During a Guns N'Roses gig in Paris in 1992, Axl Rose prefaced the song 'Double Talkin' Jive' with a bizarre invective against Warren Beatty. "He likes to play games... pre-meditated games. He's a parasite." Why so angry? Beatty was the ex of Axl's then-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour (as was Julian Casablancas' dad). Pic: PA Photos
Nathan Williams, frontman with blog-buzz also-rans Wavves, made enemies at Spain's Primavera festival in May of this year by strumming directionlessly, mocking the crowd ("Oooh, I'm on ecstasy!") and insulting his own drummer when he tried to quit the stage ("Hey, get back here motherfucker!"). Williams later blamed a mixture of ecstasy, Valium and Xanax for his meltdown. Pic: Danny North
When a power cut brought Oasis' Heaton Park gig shuddering to a halt, Noel Gallagher generously announced that it was "a free gig from now on", offering fans a refund. Unfortunately, 20,000 fans actually took him up on the offer, at which point his generosity evaporated. "Cheeky cunts," he wrote online. "Tsk, some people." Pic: Dean Chalkley
Courtney Love has had more onstage meltdowns than most, but this rant at an unruly crowd member, from a Dutch gig in the mid-'90s, takes some beating: "Take your Bon Jovi shirt and go fuck yourself with Eddie Vedder's dildo. Is little miss Dutch bitch mad cuz I fucked Trent? Is she mad cuz I fucked Brad Pitt? Kurt hated this fucking town, I hate this town. Go fuck yourself." Pic: PA Photos
As he himself would freely admit, Peter Hook was frequently drunk during his time with Monaco. At one gig at Exeter University supporting The Charlatans he told the crowd, "Good evening. We're Monaco, you're a bunch of student cunts." Pic: PA Photos
Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire lashed out at Glastonbury's hippy vibe in 1994, when he barked from the stage, "Somebody should build a bypass over this shithole!" Years later he expressed regret , saying ruefully, "It was supposed to be a joke. It was painful but glorious." Pic: Dean Chalkley
It's one thing for a musician to get angry, quite another for him to suddenly be struck down by existential horror. During a gig in Frankfurt in 1972, Leonard Cohen became so depressed he could no longer play. "I have been noted for my solemn atmosphere," he said. "But I don't care if this concert turns into a riot. Because I can't go along with this pretence any longer." Pic: PA Photos
Taking a leaf out of Nicky Wire's book, at Glastonbury 2005 Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie called the assembled unwashed hordes "a bunch of fucking hippies". Bassist Mani then joined in the fun: "Do you wanna see The Stone Roses? Well, you should've been here 15 years ago, you fucking lazy bastards!" Pic: Dean Chalkley
Kanye West's most famous onstage moment is, of course, his "I'm happy for you..." interruption at the MTV awards, but it's by no means the only time he's embarrassed himself onstage. At a gig in 2008, he told a misbehaving fan to "eat shit and die", the gravity of the moment undermined by the fact his voice was Auto-Tuned at the time. Pic: PA Photos
Josh Homme – he's a charmer. At a festival in Norway in 2008, after a member of the crowd threw something at him, the QOTSA frontman called for the offender to be dragged up onstage. "Lift him up so that I can kick him in the fucking face," he bellowed. "Miserable fucking cunt. Go back to your mom's house, you 12-year-old dickless fucking turd."
Lou Reed's 1978 live album 'Take No Prisoners' is a masterclass in rambling, directionless, self-indulgent banter. After bitching randomly about Barbra Streisand, at one point he asks the crowd, "You ever put a quarter in one of those machines, man? Like, the bear that plays basketball?" Pic: PA Photos
Billy Corgan is not known for his sense of humour. Even so, his response to a fan who complained about the quality of a Smashing Pumpkins show was astonishingly childish: "By the way I like that song you wrote. What was it called, 'Take Your Dick Out Of My Ass And Stick It In Your Mouth'? I hear that was a big hit." Pic: Pieter M Van Hattem
Kiss man Paul Stanley's banter is so legendary it is available online as a compilation entitled 'People, Let Me get This Off My Chest'. Highlights range from the creepy ("We got any little girls out there tonight?") to the, er, more creepy: "How many of you girls like to get licked? How many GUYS like to get licked?"
