As we tick towards the end of yet another weird year in the wacky world of rock and pop, NME.COM took a trawl through the newsdesk archive to find the bizarre stories that put the “why?” in Y2K…
Ol’ Dirty Bastard was arrested in the car park of a McDonalds after mistaking cops for autograph hunters. The fugutive rapper was nabbed a matter of days after managing to evade dozens of police officers stationed outside a New York venue, after appearing on stage with his fellow Wu-Tang Clan members right under their noses.
Seven hundred Def Leppard fans demanded their cash back – leaving the rockers $14,000 out of pocket – after complaining that the band weren’t loud enough at the LB Day Amphitheatre, Salem, Oregon, where the other attractions included the watermelon-seed spitting contest, the crepe-off, the mushroom challenge, best five-vegetable casserole and best milk moustache. The band’s Joe Elliott later blamed MC Hammer, claiming they’d been forced to keep the sound below local city noise limits which were set after “a particularly loud MC Hammer show”.
Brett Anderson became a recluse and declared that he vanted to be alone, shunning the spotlight and the crazy London rock ‘n’ roll scene to lock himself away in a private cottage and work on lyrics for the new Suede album in the remote and hallowed sanctuary that is – Croydon. Yes, the place artists lovingly describe as “that nondescript area you drive through as quickly as you can when you’re leaving London on your way to Gatwick Airport.”
Robbie Williams was declared “satanic” by censors in the Dominican Republic after they saw the video for ‘Rock DJ’.
Four hundred kids fled Bowsher High School in WHEREVER after two students – “dressed in Gothic-style clothing” – decided they’d rather scoff pages from their school Bible than risk the cafeteria food. The darklings who sparked the mass departure were fans of Marilyn Manson and said they were simply demonstrating their atheistic views. So interested in their atheistic views were the powers that be, six police cars turned up, interviewed 25 students and parents were up in arms.
In a classic “good vs evil” stand-off, grimly fiendish dark lord Marilyn Manson himself vented his spleen (eurgh) on God-squad field marshall general Moby, offering to have him beaten up after the meat-free baldy boy condemned MM’s violent stage shows. Moby said there was no need for the sort of thrills and spills at a Manson gig which led to drummer Ginger Fish breaking his collarbone. From his lair, Marilyn swiped back calling Moby a “TV commercial soundtracker” and said: “My drummer has offered to beat him up with his good arm”.
After over a month of being reminded about Alan McGee’s oft-repeated “bedwetters” attack on Coldplay, frontman Chris Martin finally struck back, bizarrely declaring: “He eats babies. He chases horses. I mean, he’s crazy. He steals cars.”
The Little People Of America association took Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt to task for extolling the virtues of “dwarf-tossing”. His offshoot project The Frustrators’ song ‘Great Australia Midget Toss’ was played at a National Basketball Association game in Los Angeles, with the refrain:“Hate to land them on their face, those little guys are hard to replace” being chanted. He had to level with the little guys and make a climbdown after they piped up to tell him they thought it was a low-down lyric.
2000 was a year of odd hoaxes, with someone going to the effort of creating a phoney web-page that looked like an official news service page declaring that Lars Ulrich from Metallica had been shot in the groin by a pro-Napster music fan screaming “you killed Napster,” and a hoax email being distributed which claimed that Eminem had been killed in a car crash, complete with picture of a wrecked car.
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead… got so enthusiastically entangled in a brawl at a gig in San Antonio that they smashed up their instruments to use as weapons, forcing them to cancel their UK tour. Bloodshed at their previous gig in London, where drummer Jason Reece had to have stitches in his hand after cutting it on his kit during a chaotic stage invasion, hadn’t stopped them, though.
Staying in ER, Beck got impaled on his bass-player’s guitar at a gig in London during set-closer ‘Devil’s Haircut’, and was rushed to a private hospital fearing that he had ruptured organs. The trooper carried on with gigs in Manchester and Glasgow though.
It was a case of R&B unzipped rather than unplugged during K-Ci And JoJo’s performance at the innocent, if ironically titled, Christmas Jingle Ball show in Los Angeles left 4,000 teens with their jaws on the floor and outraged parents fleeing the venue, dragging their kids with them. No, they weren’t that good – K-Ci (allegedly) decided to put his crown jewels on display. He left the venue before cops could, ahem, tackle him about the incident.