Before an appearance by the Doors, Ed Sullivan and his censors requested that the band change the lyrics of “Light My Fire” from “Girl, we couldn't get much higher" to "Girl, we couldn't get much better." Morrison agreed, but went on to sing the original lyrics anyway. Afterward, when a Sullivan producer told the band they’d never do the show again, Morrison replied, "Hey man. We just did the Sullivan Show!"
One of the creepiest rumors to involve Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards is that he once snorted his father’s ashes with a line of cocaine. The truth is almost as disturbing. In his 2011 memoir “Life,” Richards clarified: “And as I took the lid off the box, a fine spray of his ashes blew out onto the table. I couldn't just brush him off, so I wiped my finger over it and snorted the residue. Ashes to ashes, father to son."
Destroying a hotel room is one thing, but risking your entire fan base is quite another. That’s exactly what Bob Dylan did when he “plugged in” at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, playing his electric guitar in front of a booing crowd that only wanted to hear the soft acoustic sounds of a 6-string and harmonica. Bob Dylan's response? He turned to his band and said, "Play it f&%cking loud!"
David Lee Roth
The popularity of brown M&Ms took a major hit after it was discovered that Van Halen had banned that specific color from their dressing room. The reason behind the provision isn't as quirky as it sounds. The rider was placed in the middle of a very thick contract to make sure the venue went line-by-line to ensure their extensive stage show was properly set up. It’s also true that David Lee Roth once gleefully destroyed a dressing room after discovering the offending candy.
Rumors of Jimi Hendrix cutting his forehead and wrapping his head in an acid-soaked headband cannot be verified, but the time he set his guitar on fire while playing on stage in 1967 is not only 100% true, but maybe the coolest single act committed in rock history.
In the mid-’70s, during John Lennon’s legendary booze-filled “lost weekend” (which actually lasted closer to a year), the singer was kicked out of The Troubador in L.A. for viciously heckling The Smothers Brothers. Accompanied by fellow musician Harry Nilsson and girlfriend May Pang, an incredibly inebriated Lennon made quite a scene while being escorted out.
Jerry Lee Lewis
While once considered to be the heir-apparent to Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis’ wild-man persona eclipsed his great talent. Some of his crazier highlights include marrying his 13-year-old cousin and allegedly being involved in the death of his fifth wife, Shawn Stephens, after 77 days of marriage.
The Who’s drummer Keith Moon famously liked to trash his instruments, as well as his hotel rooms. In one possibly apocryphal incident, Moon was lying in the back of a limo on his way to the airport when he suddenly sat up and told the driver that he forgot something back at the hotel. Upon his return, Moon ran up to his room, grabbed a TV set and threw it out the window. Back in the car, he said “Whew, I nearly forgot.”
In one of the strangest, most gruesome P.R. stunts in rock and roll history, the band KISS decided to christen their new Marvel comic book by mixing their blood in with the printer's red ink. Too strange to believe? That's why the event was witnessed by a notary public with a signed contract.