True stories of music and the macabre...
Happy Friday the 13th to those who love all things strange and sensationalist! Today we thought we'd feed that morbid streak by exploring some of the craziest things that have happened in the music industry over the years. Be warned: It's not for the faint-hearted...
1. Ozzy Osbourne's batty stage antics
Probably one of the craziest true stories in rock, Ozzy Osbourne made headlines in 1982 after biting the head off a bat while on stage at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa during his Diary of a Madman Tour. Somebody had thrown the bat on stage during his performance and he, believing it to be made of rubber, seized the opportunity for a bit of theatrical fun.
Ozzy Osbourne performing in 2017 / Photo Credit: Francesco Castaldo/Zuma Press/PA Images
Needless to say, he soon realised that the bat was in fact real and, worse still, wasn't even dead but only stunned. In fact, he ended up in hospital being treated for rabies after the animal bit his tongue.
2. The murderous madness of Mayhem
Perhaps the creepiest bit about this story is how it felt so pre-determined from the beginning. In 1988, Norwegian black metal band Mayhem were joined by a new frontman nicknamed Dead (real name Per Yngve Ohlin). From the outset, his obsession with death was clear, from the corpse paint on his face to the public self-harm on stage. So it was unsurprising that he went on to take his own life in 1991 at the age of just 22.
What was alarming though was bandmate Euronymous' reaction to the suicide; he actually found Dead's body at their woodland cabin and proceeded to take photographs of the grisly scene, with one even being used as the artwork for their live album Dawn of the Black Hearts. Just two years later, Euronymous was murdered by session musician Varg Vikernes during an altercation, which ultimately marked the end of Mayhem.
3. Meredith Hunter and Sympathy for the Devil
Meredith Hunter was an African-American teen who was stabbed and beaten to death by Hell's Angels security during Rolling Stones' set at the 1969 Altamont Free Concert. The story goes that the Stones were playing Sympathy for the Devil when the teen was killed; a song essentially about the Devil taking pleasure in the deaths of others.
However, they were in fact playing Under My Thumb which, of course, makes the situation a little less spooky. On the other hand, Sympathy for the Devil came earlier in the set, and the band were forced to stop and restart it after a fight broke out in the crowd. "We're always having—something very funny happens when we start that number", said Mick Jagger.
4. The 27 club
It's a bizarre coincidence that some of the greatest musicians of all time all happened to pass away at the age of 27. Among them are Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones and Amy Winehouse. This phenomenon has been labelled The 27 Club, and remains a morbid curiosity for music fans despite the fact that there is no such "statistical spike" that suggests famous musicians are any more likely to die at that age. It's simply a tragic coincidence.
Amy Winehouse at the Brit Awards 2007 / Photo Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images
5. Nine Inch Nails' Manson murder house album
Mayhem certainly weren't the only band to be inspired by death. Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor bought 10050 Cielo Drive, Los Angeles in 1992 to use as his home studio; the actual house where the Manson Family murdered Sharon Tate and her friends. It was there he recorded most of NIN's second album The Downward Spiral, even naming the actual studio "Pig" after what was scrawled across the front door of the property by Susan Atkins back in 1969.
Nine Inch Nails at Aerodrome Festival 2018 / Photo Credit: Ondrej Hajek/Czech News Agency/PA Images
Reznor did claim that he didn't purchase the house for shock value and also that he didn't know the house's history when he bought it, but he did eventually sell it after an uncomfortable conversation with Tate's sister... But he took the front door with him.
Erin Gilbert is a brilliant quantum physicist and holds a high ranking lecturing position at...
'Lemmy' is the biographical documentary film of one Ian Kilmister, legendary rock'n'roller and leader of...
Some gardens just wouldn't be complete without the addition of a garden gnome or two....
Having now seen "Little Nicky," in which Adam Sandler plays the retarded son of Satan,...