25 Wild Tales Of Rock Star Excess Gone Way Too Far

Published July 19, 2018
Updated December 10, 2020

Tales of drinking, death, and debauchery that go way beyond sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy
While on tour with Mötley Crüe in 1984, Ozzy Osbourne reportedly snorted a line of live ants after being unable to find any cocaine. Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx witnessed the inhaling of innocent insects while Osbourne has gone on record as stating that he has zero recollection of the incident.Wikimedia Commons

Billy Idol

Billy Idol
Billy Idol spent three weeks hosting raucous parties in his Oriental Hotel penthouse in 1989. The "Rebel Yell" rocker was charged $149,000 by the Thailand establishment for room fees and damages. Idol ignored hotel management and refused to vacate the room. Idol had to be forcibly removed by the military, being carried out on a stretcher by Thai soldiers after being shot with a tranquilizer dart.Richard E. Aaron/Redferns/Getty Images

Cynthia Plaster Caster

Cynthia Plaster Caster
Though not a rock star, Cynthia Albritton — a.k.a. Cynthia Plaster Caster — has gotten closer to them than almost anyone else. This Chicago artist and self-proclaimed "recovering groupie" is responsible for creating plaster molds of the penises of more than 50 rock stars since the 1960s.Mick Hutson/Redferns/Getty Images

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix
By all accounts, Jimi Hendrix was Cynthia Plaster Caster's first subject. She met with him in Chicago in 1968 and has said that he was extremely easy to work with and her favorite of all her subjects.Evening Standard/Getty Images

Keith Moon

Keith Moon
The destructive antics of drummer Keith Moon reportedly got The Who banned from every single Holiday Inn in the world. On his 21st birthday in 1967, Moon was said to have driven a Rolls Royce into the swimming pool of a Michigan Holiday Inn.Wikimedia Commons

Nikki Sixx

Nikki Sixx
On Dec. 23, 1987 in Hollywood, Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx was declared dead for two minutes after a near-fatal injection of heroin. In his autobiography, Sixx recalled how a girlfriend of Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash frantically gave the rocker mouth-to-mouth until paramedics arrived. Sixx was transported to a local hospital and released the next day. He admittedly began shooting up again "almost immediately."Larry Marano/Getty Images

Keith Richards

Mick Keith
Keith Richards claimed that he once snorted the ashes of his deceased father. His manager brushed it off as a joke, but Richards has repeatedly made the claim in recent years.Express Newspapers/Getty Images

James Brown

James Brown
In 1988, James Brown stormed into an insurance company next to his office in Augusta, Ga. and pulled a shotgun on employees for allegedly using his toilet. Brown reportedly had been high on PCP when the incident happened. He then led police on a car chase from the scene before being arrested and serving three years at South Carolina’s State Park Correctional Center.Wikimedia Commons

Ace Frehley

Space Ace
Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley once allegedly chugged perfume in a drunken stupor. According to bandmate Paul Stanley, Frehley was already intoxicated during a limo ride and purposely drank the entire bottle of perfume after learning that it contained alcohol. Wikimedia Commons

Rick James

Rick James
Funk pioneer Rick James was arrested in 1991 for torturing a woman while high on crack cocaine. James and his 21-year-old girlfriend were accused of holding the woman hostage at James' Hollywood Hills home for two days, forcing her to have sex, and burning her with James' crack pipe.Wikimedia Commons

Keith Moon

Keith Moon
Keith Moon has to make a second appearance on this list for the time when he passed out on stage after consuming horse tranquilizers and brandy before a 1973 concert in California. Unable to revive him, the band invited 19-year-old audience member Scott Halpin up on stage to finish the set in place of Moon.Wikimedia Commons

Tony Iommi

Tony Iommi
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has confessed to a prank gone wrong in which he tossed a bucket's worth of alcohol onto drummer Bill Ward. The prank went wrong when Ward immediately burst into flames — for reasons that are still unclear. "It soaked third-degree burns into his legs," Iommi wrote in his 2011 autobiography.Wikimedia Commons

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent
In 1978, 30-year-old Ted Nugent became involved with 17-year-old Pele Massa. To get around the fact that she was under 18, Nugent convinced her parents to sign documents making him her legal guardian. They were then able to live together freely and the pair remained intimate for almost a decade.Wikimedia Commons

David Lee Roth

Diamond Dave
Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth allegedly paid his roadies extra money for finding the hottest groupies while on the road. Roth reportedly gave any roadie who picked the women he ultimately deemed worthy of bedding after a show an extra $100.Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart
Rock stars will find any way to get drugs into their system quickly and more efficiently, so it should come as no shock that Rod Stewart allegedly used cocaine anally. Stewart cited medical reasons for the change of pace. He worried about the adverse health effects of snorting too much coke through the nostrils.Wikimedia Commons

