1 January

Pick a Day

Music History Events: Instrument Abuse

September 21, 2012 When Green Day's set is cut short at the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong flies off the handle, stopping the show and going into a rant where he says, "I'm not f--king Justin Bieber, you motherf--kers. You've got to be f--king joking."More

September 9, 1992 During a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, Nirvana plays "Lithium," ending in a grand finale where bassist Krist Novoselic tosses his instrument high into the air. When he tries to catch it, he misses, and the bass whacks him in the head. Still, it's a pretty awesome performance.

January 11, 1992 Nirvana make their first appearance on Saturday Night Live. They leave a mark: after performing their hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit," they play "Territorial Pissings" for their second song, then trash their instruments and anything else they can find on stage.

September 20, 1979 The Clash bass player Paul Simonon, frustrated because the crowd at The Palladium in New York City isn't standing, smashes his instrument on stage. The photo is later used as the cover of their London Calling album.More

July 14, 1973 The Everly Brothers break up in very public fashion, fracturing in the middle of a concert at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California.More

June 16, 1967 The first Monterey International Pop festival begins at the County Fairgrounds in Monterey, California. It's the first of many big Rock festivals, with The Who, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and The Animals among those performing. Many consider it the beginning of the "Summer of Love."More

March 31, 1967 At the Astoria Theatre in London, Jimi Hendrix sets fire to his guitar for the first time, and goes to the hospital after the show with minor burns. During the rest of the tour, Hendrix makes a habit of playing his guitar with his teeth, and he ignites his axe a few more times.More

May 20, 1980 The Clash concert in Hamburg, West Germany is plagued by crowd violence. When Joe Strummer smashes one particularly bellicose fan over the head with his guitar, Strummer is arrested, but cleared after a test proves he was not drinking.

November 11, 1997 At a Tower Records in-store performance in New York City, Green Day trash the place, smashing instruments, pouring beer on the CD racks, and spray painting the windows. Their label happily pays the $50,000 in damage as Green Day prove they're still punk to the core.

August 23, 1991 A month before their Nevermind album is released, Nirvana wow the crowd at the Reading Festival in England with a set capped by a Kurt Cobain headlong dive into Dave Grohl's drum kit. The next year, Nirvana headline the festival.

October 3, 1973 The Who, forced to comply with union rules by recording a new track to "5:15" for their appearance on Top Of The Pops, take out their frustrations at the end of the performance. Pete Townshend smashes their gear and gives a producer the two-finger salute; Keith Moon throws wigs from the props department into the audience. The offensive bits are edited out when the show airs the following night.

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