18 Of The Most Farcical Onstage Tantrums

Some of rock’s most entertaining stories are tails of rock stars storming off stage for laughable reasons. Here are some of the best examples, from Kings Of Leon to Plan B.


Kings of Leon were forced to abandon a show in Missouri for a novel reason that raised much mirth in 2010, namely that they were getting covered in pigeon doodoos. “So sorry St Louis,” they tweeted. “We had to bail, pigeons shitting in Jared’s mouth and it was too unsanitary to continue.”


It doesn’t take much to make Morrissey leave the stage. In fact three little letters will usually do it, namely BBQ. Moz has a strict ‘no dead flesh’ policy at venues he plays, but unable to enforce such provisos at a huge festival like Coachella, Moz was heard to say “I can smell burning flesh… and I hope to God it’s human,” before taking off.


Jack White’s not a man easily wound up… I beg your pardon, he is. According to the Detroit Free Press, White became “visibly displeased with the standing crowd’s lack of intensity in what he wanted to be a symbiotic affair” when he played there last year, and so he walked off. To be fair be did come back and then play a 10 song encore. Creative types, huh?


Leeds Festival 2014 – Bramham Park – 22/08/2014

Joey Bada$$ walked off stage at Field Day Australia recently having played one track, ‘95 til Infinity’. Eyewitnesses said Bada$$ struggled his way through the first number, then “stormed off frustrated” to give his voice a good kicking backstage.


Eric Clapton walked off stage in Glasgow in 2014. Slowhand was apparently having technical difficulties, but he failed to communicate this with his fans. One person tweeted that Clapton’s behaviour was “embarrassing and insulting, especially regarding the price of tickets.”


Rob Zombie annoyed fans when he walked off after 10 minutes at a show last July, only issuing a message to remaining fans within the venue via a screen at 10 to midnight, complaining of a sore throat. Cue: loads of booing.


Kanye West is given to stopping songs on stage and ranting like a loon about how he and his wife are persecuted celebrities, but he caused particular offence in September 2014 when he stopped a show in Sydney to complain about two people not dancing. Both turned out to be disabled.



Elton John in hissyfit shocker. Not! During one of Reg’s residency shows at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas in May 2012, the singer was evidently upset with something behind the scenes, shouting that “Someone in my production team is fucking fired!”. He also threw his water on stage four times. The bitch, as he’d say, was back.


While playing in Birmingham, Rihanna went walkabout and got up close and personal with her fans. One cloying devotee with a firm grip may have wished they hadn’t held her hand so tight as she wandered by offering her outstretched limb. The singer turned and violently clattered the offender with her microphone before walking away casually.


Fergie of Black Eyed Peas shame caused a sensation not so much with a meltdown but more a trickledown, when she famously pissed her pants after arriving late on stage without a having taken a toilet break first. At first she denied it, preferring people to believe she had overactive sweat glands in her trousers. Later she told Blender: “It was horrible, but whatever. It happens.”