For all it’s alliterative qualities, the headline ‘Rapper Riff Raff Dyes Dog Blue’ won’t impress the RSPCA much. Horst Christian Simco’s adoration for his pet pooch Jody Husky stretches to a tattoo and a dedicated twitter account, but covering your hound in chemical compound is not by definition real puppy love. Here’s 29 more of the most ridiculous things musicians have ever done…
It seemed like a good idea at the time. The KLF’s Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty took £1m to the Outer Hebrides and filmed themselves burning it in the name of art. Nobody was impressed. “It’s a hard one to explain to your kids and it doesn’t get any easier,” a repentant Drummond said in 2004. “I wish I could explain why I did it so people would understand.”
When he’s not high-fiving the Pope, storing away cash in Dutch tax exemption schemes and setting himself up as the patron saint of tainted altruism, Bono is a rock star. And rock stars do ridiculous things like having their favourite trilby flown across the world when they’ve left it at home before going on tour. Imagine that, a hat with it’s own carbon footprint? It doesn’t even have feet.
Liam Gallagher knows how to pick ‘em, especially in a fight it would seem. The then Oasis frontman lost his two front teeth in a brawl with alleged mafiosos in a Bavarian hotel in 2002. Only 17 months later, Munich police released a statement claiming his opponents were estate agents and computer nerds. What does Liam want for Xmas? The German police to do one!
With his condescending stencils turning up in LA and the Daily Mail online devoting untold pages trying to unmask him like some Britart Kendo Nagasaki, it wasn’t as if Banksy’s credibility could founder any more than it already had done in recent years. And then Justin Bieber only went and got a Banksy tattoo on his arm didn’t he? This ship has sailed. The shark has been jumped.
Axl Rose is not known for his punctuality, but even he must frown at his piss poor excuse for an excuse when he remembers the time he nearly caused a riot on Tyneside. The band arrived late on stage in Newcastle as Axl insisted on eating a full roast dinner with all the trimmings, and claimed the tardiness was due to having to wait for his Yorkshire Puddings to rise!
Keith Moon is often fêted as the wild man’s man of rock, but actually the Who drummer clearly had psychiatric problems that were never addressed probably, and his friends shouldn’t have encouraged him. His bizarre behaviour included dressing as a Nazi, driving a Rolls into a swimming pool and biting actor Steve McQueen’s dog back after the dog had bitten him.
“Ego is my drug,” says Kanye West, and when he’s away from the studio he’s not just a recreational boaster, he’s a full time 60 brags a day kinda guy. In Paris last year he went into a confusing rant that ended with the words “I am Steve Jobs!” Definitely his most ridiculous comparison yet; I mean at least choose someone in your own field, Yeezy!
James Arthur should choose his battles. The X Factor winner caused a stink last year when he branded Micky Worthless “a fucking queer” in a hapless freestyle rap. Then the clown got into a twitter spat with Frankie Boyle, which could only end one way. “I feel sorry for your kids,” said Arthur. “”I feel sorry for them too, because they’ll have to watch you in panto next year”, retorted Boyle.
How does Madonna manage to maintain her youthfulness? Is it the Kabbalah? Does she drink an elixir of bat droppings and unadulterated child’s wee? Nope, turns out it’s her skin cream which she’s been working tirelessly on in the lab herself, when she’s not touring the world or boffing French dancers half her age. The ad for MDNA is suitably ridiculous and prétentieux.
You can’t have a gallery of pop’s most ridiculous moments without mentioning Michael Jackson, as the late King of Pop was probably responsible for about 29 of them. We’ll have to confine him to one page, and after all – it’s not nice to talk ill of the dead, but really man, floating a 50 foot effigy of yourself down the Thames and dangling your own baby out of a window? Ridiculous!
Few rock stars define ridiculousness like Marilyn Manson. Look up the dictionary definition of ‘ridiculous’ and you might see his picture. But stupid, even by the God of Fuck’s standards, was the moment he pushed his junk into the back of a security man’s head. He was hit with a sexual misconduct charge quicker than you can say “but he doesn’t look anything like the guy from the Wonder Stuff”.
Elvis was the greatest pop star of all time, but also a bit deluded, a fact that wasn’t helped by manager Colonel Parker – the man they call “the man who killed Elvis” (well the Daily Mail do anyway). Elvis asked President Nixon if he could be a drug enforcement officer. Whilst probably on drugs. Nixon fobbed him off with a DOA badge, like a Blue Peter badge for deluded pop hypocrites.
It’s hard enough being a musician as it is without having someone holding a crossbow to your head while encouraging you to play badly. Somebody should have called the Musician’s Union (or even the police) on evil genius Don Van Vliet, better known as Captain Beefheart, but then we wouldn’t have a masterpiece like ‘Trout Mask Replica’ if they did.
Kasabian make a fine art out of being ridiculous, which revellers at this year’s Glastonbury Festival will find out on the Sunday night (provided it doesn’t shit it down and they all go home). They recently wrote a new topical tune called ‘Ezz-Ehh’, with the rhyming stanza: “Horsemeat in the burgers, people commit murders, everyone’s on bugle, we’re being watched by Google.” Nuff said.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard was certainly a one off. The Wu Tang man was as blessed as he was cursed, a talent and a total liability. He liked to play up for the cameras too, and invited MTV to film him as he rode in a limo with two of his thirteen children to pick up his giro and some food stamps. It was the mid-90s and he was in the top 10 at the time.
