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9 Musicians Who Nearly Died On Stage

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Dave Grohl Foo Fighters in plaster image
RCA

Going on stage in front of thousands of adoring fans doesn’t sound like it should come with a health warning. But there have been many instances of a musician who nearly died on stage. Here are nine that almost ended up as toast.

There are many jobs that should come with a health warning. Bomb disposal expert and skyscraper window cleaners come to mind. You would expect some elements of danger with those roles. But what about a musician?

1. James Hetfield – Metallica

Metallica have always put on hard-hitting shows, particularly frontman James Hetfield. Although he has entered rehab many times over the years, it was an on-stage incident that nearly caused his demise. During a 1992 show in Montreal, Hetfield walked into one of the many stage pyrotechnics that was going off. The mistake left him with second-and three-degree burns. Miraculously, he wasn’t seriously injured and was back on stage within a few weeks.

2. Wattie Buchan – The Exploited

Legendary Scottish punk band The Exploited are known for their hi-energy shows. Frontman Wattie Buchan is also one of the most vocal and antagonistic figures in punk. Not afraid to take potshots at fellow musicians and politicians, his persona is as famous as the band he fronts. It almost ended in 2014 when Wattie had a heart attack on-stage in Lisbon, Portugal. After surgery and a few months off, he was back writing with the band. A true punk hero.

3. Keith Moon – The Who

Although Keith Moon ultimately met his demise in 1978, he almost went to the band in the sky in 1973. The story goes that he took what he thought were tranquilisers backstage before a show in San Francisco. Unfortunately, it was PCP, which made Moon pass out on the drum kit. Twice. The crew couldn’t wake him after the second time, so he was rushed to the hospital to have his stomach pumped. It was good news for Scott Halpin, who was plucked from the crowd to take Moon’s place to finish the show. Lucky guy. As for Keith Moon, he managed to survive for another five years before an overdose finally killed him.

4. Dave Grohl – Foo Fighters

The Foo Fighters frontman has had quite a few slips and trips on stage over the years. One that went viral recently was when he ordered a beer from the stage, but slipped off on his way back, guitar in tow. One that could have been much worse happened back in 2015 at a show in Gothenburg, Sweden. The band were two songs into their set when Dave misjudged a ramp and fell from the stage into the security area. After going to the hospital to get bandaged up, he returned to the stage an hour later and finished the show. Albeit sat down with his leg in a cast. He even did the next few shows in a wheelchair. A true rock and roll legend.

5. Till Lindemann – Rammstein

If you’ve ever been to a Rammstein show, you will know that there is enough pyro to fuel a small country. It’s actually surprising that none of the band has met a fiery demise so far into their career. That’s not to say that there haven’t been some close calls. Frontman Till Lindemann is the force behind the band’s pyro effects. He’s actually a qualified pyrotechnician nowadays, but in the mid-90s it was trial and error. There were a couple of instances in those early days where he and several of the crew suffered burns from wayward pyro. And more recently he suffered a serious knee injury when keyboardist Flake crashed into him on stage with a Segway. He looks indestructible on stage, and past incidents prove as such.

6. Nick Lowe – Brinsley Schwarz

Singer-songwriter Nick Lowe actually did die in this incident. Albeit briefly. During a show in London’s Soho, Lowe went to pick up a microphone that was ungrounded. The following electric shock sent him flying across the stage into the amplifiers. The fact that the amps blocked the access to the power and the fact Lowe still had hold of the mic made it an impossible situation. It was his keyboardist who tried to kick the mic off but ended up kicking Nick in the ribs. According to medics, this restarted his heart, thus saving his life. He was taken to hospital but returned a few hours later; joining his bandmates in the bar. A typical British response to almost dying on stage.

7. Ariana Grande

There’s something magical about an artist appearing through the floor and on to the stage. Not quite so when something goes wrong though. During her 2015 Honeymoon tour, Grande rose on an elevator from under the stage. Unfortunately, a plank of wood snapped meaning she was trapped under the stage. Her guitarist helped her up through the gap, but it could have been much worse.

8. Chris Rea

The legendary musician actually collapsed on stage during a tour in 2017 and nearly died on stage. He had had a stroke the year earlier so wasn’t in the best of health. Fans were shocked to see him fall backwards mid-song and collapse on stage. He required hospital treatment but was soon back out again and touring. Apparently, it was due to the effects of his stroke and not any faulty equipment. Still, it could have turned out differently, and who would have driven us home for Christmas then?

9. Meat Loaf

Musician Meat Loaf has collapsed on stage a few times over the years and nearly died. More recently in 2016 during a show in Edmonton in the US, although that was put down to dehydration and exhaustion. It could have been a lot more serious in 2003 when he collapsed on stage during a show in London. He was rushed to hospital and ended up having a heart procedure but was given a clean bill of health not long after that. He’s still playing shows now which just goes to show you can’t keep a good man down.


That’s our list of nine musician and artists who nearly died on stage. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.


Check out five famous actors that were in bands HERE.

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Movie News

9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies

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Wayne's World image
Paramount Pictures

There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.

1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)

Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.

2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.

3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)

You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.

4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.

5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)

Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.

6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)

I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.

7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)

This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.

8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)

We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.

9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)

Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.


That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.


Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.

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