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Music History Events: Arrests

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February 17, 2015 "Because I Got High" singer Afroman is arrested for assault after punching a female fan who attempts to dance with him on stage at a show in Biloxi, Mississippi. Afroman, who doesn't see the woman until he turns around to clock her, blames his anxiety and says that he hadn't had time to take his meds when he went on stage.More

June 27, 2012 In what is probably the only case of a musician being said to cause someone's death while performing onstage, police in Czechoslovakia arrest Randy Blythe, frontman for heavy metal band Lamb of God, for manslaughter.More

February 8, 2009 Chris Brown and his girlfriend Rihanna miss the Grammy Awards, where they are scheduled to perform, after he assaults her.More

July 22, 2007 After playing a show at the Beacon Theater in New York City, Lil Wayne is arrested when police search his tour bus and find a loaded gun. Gun laws are strict in New York, and the rapper serves eight months in Rikers Island prison. In 2016, he publishes a book about the ordeal called Gone 'Til November.

June 5, 2002 R. Kelly is indicted on 21 counts of child pornography, accused of coercing underage girls into sexual acts.More

November 27, 2000 Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard, on the lam after escaping from a drug-rehabilitation center on October 17, is arrested at a Philadelphia McDonald's when a policewoman recognizes him in the drive-thru lane.

September 7, 2000 Rage Against The Machine bass player Tim Commerford interrupts the MTV Video Music Awards when he climbs up the backdrop on stage, baffling the crew as well as Limp Bizkit, who are accepting the Best Rock Video award for "Break Stuff." Rage was nominated in the category for "Sleep Now in the Fire."More

December 2, 1999 Jay-Z stabs the record executive Lance "Un" Rivera at a party at Manhattan's Kit Kat Klub, believing Rivera bootlegged his album Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter. The rapper pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault and is sentenced to three years probation.

April 7, 1998 George Michael is arrested for disorderly conduct at a park restroom in Beverly Hills, California, after an undercover officer observes him performing a "lewd act." He comes out as gay soon after.More

March 6, 1998 Liam Gallagher of Oasis headbutts 19-year-old British fan Benjamin Jones, breaking his nose. The incident takes place in Brisbane outside of the singer's hotel. Gallagher is charged with assault, but Jones later drops the case and pursues civil charges.

June 17, 1997 When Ozzy's voice gives out before the Ozzfest date in Columbus, Ohio, he doesn't appear but the show goes on without him. Fans, who aren't told until later that he won't be there, don't take the news well and trash the venue.More

May 28, 1996 Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode takes a nasty speedball (cocaine and heroin) and goes into cardiac arrest. Medics manage to kickstart his heart, saving his life.More

June 10, 1990 Members of the rap group 2 Live Crew are arrested on charges of public obscenity after performing songs from their album As Nasty As They Wanna Be in a Hollywood, Florida, nightclub. A few days earlier, a federal court ruled the album obscene, and therefore performing it is against the law. It gets even more ridiculous when a cover band performs the songs for the purpose of getting arrested, which they do. Eventually, the ruling is overturned and charges against the rappers (and cover band) are dropped.

June 8, 1990 Two days after a federal court declares the 2 Live Crew album As Nasty As They Wanna Be legally obscene, Charles Freeman, the owner of a record store in Ft. Lauderdale, is arrested for selling the album by six Broward county sheriff's deputies who are working undercover. He is later found guilty of selling obscene material and fined $1000. Police may have motive for targeting Freeman, as he is later arrested for selling cocaine.

April 3, 1989 In Pittsburgh, it's a shakedown outside a Grateful Dead concert as police make about two dozen arrests after some fans try to get in without tickets. "I don't want those deadenders ever back again," Mayor Sophie Masloff says.

December 27, 1985 The Krush Groove Christmas party becomes the first rap show held at Madison Square Garden. A tie-in with the movie Krush Groove, the concert features performances by LL Cool J, Run-DMC, Whodini and other acts who appeared in the film. The event makes headlines for the violence that follows, as 14 people are arrested for various crimes.

December 19, 1985 Johnny Paycheck is drinking at a bar in Hillsboro, Ohio, when two guys recognize him and sit near him. Things get tense, and Paycheck pulls out a .22 pistol and shoots one of them, grazing his head. That man, Larry Wise, claims that Paycheck got testy after they offered him a meal of deer meat and turtle soup. Wise says Paycheck yelled, "What do you think I am, a country hick?," and shot him. The country singer is convicted and serves 22 months in jail.

April 13, 1982 David Crosby is busted for freebasing cocaine, leading to a downward spiral that winds through the Dallas County Jail.More

February 19, 1982 Ozzy Osbourne urinates on a statue near the Alamo, desecrating a Texas landmark.More

April 3, 1980 In Memphis on their first US tour, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders gets in an altercation at a bar and is arrested. She kicks out the window of the police cruiser sent to take her away and spends the night in jail. Her group performs the next night at Poet's Music Hall.

October 12, 1978 Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols is arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, who he found dead in the bathroom of their hotel room with a stab wound to her abdomen. Vicious dies of a heroin overdose before he can be tried for the murder.

November 23, 1976 Jerry Lee Lewis is arrested outside of Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion after waving a pistol and demanding to see "The King."

August 10, 1972 Paul and Linda McCartney are arrested backstage in Gothenburg, Sweden, for possession of six ounces of marijuana, which was mailed to them by someone in McCartney's office who thought they would like some weed on the road. The couple are released after paying a combined fine of $1,200.

May 2, 1971 It's day two of the Mayday protests, as demonstrators fed up with the war in Vietnam try to shut down the US government by blocking off streets and bridges in Washington, DC. Thousands of arrests are made, many to bystanders who have nothing to do with the protest. At the foot of the Washington Monument, where much of the action is taking place, Jonathan Edwards performs his new song, "Sunshine." As the arrests continue, he plays the song over and over, "because there's no better song for the soundtrack of that movie."

March 1, 1969 Jim Morrison of The Doors is arrested on stage at a Miami show after allegedly exposing himself to the audience.More

December 9, 1967 Jim Morrison of The Doors is arrested at his own concert in New Haven, Connecticut, after a police officer finds him backstage with a young girl and maces him. It's the first time a famous musician is arrested in the middle of a performance.More

April 2, 1967 An overzealous audience member throws a smoke bomb onto the stage at The Rolling Stones concert at the Town Hall in Vienna, Austria, leading to a riot and the arrest of 154 fans.

February 12, 1967 Police raid Keith Richards' Redlands estate, where they discover "various substances of a suspicious nature" and arrest him along with Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull. The whole thing is a setup.More

June 12, 1966 After buying pot from an undercover cop posing as a student at his high school, Steven Tallarico is arrested and charged with drug possession. He is given a year's probation and labelled a "Youthful Offender," which later keeps him from getting drafted. Tallarico later becomes Steven Tyler and forms Aerosmith.

June 11, 1966 Donovan becomes the first rock star busted for drugs by the newly vigilant London drug squad.More

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