The Most Dramatic 1980s Musician Scandals
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Even without today’s means of social media, the 1980s were still a decade of extravagance. In addition, tabloid culture has been around for some time, even if the internet has given it a huge boost. Below, are some of the nastiest scandals of the decade, that only a rock musician could pull off.
Vince Neil Let Someone Die Due to His Drunk Driving
Mötley Crüe’s wild antics onstage and offstage are legendary, and few rock bands can compare to their level of partying. Nevertheless, catastrophe came on that fateful day in 1984. Reports that the Crüe helped guide the Finnish glam rock band Hanoi Rocks through their debut U.S. tour. Vince Neil, frontman for the Crüe, and Nicholas Dingley (Razzle), drummer for the Hanoi Rocks, ran to the liquor shop in Neil’s car since they were both tipsy but had nothing to drink. Neil collided with another automobile while driving recklessly in Beverly Hills. Neil made it out alive, but Razzle, only 24 years old, didn’t make it.
Two Teenagers Were Killed in a Guns N’ Roses Concert
At their performance at the Monsters of Rock event in Donington, England, in August 1988, hundreds of fans were hurt and two were murdered due to a mass crush.
Paul McCartney Jailed For Weed Possession
Paul McCartney was arrested in Japan for marijuana possession in 1980. The story claims he had half a pound of marijuana on him when he was arrested at Tokyo’s Narita Airport. He said he only intended to consume the narcotics privately, but police in Tokyo threw him in jail for nine days nevertheless since they didn’t believe him. He was then immediately released and deported before appearing in court.
Lionel Richie Gets Beat Up By His Wife As A Result Of His Affair
The narrative goes that Lionel Ritchie’s first wife called the police after following him to the house of a mutual acquaintance, Diane Alexander, and discovering him there with Alexander. It has been alleged that an angry Harvey-Richie kicked her unfaithful husband, who then ran away and contacted the police. The police came to see Harvey-Richie viciously assaulting Alexander.
Ozzy Osbourne’s Head of the Bat Incident
Ozzy Osbourne, the former lead singer for Black Sabbath, is no stranger to high-profile scandals. Onstage in 1982, Ozzy had to get serious and chewed the skull off a live bat. Really, it wasn’t anything planned. Years later, he told David Letterman that he had assumed the bat was a rubber prop that a fan in the audience had thrown onstage as a prank. “Somebody threw a bat onstage,” Osbourne explained. “And I thought it was one of these toy bats. So I picked it up, bite the thing’s head off, and suddenly everyone’s freaking out cause it’s a real bat.”
The “Satanic Messages” that Metal Bands Have Shown in Their Music
In the 1980s, a satanic panic spread across the United States, with millions of people persuaded that devil worshippers and cults were responsible for crimes and child abuse. Around the same time, bands in the metal genre started using images of evil. By the end of 1985, Raymond Belknap and James Vance committed suicide. Vance survived for a few more years after Belknap’s death, despite being scarred by the ordeal. Suicide was blamed on British metal band Judas Priest by the victims’ families, who claimed the band’s songs included hidden subliminal messages that led their loved ones to take their own lives. Vance said, “I believe that alcohol and heavy-metal music like Judas Priest drove us to be mesmerized.”
Marvin Gaye Was Killed By His Dad
Marvin Gay Sr., the drunken and violent father of Marvin Gaye, may have been envious of his son’s success rather than proud of it. There had been indications of rising tensions and attacks before April 1, 1984, when things escalated to a fatal climax. After receiving complaints of a “verbal quarrel that evolved to a physical struggle,” police arrived and discovered that Gay had shot his kid, as reported by The New York Times immediately after the event.