The world of rock and roll is brimming with insane stories of people’s humanity being seriously taken into question. Be it any of GG Allin’s belligerent on-stage antics, Keith Moon’s near-psychotic penchant for blowing things up, or the many hijinx of The Rolling Stones, the rockstars of days gone by cultivated notoriety for their appetite for destruction.
I think it’s safe to say that many of those who had to endure the other side of such a gluttonous addiction to hellraising were not best pleased. Famously, The Who were banned from all Holiday Inns hotels after Keith Moon‘s 21st birthday celebrations in 1967. It saw a Lincoln Continental driven into the swimming pool, a food fight which descended into a real, physical wrangle.
The era of classic rock is particularly notorious for rockstars making a nuisance of themselves. John Lennon’s ‘Lost Weekend’ of 18 months between 1973 and 1975 is also an infamous reflection of this. During the long and drawn out haze of alcohol and drugs, Lennon and his partner in crime Harry Nilsson, were thrown out of the Troubadour in LA for heckling the Smothers Brothers. Additionally, there exists a rumour that Lennon even punched a waitress whilst being ejected, but we’ll let you decide on the validity of that for yourself.
Rock and roll excess reached a boiling point during the 1970s, with the pandora’s box of drug and alcohol abuse that was opened in the ’60s starting to really take its toll. It was an ere in which things became genuinely ridiculous. The deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin in 1970 due to ‘misadventure’ set a rather stark precedent for the decade moving forward.
One band that embodied 1970s excess was hard rockers Aerosmith. Led by the ‘Toxic Twins’ of frontman Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry, the band were so excessive that they went to the brink and back again at numerous points across the first decade of their career. Tyler and Perry were afforded the nickname due to their near-constant drug abuse, which paints a vivid portrait of the type of lifestyle the band were living during their heyday.
Duly, the band had larger than life personalities, and they left a trail of destruction everywhere they went. Understandably, this left a lot of people angry at the band for the insouciance with which they made people’s lives harder. In his memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, Steven Tyler recalled an instance in which people took revenge on the band in the most disgusting fashion.
Those wronged were the catering crew, and they had had enough of Aerosmith’s disrespect. Tyler didn’t state exactly where these events took place, but it is one of the most shocking cases of revenge in music history. Allegedly, a group of angry catering crew members would regularly wipe their behinds with the baloney on the band’s tray and place it back for the band to scoff it without realising that it was covered with specks of faecal matter.
Tyler said: “I found out years later (through a crew member confessional) that when the techs would get pissed off at the band, they’d wipe their ass with the bologna and put back on the deli tray”.