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Sure, seeing your favorite musician on stage, at their best, can be an inspiring thing. But let's be honest: being lucky enough to be around at that special moment when everything goes wrong and that guitar wielding bajillionaire completely loses it...that's way better.
There was a time when stories of on stage meltdowns were just that, stories. That was before video cameras, camera phones, and YouTube. Now, we get to see it all. For example...
6. Noel Gallagher Goes It Alone On MTV Unplugged
When Oasis, at the height of their American fame, played MTV Unplugged on August 23, 1996, it would go down as one of the most memorable moments in the history of the long running MTV series. Liam Gallagher, ever the team player, decided at the last minute that due to a "sore throat" he wouldn't be able to sing. Nothing unusual about that, and not even a death blow to the performance. Noel was the primary songwriter and is a fine singer in his own right, so the show went on. But what happened next, nobody expected.
Liam, rather than sit home drinking tea and resting his "sore throat," decided to sit in the balcony drinking pints, chain smoking, and heckling his bandmates. To fully relive the magic, you need to see the whole performance in its entirety. But this video of "Cast No Shadow" is notable for one reason, it's the first moment Noel notices that Liam is in the balcony. The look on his face is priceless (4:08).
5. Fiona Apple Calls the World On Its Bulls**t
Fiona Apple has never been a stranger to controversy. And who doesn't love that from a musician? Unfortunately, she's also no stranger to just generally annoying the hell out of people. For example, do you remember the title of her second album? No? Of course not, because it was this...
WHEN THE PAWN hits the conflicts he thinks like a king
What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight
And he'll win the whole thing before he enters the ring
There's no body to batter when your mind is your might
So when you go solo, you hold your own hand
And remember that depth is the greatest of heights
And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land
If you don't find that annoying, head to your local record store and ask for the album by name. I promise, someone will hate you for it. Anyway, her tendency to annoy us to no end found its roots way back when she was just a young jailbait-ish pup. Check out her infamous acceptance speech for Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards for proof.
4. Kurt Cobain Showers the Camera(s) In Brazil
1992 was a long, strange trip for Nirvana. By the time the rock and roll superstardom express had rolled into Brazil on January 23rd, 1993, the band had ousted Michael Jackson from the top of the charts, played Saturday Night Live, toured the world and appeared on countless magazine covers. As if this wasn't enough action, Kurt Cobain also found the time to get married and have a kid. Those last two acts alone are enough to send some people spiraling into insanity. Add all the rock star stuff to it and it's easy to see why Kurt Cobain was a little frazzled on this January night in Brazil. As of yet, the spit riddled camera lenses featured in this video have not shown up on Ebay. But give Courtney Love time. Fast forward to approximately the 5:15 mark if, you know, you don't like to rock and stuff. That's when the madness begins.
3. Axl Rose Doesn't Want His Picture Taken
Seriously, this entire list could be filled with videotaped Axl Rose meltdowns. Unfortunately, I couldn't track down any video of the time Axl got punched in the face by Tommy Hilfiger. Would that have fit on this list? No. But it's Tommy Hilfiger punching Axl Rose. You want to see that. Don't lie to me.
Anyway, this now famous clip is from a concert in St. Louis (not St. Louise as the title suggests) where Axl Rose decides to take the security work into his own hands after a camera toting fan isn't ejected fast enough. Either that, or he rethought the gorilla fur coat/hot pants/policeman hat ensemble he was wearing and jumped at the first excuse he could find to get off stage and put on some normal clothes. Whatever the case, a riot ensued.
2. Kanye West Just Wants A Chance
In Kanye West's opinion, there has never been an award presented that he didn't deserve to win. Be it best new artist, producer of the year, rapper of the year, record of the year, album of the year, artist most likely to be locked away at Guantanamo Bay for saying George Bush doesn't care about black people, song of the year...it doesn't matter. If you can be nominated for it, Mr. West expects to win it. It's hard telling what exactly he was nominated for this time, whatever it was, he lost the same award to the Black Eyed Peas the year before, apparently. Who wouldn't fly into a rage over humiliation like that? But rest assured, he followed through on the "I'm through with this pop s**t, go get Britney" threats aimed at MTV in this video. How? By performing at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, of course.
1. Amy Winehouse Invents Her Own Language
I know what you're thinking. "Amy Winehouse? On a list about on stage meltdowns? Surely you jest!" Believe it people, here she is, planted firmly atop the list. Your surprise is understandable, who could have seen it coming? One minute, you're a run-of-the-mill crack smoking, kitten endangering, abused spouse/spouse abusing, train-wreck who sings from time to time. Next thing you know, you're on the MTV Europe Music Awards mumbling incoherently while trying to remember where you are and what the hell it is you're supposed to be singing about. Scientific minds will debate for decades as to how the one seemingly unconnected chain of events led to the other. Truly, it boggles the mind.
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