10 Rock Stars Drunk on Stage
Most of us have been there: a drink or two to calm our nerves before a big this or that. Even rock stars get the jitters from time to time, believe it or not. But there’s a line between combating stage fright and getting so hammered that you forget the words to your biggest song once you’re onstage. It’s a line that should never be crossed. Unfortunately, these 10 Rock Stars Drunk on Stage didn’t get the memo.
There are plenty of rock ‘n’ roll moments in a Kiss show where the cold gin can kick in and take the performance to the next level. During the big ballad ‘Beth’ isn’t one of them. It’s the one time each night where Peter Criss got to step away from his drums and to the front of the stage. At this 1979 show, he forgot the words to his one big spotlight-hogging song, lost in a hazy shade of booze.
We’re not exactly sure of this clip’s origin. It’s not like you can ask, “Remember that time Ozzy Osbourne was drunk onstage?” and get a definitive answer. From what we can gather, Osbourne was performing the Black Sabbath classic ‘War Pigs’ in Cincinnati (probably in the ’00s) when a drunken fan joined him. Together, they finish the song, even though the vocals are a bit shaky … Ozzy’s, of course.
This clip most likely comes from the Stones’ 2002-03 tour in support of their ‘Forty Licks’ compilation. Most of the action takes place during the first 10 seconds, before the music even starts. As Mick Jagger rattles off a bunch of city names, Ronnie Wood literally stumbles into frame, barely catching himself before peering into the crowd like a totally wasted deer trapped in the oncoming headlights.
During the last night of Van Halen’s 2004 reunion tour with Sammy Hagar — which the Red Rocker called “some of the most miserable, back-stabbing dark crap I’ve ever been involved with” — a super-drunk Eddie Van Halen smashed his guitar onstage. His whacked-out hairdo was usually a sign that things would soon derail, as they eventually did in Tucson on this fateful night.
Before the Who played a show at California’s Cow Palace on Nov. 20, 1973, Keith Moon took a staggering amount of animal tranquilizers. (Why? Because he’s Keith “F—ing” Moon.) He actually made it through 70 minutes of the set, but near the epic end of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again,’ the drums just stop. Moon passed out and had to be carried offstage. A fan, handpicked by Pete Townshend, filled in for the rest of the show.