We expect our rock stars to be a little crazy. Sex, drugs and trashed hotel rooms are all part of the rocking package.
But even in the crazy-ass world these artists live in, sometimes there's an incident that makes everybody stop and say, "Dude."
In the early 90s, Sinead O'Connor scored a massive hit with her cover of the Prince-penned "Nothing Compares To You." Sorry, that should probably read "Nothing Compares 2 U." We are talking about Prince after all. At any rate, according to O'Connor, His Purpleness was less than thrilled with her decision to cover the song since he was already planning to give it to a female protege of his, perhaps in exchange for a series of unthinkable sex acts.
When he met with Sinead to discuss the situation, things got a bit out of hand. And by "out of hand" we mean "they got in a goddamned fistfight."
It started with Prince berating the shorn-locked singer for, of all things, cursing in interviews. She replied with a diplomatic and sympathetic "go fuck yourself." At that point, O'Connor claims Prince became physically threatening, or at least to the extent Prince can physically threaten anyone.
At that point the two went at it, in what was probably the most effeminate fistfight of all time. Prince used his fists, O'Connor used loogies. "All I could do was spit. I spat on him quite a bit," she said. Classy! Not that beating women is any classier, but seriously, how would you feel if you were robbed of the chance to pass one of your most enduring tunes onto one of your talented proteges? Imagine the possibilities!
That Ozzy Osbourne once bit the head off a bat is old news. To the credit of his sanity, he apparently didn't know it was a real bat. Plus, he was in Des Moines, Iowa at the time. When you're spending an evening in a place like Iowa, you find your fun however you can.
A slightly less famous incident happened at CBS Records' Los Angeles office shortly after Ozzy left Black Sabbath to embark on a solo career. Sensing that CBS was not overly interested in her husband or his music, Sharon Osbourne decided it would be a good idea for Ozzy to show up at a meeting with CBS executives with a couple of live doves in pockets. The idea was that he would release them into the air when he walked in. And who wouldn't be impressed by having a couple of albino birds hurled into the air at their place of employment?
But Ozzy, ever the showman, decided that instead of releasing the doves, he would take one out of his pocket and delightfully bite its head off as CBS employees looked on in horror. According to an eyewitness, the reaction was an understandably stunned silence followed by Ozzy being hastily removed from the room, presumably while little spurts of blood shot from the bird's ragged neck stump.
This is the kind of story that, over the years, becomes so shrouded in legend that people start to question whether it is even true, us included. But, admittedly, this picture of Ozzy Osbourne biting off the head of a dove while shocked record execs look on is pretty damning evidence.
It's not unusual these days for an artist to score a huge album and, in later interviews, give all the credit for their success to God. Ok, it's not unusual for rappers and R&B singers at least. But in a 1999 interview with Rolling Stone, Carlos Santana awesomely took things a step further.
Those skeptics among us would be tempted to credit the success of the album largely to the fact that it consisted mostly of Carlos playing guitar on songs that, otherwise, didn't resemble Santana songs in the least. But when asked about the inspiration for his comeback album Supernatural (of course) Carlos credited a mystical spirit named Metatron.
In Carlos' own words:
"I know it sounds New Age... but in my meditation, this entity - which is called Metatron - he said, 'we want to hook you back to the radio airwave frequency. We want you to reach junior high schools, high schools and universities. Once you reach them - because we are going to connect you with the best artists of the day, then we want you to present them a new menu. Let them know that they are themselves, multidimensional spirits with enormous possibilities and opportunities. We want you to present them with a new form of existence that transcends religion, politics or the modus operandi of education today'"
He also went on to say, "Metatron is the architect of physical life. Because of him, we can French-kiss, we can hug, we can get a hot dog, wiggle our toe." Well, we do certainly dig hot dogs. And we like a god who may possibly be a Transformer. Then again ... Metatron claimed the album would feature "the best artists of the day." This would be an album that featured both Rob Thomas and Everlast.
We'd have to say we're non-believers, Santana.