2015’s Funniest Rock Stories
As 2015 comes to a close, your friends at Ultimate Classic Rock are taking a look back at the year that was — specifically, some of the best, worst and weirdest stories we’ve covered over the last 12 months. We saw plenty of sad news this year, so we were always grateful for the stories that made us laugh — from rock's most expensive fart to the always-amusing exploits of Nickelback, we’ve seen a number of humorous news items come over the ticker since Jan. 1, and we’ve compiled 10 of the more unforgettable entries below. Ready for a few good laughs? Read on ...
A bet is a bet, even if you're so drunk you don't really know what you're saying — as Joakim Brodén, singer for Swedish metal band Sabaton, proved when he lived up to the terms of an inebriated wager that left him making his way to his band's next gig by covering more than 300 miles on foot. To his credit, Brodén didn't try to get out of it — though he did tell fans "it would be great if you could offer me a beer."
It's only polite to crack a window after you let one rip in a confined space, right? Yet like any rule, there are exceptions — like when you're playing at a Washington, D.C., club and it's after curfew, which is how one well-meaning drummer ended up getting a venue blasted with a $500 fine.
In a scene we'd love to see play out in the inevitable Slap Shot remake, hockey player Ryan Hollweg entertained attendees at a game with his enthusiastic (albeit somewhat sloppy) rendition of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'." Did we mention the game was in the Czech Republic?
What do you do if you're Stephen Colbert and you really want to perform the whistling solo during Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard," but Simon refuses to come on your show and play? Easy: You book the Simon tribute band that played at your barbecue last summer ... except, as you can see in this video, Colbert had a surprise for the audience up his sleeve.
He's tangled with Paul Stanley and the PMRC, so it was no big deal for Dee Snider to take a moment during a Twisted Sister festival show over the summer to let one of Europe's roadies know he was making too much noise on another stage. "This is my f—ing show," Snider warned in a tombstone-worthy quote. "I will s— on your f—ing band’s show."
You've got to love a police department with a sense of humor. During Nickelback's Australian tour earlier this year, the Queensland PD goofed on the band prior to its stop Brisbane Entertainment Centre, warning citizens that the band members were "believed to be impersonating musicians" and urging people in the area to "avoid the area. It may be hazardous to your hearing and street cred."
Lars Ulrich has spent decades behind the kit for Metallica, but those bona fides haven't stopped a never-ending onslaught of gags regarding his sense of timing. The best of the bunch this year was this clip that splices together footage from the award-winning Whiplash — starring J.K. Simmons as an exacting bandleader who screams at his students a lot — with clips of Ulrich playing.
We've all been to our share of bad concerts, but disgruntled Chuck Berry fans who witnessed the rock legend's poor performance at a 2013 concert in Finland were actually ticked off enough to go to court — and they won, enacting a Finnish law that requires concert promoters to issue a 50 percent refund for shows that are "well below reasonably expected standards."
In their second appearance on our list of 2015's Funniest Rock Stories, Nickelback raised a bunch of money for charity simply by being the butt of a joke. Hoping to help the Charity: Water organization, a man named Jesse Carey volunteered to listen to the band nonstop for a week — and ended up bringing in more than $36,000. All's well that ends well, although Carey admitted he was understandably nervous about his time in the audio trenches, saying, "Nickelback is penetrating into my unconscious. I don’t know what’s going to happen."
The Foo Fighters have always done pretty well for themselves, so you'd think a conspiracy would be the last thing on people's minds after frontman Dave Grohl was forced to perform from a custom-built throne after breaking his leg on tour. Apparently, some people actually believed Grohl faked the whole thing to goose ticket sales — a theory Grohl laughs off in this video, promising the crowd he has a note from his doctor to prove it.