3 Wildest Solo Performances by Famous Band Members

Throughout the years, fans and non-fans of various musicians alike have been exposed to absolutely insane live performances. There are plenty of disruptive and legendary performances that have been immortalized by the internet in recent years, but what about the classic crazy performances from back in the day? Let’s look at three of the wildest (and most controversial) solo performances from famous band members that happened before the turn of the century.

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1. Mick Fleetwood’s Drum Vest

Thank God there is actual footage of this insane performance. One can’t deny that Mick Fleetwood is a talented drummer; he was the foundation of Fleetwood Mac. However, he also had a notably bad cocaine habit for a while. 

When drugs mix with creativity, some ideas become groundbreaking. Others become… well, kind of insane. That’s the best way to describe Fleetwood’s solo performance with his DIY drum vest. The invention itself is kind of cool, but the performance was a bit much.

2. Iggy Pop Carves an ‘X’ Into His Chest

Back in 1974, Iggy Pop was already becoming a legend in the quickly-growing punk scene. The always-shirtless icon was part of proto-punk band The Stooges and is still rocking on stage today. However, there was one notable performance from the 1970s that left a bad taste in fans’ mouths. 

During a Los Angeles solo gig, Iggy Pop began tossing out racial slurs at an audience member, bullying him into stabbing him with a knife. The audience member was not into it, obviously, so Iggy Pop carved a bloody ‘X’ into his own chest instead. It was an “artistic” display of self-mutilation that would happen periodically throughout his career.

3. The Infamous Ozzy Osbourne Bat Incident

This wouldn’t be a list of the wildest solo performances by band members without mentioning the controversial bat incident. Former Black Sabbath member Ozzy Osbourne had already established himself as a force to be reckoned with by 1982, and the performance in question was going well. A fan in the audience threw a bat on stage, which Osbourne promptly picked up and bit into.

Apparently, Osbourne did not know that the bat was alive when he took a chunk out of it.

“I get a lot of weird people at my concerts, it’s rock ’n’ roll,” Osbourne said of the incident in an interview with David Letterman shortly after it happened. “Somebody threw a bat onstage and I thought it was one of these toy bats, so I picked it up, bite the thing’s head off and suddenly everybody is freaking out … I can assure you the rabies shots I went through afterwards aren’t fun.”

Photo by Kevin Winter

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