Brian Wilson wasn’t the most conventional of pop stars (still isn’t), but he had an ear for a tune to rival Mozart’s. When he heard Sgt Pepper, he was so depressed that he went to bed for three years. Later, Brian – who suffered from schizophrenia – began writing songs with his shrink, Dr Landy. Landy was struck off, but Wilson lauds him in his autobiography, Wouldn’t It Be Nice.
After a breakup it’s best to move on, maybe delete your ex from your own social media for a while, and keep a low profile. If your ex is Kate Moss, then that makes things more difficult, but there’s no excuse for selling the model’s lipstick tinged fagbutts while setting yourself up as Camden’s premier rock memorabilia rag and bone man. Pete Doherty might have over Steptoe’d the mark there.
Elton John, the man who had the rockumentary ‘Tantrums & Tiaras’ made about him by his own hubby, was a diva of divine proportions in the 70s when he was still hoofing the product of half of Bolivia’s cash crops up his hooter. One hopes he took a long, hard look at himself after apparently calling his agent from a hotel room and demanding something be done about the wind keeping him awake.
David Bowie has been responsible for some of the sharpest and most realised incarnations in pop, but his nazi salute to press at Victoria Station in the 70s wasn’t his strongest look. We’ve all done stupid things – although maybe not under the shadow of drug psychosis – but you sense this is the bête noire from Bowie’s past that comes back to haunt him at night. That and the Laughing Gnome.
Fame can send you potty, and if you’re Robbie Williams sent you off to find little green men. The Take That star threatened to give up music for alienology, though it pales into insignificance compared to his bitter rant about Britpop. Bob singled out Suede for derision, followed by a list of bands that even the band members themselves forgot they were in. Hurricane #1? Theaudience? Geneva?
Courtney Love is good value as troublesome singers go. At times in her life she’s been a walking disaster and even when she’s more compos mentis she’ll do something excellent like point out where the missing MH370 is on Twitter. Not quite so cool was when her daughter Frances Bean accused her of killing the cat. Not so according to Love who tweeted: “It was a mountain lion that killed Peabody!!”
Jim Morrison was a ridiculous man. He wrote silly poetry. He married a witch in New York, which obviously didn’t thrill his partner Pam Courson. He exposed himself live on stage, or did he? It was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Jim’s fractured mental state and he retreated to Paris to die in a bathtub in 1971. Which is a ridiculous way to die if you’re 27 and an American.
Ridiculous, yes. Amazing, yes. Heroic? Sort of. Jarvis Cocker, eight sheets to the wind at the BRIT Awards, decided to wave his arse at Michael Jackson as he performed ‘Earth Song’ in protest at Jacko setting himself up as some kind of messianic figure blessing children. The kissing of a rabbi was the final insult before the Pulp man immortalised himself as a national treasure. Makes you proud.
Serge Gainsbourg might be regarded a genius in the Francosphere, but elsewhere he’s better known for his sex life and acts of provocation. He recorded a duet with his daughter Charlotte about incest when she was 13, shot hpartner Jane Birkin being buggered by a homosexual male for his film Je t’aime (moi non plus), and asked Whitney Houston to fuck him on live TV. Great songwriter though.
Can there be a worse indignity that being shat on by Dave Matthews? In 2004 the singer and his band got into heaps of trouble when they pulled up to a bridge and illegally emptied excrement from their tour bus into the river. Or at least that was the plan. Nobody would have been any the wiser were it not for a boat full of architecture students passing underneath at the time. Splat!
Phil Spector, genius, madman, and eventually a killer. He made some of the lushest sounding rock ‘n’ roll records using some bizarre methods of getting the most out of his musicians. While working with the Ramones, he made them play one chord over and over for eight hours, and when they tried to leave the studio he pulled a gun on them and made them play the Ronettes’ hit ‘Baby, I Love You’!
Fleetwood Mac guitarist Jeremy Spencer had it all. He was the guitarist in Fleetwood Mac for a start. Then on tour in 1971, Spencer upped and left to join the Children of God, a sex cult, or a sexy cult if you’re in them. Mick Fleetwood said Spencer hadn’t recovered from a bad mescaline trip, while Spencer later admitted: “The way I left was wrong and a mistake.”
In 1990, people were either taking ecstasy, worrying themselves sick that they had Mad Cow Disease, watching doomed BBC1 soap Eldorado or attending Anti-Poll Tax demonstrations. Julian Cope did the last of those (and possibly the first) and all while dressed up as a seven foot alien called Mr. Sqwubbsy. As you do. They don’t make ‘em like Julian Cope anymore sadly.
Iggy Pop is said to have a good golfing handicap, whatever that means, but in 1976 he was so serious about the game he decided to become a professional golfer instead of a rock star. Instead, a wake up call about his own drug addiction took hold, and he booked himself into a mental institution to clean up. A moment of clarity that saved him from wearing bad trousers for the rest of his life.