Guns 'N' (Over) Doses: The 11 Most Notorious Rock & Roll Crimes


Varg Vikernes of Burzum and Mayhem burned down churches and murdered a band mate.
As Duff noted in his most recent column , it's been


Guns 'N' (Over) Doses: The 11 Most Notorious Rock & Roll Crimes

  • Guns 'N' (Over) Doses: The 11 Most Notorious Rock & Roll Crimes

  • ">

    Varg Vikernes of Burzum and Mayhem burned down churches and murdered a band mate.
    As Duff noted in his most recent column, it's been a pretty bad week for hard-rock bassists. First, Michael Todd of Coheed and Cambria was arrested after threatening to blow up a Walgreens if they didn't cough up some Oxycontin, and yesterday news broke that former Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age bass player Nick Oliveri was involved in a standoff with the L.A.P.D. SWAT team after he held his girlfriend hostage as she attempted to move out of the home they shared together. These incidents are only the tip of the iceberg, however, in the annals of notorious rock & roll crimes. Here's a look:

    Varg Vikernes

    As if being convicted of four church burnings wasn't enough notoriety, Vikernes, a member of the bands Burzum and Mayhem, stabbed fellow Mayhem member Oystein Arseth 23 times, killing him. Though his motivation isn't entirely clear, Vikernes says the murder was self-defense, claiming Arseth attacked him first and had long been threatening to torture him on videotape. Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years in prison, but was released in 2009 after serving 15.

    Chuck Berry

    The "Johnny B. Goode" rocker was oh-so-bad in his early life. At age 18, while still in high school, Berry carjacked a passing motorist after his car broke down on a road trip. Berry claims the gun was non-functioning, but the crime yielded him three years in the slammer anyway.

    Sid Vicious

    We'll never know exactly what transpired on that October night in 1978 when Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious woke up in the Chelsea Hotel to find his girlfriend Nancy Spungen dead from a single stab wound to the abdomen. Police eventually traced the knife to Vicious and subsequently charged him with her murder. Before he could stand trial, however, Vicious OD'd on heroin.

    Vince Neil

    The Motley Crue frontman has faced lots of legal trouble over the years, most notably in 1994 when his pal Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley, drummer for the Finnish hard-rock band Hanoi Rocks, was killed in a drunk-driving accident with Neil at the wheel. The pair had been partying all night and were on their way back from the liquor store when Neil's speeding car spun into oncoming traffic and collided with another car, seriously injuring the pair in that vehicle and killing Razzle.

    Bobby Beausoleil

    An early member of '60s rock group Love, Beausoleil was an associate of the Manson family. The story goes that Beausoleil murdered music teacher Gary Hinman after he sold Beausoleil some bad mescaline and refused to return the money. "Political piggy" was written in Hinman's blood at the crime scene in hopes of throwing police off the trail.

    Rick James

    While out on bail for beating a woman he met at a nightclub, the "Superfreak" singer and his girlfriend held a lady hostage, performed sex acts on her, and burned her with the hot end of a crack pipe. James did two years at Folsom Prison for the crime.

    Phil Spector

    One of the most famous record producers of all-time, Spector's "Wall of Sound" legacy is forever tarnished by his criminal leanings. After a first trial that ended with a hung jury, Spector was found guilty of murdering actress Lana Clarkson with a handgun and was eventually sentenced to 18 years in prison.

    GG Allin

    The notorious poop-eating punk-rock degenerate spent 18 months in jail for the felony assault of a female fan, whom he cut and burned and whose blood he drank. Allin had other stints in prison--usually for assault or exposure--often around Halloween, a date he had claimed would find him committing suicide on stage. He never followed through, however. Allin died of an accidental heroin overdose after a New York City performance in 1993.

    Rick Stevens

    The one-time singer of famed Oakland funk band Tower of Power shot and killed three people in a drug deal gone bad. One of the killings was deemed self-defense, but Stevens is currently serving a life sentence for other two. He was originally sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to life in prison when California overturned the death penalty.

    Jim Gordon

    A legendary studio drummer who played with Derek and the Dominoes and Little Richard, Gordon was an undiagnosed schizophrenic. His condition eventually caused him to hear voices, which urged him to kill his mother, which he did in 1984 via a butcher knife and a hammer.

    Bård G. "Faust" Eithun

    Eithin, the drummer for Emperor, remains the second-most notorious black-metal musician of his generation. After agreeing to take a walk in a park with a stranger who'd approached him, Eithun stabbed and kicked Magne Andreassen to death after he made a pass at him, which Eithun saw as an attack. He served nine years of a 14-year sentence and is currently free.

    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    comments powered by Disqus

    Friends to Follow