liam, who swings clumsily at the now-restrained attacker, before swaggering around in a typical “Hold me back! Hold me back!” manner.