Pic: PA Photos
The Doors' 1969 gig at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami was eventful. At one point a drunk Jim Morrison slurred: "I'm lonely. Ain't nobody gonna love my ass? Come on." He then reportedly said: "Do you want to see my cock?" Pic: PA Photos
Onstage in New Jersey in 1986, Cronos (right) of Brit metal behemoths Venom went on a rant that was so absurd ("You wanna hear something that's gonna kick your balls off?"), Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore released it as a single. Listen to it here. Pic: PA Photos
Joe Strummer was the master of dealing with hecklers. At London's Roundhouse in 1976, the Clash singer/guitarist met a request from a corpulent fan to "get on with it" with the reposte, "Get on with what, you big twit? Haven't you got any brains at all?" Pic: PA Photos
The Cure's performance at Belgium's Werchter Festival in 1983 is worth watching, if only for the chaotic final moments in which bassist Simon Gallup bellows amid howling feedback, "Fuck Robert Palmer and fuck rock'n'roll!" (Robert Palmer was the next act on). Pic: Rex Features
At Reading 1988, Meat Loaf was bombarded with bottles of urine and stopped his set to ask the crowd, "Do you guys wanna rock'n'roll, or do you just wanna throw stuff?" The response? A cider flagon in the face. He promptlty stormed off, never to return to a British festival. Pic: PA Photos
The Sex Pistols' final show at San Francisco's Winterland in 1978 was famously chaotic. While Sid Vicious (pictured) played his bass like he was trying to kick it to death, Johnny Rotten howled, "No fun, my babe, no fun... Oh bollocks, why should I carry on? A-haha! Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Good night!" Pic: PA Photos
The world of hardcore punk is full of wannabe tough guys, so Guy Picciotto's insult, aimed at a violent audience member in Washington, 1993, was particularly well-aimed. "Oh, you're bad now," said Fugazi's guitarist/vocalist. "But you were eating an ice cream cone and I SAW you. Ice cream-eating motherfucker, that's what you are."
When touring Germany 'don't mention the war' is a good rule of thumb. Unfortunately, Jefferson Starship vocalist Grace Slick ignored this. At a gig in Hamburg in 1978 she goose-stepped, performed the 'Heil Hitler' salute and repeatedly asked the audience, "Who won the war?" Slick quit the band immediately aferwards.
Famously 'sensitive' singer-songwriter Fiona Apple incurred the wrath of the assembled media at a gig in New York in 2000. After experiencing technical difficulties she sulked, "Fuck you! Put your notebooks away! If there are any critics here who give me a bad review because of this I'll fucking kill you." Pic: PA Photos
Former Fugees singer Lauryn Hill rather misjudged her audience while performing a benefit gig at the Vatican, chastising the crowd, "Holy God is a witness to the corruption of your leadership. There is no acceptable excuse to defend the church." Take that, The Pope! Pic: PA Photos
At the vast US festival in 1983, Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth took the opportunity to mock the previous night's headliners, The Clash, by taking a deep swig of Jack Daniel's assuring the crowd that it was real: "The only people who put iced tea in Jack Daniel's bottles is The Clash, baby!" [Watch].
Pic: PA Photos
"Eat my used tampon, fuckers!" is not a phrase you hope to hear many times in life – but that's exactly what L7 guitarist Donita Sparks told the Reading Festival crowd in 1992, before hurling said tampon into the audience. Pic: PA Photos
Whimsical singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock is prone to bizarre, surreal flights of fancy inbetween songs, one example being: "I don't know what kind of church you imagine, but I like to imagine a church full of carcasses." Hmm. It's hardly, "Good evening, Wembley!", is it? Pic: Rex Features
Former Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard is so proud of his drunken onstage comments, he's assembled them and released them on vinyl. It's called 'Relaxation Of The Asshole' and it includes such 'gems' as, "To anyone who says we have a drink problem, we say... fuck you!" Pic: PA Photos
Bob Dylan's born-again Christian phase in the late '70s led him to come out with some amazingly unappealing onstage pronouncements, such as this one from November 1979, at a gig in San Francisco: "I'd like to say we're presenting the show under the authority of Jesus Christ." Pic: PA Photos
It's one of the most distressing clips in music: At a gig in Rapid City in 1977, just six weeks before his death, a drug-addled Elvis Presley loses his thread during 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', trailing off into tragic gibberish: "And now the stage is bare, and I'm standing there, without any hair… huh, huh… ah, the heck with it." Pic: PA Photos