Slash

Slash
Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash claims in his memoir that he was once so high that he thought the titular alien from Predator was trying to kill him. In 1989, the guitarist punched through a glass door at an Arizona golf course, completely naked and in fear for his life, and grabbed a hotel maid to use as a “human shield” against the imaginary assailant.Wikimedia Commons

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Mug
Obviously, Ozzy Osbourne's ant-sniffing incident is far from his only crazy story. The metal madman was arrested for allegedly peeing on The Alamo in San Antonio during a visit in 1982. The story is only half true. In a drunken haze, Osbourne urinated on the Alamo Cenotaph, a 60-foot-high statue honoring the 189 Texans who died there during the Texas Revolution in 1836. The Cenotaph is located in the Alamo Plaza, a spot adjacent to the famous landmark.Shelby County

Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson
In 1998, shock rocker Marilyn Manson did more than $25,000 worth of destruction to a room at a Sheraton Hotel in New York after a concert at the Poughkeepsie Civic Center. Manson and his band instigated a massive food fight, but things got really out of control when their antics with a flaming shirt led to the room's carpet catching fire.Wikimedia Commons

Lori Maddox

Lori Jimmy Page
She wasn't a rocker herself, but Lori Maddox's wild adventures as a rock groupie made her a legend. Her groupie days began when she lost her virginity to David Bowie at age 15 (consensually, she insists). Soon after, she began a relationship with Jimmy Page, who asked Maddox's mother for permission — and got it.Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Izzy Stradlin

Izzy Gnr
Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin was arrested in 1989 for urinating in the aisle of a plane en route to visit family in Indianapolis. Heavily intoxicated, Stradlin claims he grew tired of waiting for the bathroom to become vacant so he unzipped and just let loose.Jack Lue/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Led Zeppelin

Led Zepp
Led Zeppelin was banned from the Edgewater Hotel in 1969 for partying too hard. The band was persona non grata at the Seattle establishment but managed to sneak back in by using false names in 1977. Once inside, the group began to misbehave again and allegedly tossed five TV sets out the window and into the waters of Puget Sound below.Wikimedia Commons

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis Myra
Piano-playing madman Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13-year-old cousin Myra Gale Brown in 1957. The marriage had been a secret from the press and fans until Lewis went to England for a tour in 1958 and brought her along. Due to the scandalous wedding, Lewis was blacklisted from numerous radio stations and dropped from Dick Clark's popular American Bandstand show.Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson
Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson was arrested in 1991 for an incident inside a 7-11 in Denver, Colo. Robinson was angry about not being able to buy booze after midnight. The woman made a comment that she'd "never heard of The Black Crowes" and Robinson promptly spit on her.Wikimedia Commons

Gene Simmons

Gene Kiss
Kiss bassist Gene Simmons reportedly has a photo album of the 4,000-plus women he's slept with over the years. Simmons said that he's "just like a tourist" and has been taking shots of each of his lovers since the early 1970s.Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury
To celebrate the launch of Queen's Jazz album in 1978, frontman and consummate showman Freddie Mercury threw a party for 400 guests inside the Fairmont New Orleans. Dubbed the "Saturday Night In Sodom," the party took place on Halloween night and allegedly cost more than $275,000. The evening's entertainment included contortionists, fire-eaters, and strippers.Wikimedia Commons

As Keith Richards once said, "I've never had a problem with drugs. I've had problems with the police."

These immortal words sum up the view that so many rock stars have held: The only problem with living hard is getting caught. For stars like Richards, drugs, booze, and an endless parade of lovers were just part of the lifestyle. In fact, the rock gods of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s in particular seemed to be in a contest to see who could take things the farthest.

If The Rolling Stones got kinky with a groupie and a candy bar, then Led Zeppelin was going to raise the stakes and incorporate a shark. If the bad boys of Mötley Crüe were rumored to be snorting multiple lines of cocaine, then Ozzy Osbourne felt the pressure to inhale a line of ants. 

From guns and groupies to trashing hotels and defiling American landmarks, these crazy stories from rock music history are prime examples of how wild things could get once the amplifiers were turned off for the night. And while these tales of rock star excess may seem too bombastic and barbarian to be true, they most certainly did happen and multiple first-person recollections — as well as more than a few police reports — can prove it.

Check out the gallery above and buckle up for the craziest stories in rock history.


After reading these larger-than-life rock tales, have a look at rock's most popular songs with not-so-innocent lyrics or dive into tales of the legendary groupies who changed music history. Then read up on GG Allin, the wildest man in rock history.

Joel Stice
Joel Stice is a writer who enjoys digging into all things pop culture, history, science, and anything weird.