If you're a rock star whose defining work came out somewhere between the years of 1969 and 1994, chances are your body and soul have atrophied into tiny prunes thanks to a decades-long carousel of hedonism. And, every so often, a true champion of debauchery emerges from this crowd of partied-out husks, like Lenny Kravitz's pierced phallus blasting its way out of cowhide trousers. Who are we talking about?
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It seems like a ridiculous understatement to say that Guns N' Roses were party animals. A band doesn't get the nickname "the most dangerous band in the world" by enjoying an occasional wine cooler. As if his body were deliberately trying to solidify the band's reputation, Duff McKagan drank so much booze that his pancreas fucking exploded.
In a habit formed from spending so much time trapped in a confined space with Axl Rose (that's not a joke -- that's actually the reason), McKagan used to spend his days in GNR trapped in a perpetual whirlwind of cocaine and a daily half-gallon of vodka. That is, before he made the more health-conscious decision to cut back to 10 bottles of red wine per day.
One day, however, his boozing was interrupted by his pancreas swelling "to the size of a rugby ball" and rupturing, leaking acidic pancreas juices that caused third-degree burns inside his goddamned body.
Duff survived the incident, which inspired him to stop treating his liver like he was using it to manufacture chemical weapons. His prodigious fluid intake might be gone, but tributes to its legacy are tucked away in (nearly) every episode of The Simpsons.
When you're one of the biggest, wildest bands in music, you need transport to match. It doesn't matter how many meat catapults or flaming codpieces you own; your fans will turn against you if they see you roll up to a gig driving a bombed-out Astro van. Or at least that's the thought process that led to the birth of the Starship: a drug-fueled flying sex den that flew the biggest names in rock music around the world. Among the clients who paid a ball-smashing figure of $2,500 per hour for the plane were Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, The Rolling Stones, and, um, The Bee Gees.
Having lived a previous (and tasteful) life as a commercial passenger plane, the Starship was outfitted like Ron Burgundy's treehouse. In among the shag pile carpeting and acres of leopard print, its precious cargo could enjoy a drink at the 30-foot-long bar, discuss matters of the day in the drawing room (complete with fake fireplace), watch movies using the built-in cinema system, and play the massive organ. The interior was so relentlessly tacky that Mick Jagger literally gasped when he first saw it, and Mick Jagger generally gasps only when he sees himself in a mirror.
And, just in case you were wondering whether the infamously debauched guests of the Starship felt the need to rein in their behavior while soaring through the lawless sky, the answer is no, of course they didn't. Only a few details have emerged regarding the depravity that went on aboard, presumably because history isn't yet prepared to hear the full details. For starters, the Allman Brothers climbed aboard to find "Welcome Allman Brothers" written on Starship's bar in cocaine. One unnamed record executive wandered around the plane, waving a handgun for no apparent reason. There was a system in place to smuggle drugs aboard the plane wrapped in dirty clothes, in order to fool police sniffer dogs. And Robert Plant considers getting a blowjob during a powerful bout of turbulence as one of his favorite Starship memories. Without question, that airplane is haunted by the ghosts of thousands of unborn children.
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Judging by the above, the most dangerous profession in the 1980s -- aside from pulling double shifts at Chernobyl -- was being a rock star. After all, there's Guns N' Roses, Van Halen, Aerosmith, and, last but not least, Motley Crue: the band responsible for literally every stereotype about hair metal that you know.
In 1987, while touring with Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx teamed up with Slash to unwind by shooting some heroin, presumably because Game Gear hadn't been invented yet. Unfortunately, because opiate fans aren't renowned for their measuring skills, Nikki ended up overdosing and dying in Slash's shower. All things considered, this is the closest thing to a hero's death that Nikki Sixx could hope for.
Except, as the world would come to learn, Nikki Sixx cannot be destroyed by heroin. He was revived after two minutes of clinical death by two shots of adrenaline stabbed directly into his fucking heart. Ordinarily, this would be followed by a long period of bed rest and some self-reflection. For Nikki Sixx, this meant escaping his ambulance, hitchhiking back home, and shooting up more heroin. The incident resulted in Motley Crue's Grammy-nominated song "Kickstart My Heart" so ... win-win, we guess?
And while we're on the subject of Slash ...
In an industry where cocaine and heroin should be receiving royalties for their contribution to rock history, it's hard to consider drugs as a wild vice. Fortunately, Slash had the answer: a Raiders Of The Lost Ark-worthy fortress of snakes.
Using the proceeds from a hard career of standing on stage and playing guitar while dressed as someone's mad aunt, Slash turned his mansion into the Reptile Room. As one interviewer discovered, there were cages in the walls, cages on the stairway landing, and a cage containing a 22-foot-long python underneath the stairs. There was even a room that was specially converted into a python house containing water features, tiling, and greenery. Yes, even the pets of rock stars live better than most college students.
