Drugs can do some crazy shit to some even crazier people. That's never more apparent than when you're watching some of your favourite musicians channeling their inner Satan live on stage, hopped up on a giddy mix of hormones, amphetamines and champagne. From the disturbingly violent pelvic thrusts of Mick Jagger to the outright mental stage rides of Miley Cyrus, it's clear some people just like doing weird shit on stage.
Here are some of the craziest things people have done on stage!
1. Alice Cooper
Impaled baby dolls on shiny swords on stage
Alice Cooper indulged in a lot of shock rock acts that added to the manic myth that surrounded him in the 70s and 80s. He had a working guillotine on stage, impaled baby dolls on shiny swords and walked around with a live boa constrictor around his shoulders for the most part. Certifiably mental!
2. Ozzy Osbourne
Bit off a bat's head on stage
This story might have been done to death, but it doesn't make it any less interesting/ revolting/ appetising (?). In 1980, while going a little crazy on stage with Black Sabbath, someone threw a bat on stage. Ozzy happily picked it up and bit its head right off, redefining the term 'bat-shit crazy'.
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers
Played full live shows wearing nothing but socks
Most of the people on this list have had substance abuse problems, which is pretty sad until you read about the things RHCP was doing on stage in their earlier punk/ funk avatar. Playing live in the nude in front of thousands of people takes some big cojones, as was clearly apparent through their 90s gigs. Flea even got arrested for obscenity once! It's ok though, they wore socks over the main bits.
4. GG Allin
Cut himself and ate his own faeces during performances
The most polarising, extreme and straight up insane dude on this list, GG Allin was one of the highlights of the politically fiery New York punk scene of the 70s and 80s. Possessing a cynical view of corporations and the direction rock music was taking, he struck back by engaging in acts of self mutilation, attacking of audience members and covering himself in his own faeces during live performances. He wanted to draw a parallel between his actions and "a society that's going crazy with violence".
5. Iggy Pop
Rolled around on shards of glass and regularly puked on stage
While it's debatable whether iconic punk rocker Iggy Pop actually invented the stage dive, he definitely rolled around in glass and slashed himself on stage frequently. A sign of rebellion so to speak, this self mutilation does force one to draw strong parallels with the emo and goth community. However, he did once taunt and then get beaten up by a biker gang, after which he went back on to sing the rest of his set. So yeah, no emo comparisons thank you very much.
6. Marilyn Manson
Ironed a Nazi flag and urinated on the crowd while on stage
The new generation Manson isn't just known for getting rid of one of his ribs so he could pleasure himself, the man has a whole bunch of stuff under his rib-less belt. The devout Satanist has done some weird shit onstage, including cutting himself, ironing a Nazi flag and "jacking off with a strap-on dildo and urinating on the crowd," according to the cops.
7. Jim Morrisson
Got arrested for waving his penis around on stage
The legendary lead singer of the doors was a hellraiser both on stage and in the studio. Usually being too fried to record, he also tried and almost succeeded in starting a riot during a show in Miami's Dinner Key auditorium in 1969. Oh and he also also got arrested for waving his penis around on stage.
8. Lady Gaga
Got a person to puke green milk on her during a performance
The over-the-top singer is known for her avant garde fashion sense and for pushing the boundaries in more ways than one. During a show at one of the SXSW concerts, she was performing a song called 'swine', and true to the name, got a fellow artiste to throw up something green and nasty on her, all in the name of art.
9. Miley Cyrus
Pretended to have sex with a blow up doll on stage
A far cry from her days as the nauseatingly innocent Hannah Montana days, Miley Cyrus does a whole lot of crazy shit at the moment. She's frequently seen straddling blow up dolls and inflatable props on stage, and even simulated fellatio on one of the said dolls. Hardcore.
10. Digital Suicide
Got barred from a pub thanks to their fiery lyrics
The boozy electro-rock/rap duo from Assam have faced the wrath of pub and club owners around the country, thanks in most part to their no-holds-barred lyricism, fiery performances and straight up punk rock pizzazz. They write 'protest music with gadgets', and were recently banned from a pub in Shillong after ranting against bigotry, insurgency and the greed of corporate stooges everywhere. In a country where it's rare to see people do anything close to a little edgy on stage, these guys are really changing the scene.
Supported freedom for Tibet while performing in Shanghai
The demure looking Bjork packs more than a punch. She displayed some serious gall at multiple performances. The Icelander was playing in Shanghai when she decided to dedicate the song 'Declare Independence' to the Tibetan freedom movement and in Tokyo to the Kosovo freedom movement. She might not be the typical wild child, but she's miles ahead in the badass department.
12. Jimi Hendrix
Lit his guitar on fire while performing in 1967
Jimi, and in fact most of the cats from the 60s were known for playing shows while off their rockers on some of the most potent acid at the time. During his iconic performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, Jimi Hendrix squirted lighter fluid all over his restrung Fender Strat and set it on fire in a blaze of melody and madness. He also suffered burn wounds to his hands. What a baller!
13. Pussy Riot
Performed an explicit punk gig inside a cathedral
These feminist punk rock firestarters from Moscow have gained headlines the world over thanks to their 'guerilla performances', wherein they perform in unusual public locations wearing ski masks and rally against issues ranging from LGBT rights to how much they despise Vladmir Putin. They even did a performance at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ The Saviour, which was cut short by authorities and deemed the devil's work by local parishioners.
14. The Rolling Stones
Notorious for their wild and sexually charged live shows in the 60s
If you've had the chance to read 'Life', Keith Richards's biography, you'll be familiar with the kind of hellraisers the Stones really were. Mick Jagger provocative lyrics and sexually charged stage moves were only complemented by Richards himself, who was doing lines of blow kept ready for him behind amplifiers mid-show.