Perhaps because his snakes could see the future, one of them attempted to eat Axl Rose. As Slash recounted, while he and Axl were living together, Axl awoke one night to find a reticulated python staring at his head and, presumably, deciding whether or not it wanted to remove Axl's headband before swallowing his head. After an hour of watching Axl's pile of fear-poop grow to ceiling height, Slash locked the snake away.
Step 1: Play this. Step 2: Passionately scream the names of your favorite snakes. It's fun!
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If you were asked to name hell-raising rockers, Rod Stewart probably does not come in anywhere near the top of your list. However, although he has spent the majority of his career eye-banging your mother from his album covers, during his heyday he was up to his finely feathered hair in a hardcore cocaine addiction. However, unlike his fellow rock stars, Rod Stewart chose to shove his cocaine straight up his asshole.
In order to protect his nose from the harmful effects of snorting cocaine, Stewart and his pal Ronnie Wood would regularly buy anti-cold capsules and replace the medicine inside with a snifter of cocaine, then cram the capsules up their million-dollar buttholes and fucking party.
That means, at any given moment, the singer of "You're In My Heart," "Maggie May," and "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" was dancing around with a Sudafed capsule full of cocaine rapidly dissolving in his ass.
If you want my body
And you're not out to kill me
Like the Martians and lizard people and government agents who are ALL FOLLOWING ME EVERYWHERE MAN
Then c'mon sugar let me know.
In 1977, Pink Floyd were under tremendous pressure to ensure that Animals -- their long-awaited 10th album -- was a commercial success. The answer was simple: They commissioned a gigantic helium-filled pig and strapped it to London's Battersea Power Station, because nothing drums up publicity for a progressive rock record like a giant inflatable pig.
However, in a turn of events that would provide yet another footnote to the adage "props are a musician's worst enemy," the 40-foot-long pig -- nicknamed "Algie" -- broke free from its moorings and escaped to sow (pun intended) a rampage of confusion and mild public endangerment. After it floated above London's Heathrow Airport, authorities were forced to ground every single flight to avoid any sudden collisions with an enormous pig-shaped balloon. At this point, the Royal Air Force had to be deployed to try to bring down the errant porcine.
The balloon eventually crashed in a field in Kent, where it scared the shit out of some cows. Oddly enough, Pink Floyd had anticipated that Algie might break free of his moorings and had actually hired a sharpshooter to watch over the giant pig and take it out in case it escaped. Fortunately for history, the sharpshooter didn't show up, leading to the incident that we're amazed nobody called "The Great Pig In The Sky."
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As a guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde isn't a stranger to the world of wild partying, it's fair to say. His last name is literally the word "wild" as spelled by a drunk person. We wouldn't be surprised to hear that this is the only reason he got into rock music.
However, after a monthlong bout of extreme illness finally forced him to see a doctor, Wylde discovered that he was suffering from a rare blood condition that caused his body to overproduce blood clots, which are things that can suddenly kill you at any moment without warning. Furthermore, he'd been suffering from the condition for several years. Wylde sagely asked how the hell he had managed to stay alive for so long with such a deadly affliction, to which the doctor responded, "Because you are shitfaced, all of the time."
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You see, the treatment for Wylde's condition involves a course of strong blood thinners, which slow down the rate at which blood clots develop. You know what else thins the blood? Alcohol. Zakk Wylde's years of being heroically wasted saved his life, although nowadays he's banned from booze and restricted to taking standard medicine, which we feel is a little unfair to the booze.
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Before they became a quartet of endless punchlines, Van Halen used to be one of the coolest bands in the world, and they demonstrated their status by having sex with every female who wandered within one mile of their powerful aura. Their career is a filthy memorial to how being in a band is a more powerful aphrodisiac than things like "not looking completely ridiculous," a criteria David Lee Roth specifically targeted for destruction.
Roth infamously claims that he had his penis (nicknamed "Little Elvis") insured and would hold a nightly contest wherein he would reward his roadies with a cash prize if they were able to convince girls he had spotted in the crowd during the show to come backstage for a personal discussion with Little Elvis. It is unclear whether his insurance policy required each girl to sign a waiver beforehand.
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Roth's eventual replacement, Sammy Hagar, was a little more "Roman Emperor" in his groupie interactions. One tour saw the band build a tent directly beneath the stage specifically for Sammy Hagar's erection. During the mid-show 20-minute guitar solos Eddie Van Halen would launch into each night, Hagar would disappear to the tent and discover a group of naked fans waiting to swallow his penis, which we assume was as pinched as his face.
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But owning your own sex tent apparently has powerful side effects. Hagar exerted himself so much during his nightly trips that he temporarily lost the ability to climax. That's right -- Sammy Hagar had so much sex that he ran out of sperm. And with that mental picture, we end the article.
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