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Rock Stars Who've Caught Fire Onstage!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Richland123, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Blender Magazine's

    Rock Stars Who've Caught Fire Onstage!

    Being a rock star is all about going that extra mile for the fans. Frequently it seems that extra mile involves massive pyrotechnic displays supervised by stringy-haired heshers who say things like, “Dude, this is going to be so rad!” Surprisingly enough, sometimes these displays don’t go exactly as planned. Here are 10 artists who learned the hard way that “If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned,” is more than just a tired old cliché.

    By David Peisner

    Blender.com, February 2007

    Gene Simmons of Kiss
    As the bombastic Kiss bassist certainly knows, one of the perils of breathing fire is that you can’t always control where the fire goes. Problems arose the very first time Simmons attempted the stunt onstage on New Year’s Eve 1973, in New York City. Toward the end of “Firehouse,” Simmons walked offstage to fill his mouth with kerosene, but when he returned to the center of the stage and blew a large fireball, it set his copiously hair-sprayed locks ablaze. A roadie quickly extinguished the flames with a wet towel, but Simmons hardly learned his lesson: He’d repeat the mishap another half-dozen or so times in his career.

    Till Lindemann of Rammstein
    Rammstein’s first pyrotechnic foray involved pouring gasoline on the stage and then lighting a match. The German industrial-metal outfit’s stage show has come a long way since then. Frontman Till Lindemann is now a licensed pyrotechnician who spends entire songs engulfed head-to-toe in flames. For his trouble, he has burned his ears, his hair and his arms. But since the band frequently incorporates fake accidents into their stage show, it’s unclear just how often he actually gets singed. As bandmate Christoph Schneider puts it, “Till gets burned all the time, but he likes the pain.”

    Aldrin Montecinos of Megiddo
    Montecinos, the singer for Chilean black metal band Megiddo, was performing in Valdivia, Chile, in 2004, when his fire-breathing routine went awry. He unleashed a fireball mid-song that quickly set his long beard and hair alight, turning his head into a torch for several seconds. His bassist and guitarist helped beat back the flames, then quickly showed their metal chops by carrying on playing. Montecinos suffered first-degree burns, but vowed not to ditch the pyro from the band’s act.

    Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P.
    Metal provocateurs W.A.S.P. never met a stage gimmick they wouldn’t try. When they set out on tour in the mid-'80s, frontman Blackie Lawless strode onstage wearing a codpiece that shot flames into the air. The first night he tried to use it, though, the codpiece exploded, lifting him a foot and a half off the ground, catching his pants on fire and burning his legs. Nursing his wounds that night in the dressing room, Lawless sagely commented to his bandmates, “If we wrote better songs we wouldn’t have to resort to stunts like this.”

    Bob Bryar of My Chemical Romance
    For their video for “Famous Last Words” in 2006, My Chemical Romance were filmed performing the tune on a barren wasteland while the set from their previous video “Welcome to the Black Parade” burned all around them. Unfortunately for drummer Bob Bryar, a flare-up during the final take of the day set his pants on fire, a conflagration that can be seen when watching the finished video closely. Bryar needed a skin graft to repair the damaged skin, and the wound subsequently got infected, requiring an extended hospital stay and the canceling of three tour dates.

    James Hetfield of Metallica
    Metallica was onstage at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium in 1992, when their frontman accidentally stepped into the path of one of the 12-foot towers of flame that had been rigged to shoot from the lip of the stage. His guitar protected him from the full force of the blast, but fire still engulfed his left side, burning his hand, arm, eyebrows, face and hair. He suffered second- and third-degree burns, but was back onstage 17 days later. Guns N' Roses, who were co-headlining the show, rose to the occasion in typical fashion by cutting their set short after less than an hour, leading angry fans to riot.

    Michael Jackson
    Jacko was filming a Pepsi commercial in front of 3,000 fans in 1984, when a fireworks display behind him malfunctioned, shooting a shower of sparks down upon the singer’s head and setting fire to his hair. Jackson was apparently unfazed by his blazing locks, calmly covering his head with his jacket while his brothers rushed to help. He did suffer second-degree burns and subsequently wore a hairpiece when collecting Grammys later that year.

    Wyclef Jean
    Wyclef Jean was hoping to conjure the spirit of Jimi Hendrix when he set fire to his guitar after playing “The Star Spangled Banner” at the three-day Woodstock music festival in 1999. But much like everything else at that ill-fated festival, things got out of hand, and Jean — ever the third-rate mimic — torched his fingers in the blaze. Fortunately, the fire was extinguished quickly, leaving concertgoers plenty of time to light their own far more impressive blazes later in the festival.

    Arthur Brown
    Befitting a character whose biggest hit (with his group, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown) was “Fire,” and who billed himself as the "God of Hellfire," this pioneering shock-rock shaman used to arrive onstage in the late '60s wearing a flaming crown. On separate occasions he accidentally set fire to his robes and burned his face. But perhaps his most memorable mishap occurred in Windsor, England, when the methane that fueled his crown poured over his head and caught fire. Fortunately, two bystanders doused the flames by pouring beer on Brown’s head, preventing any serious injury.
  2. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    "“If we wrote better songs we wouldn’t have to resort to stunts like this.”

    Well, yeah, that sums it up nicely.
  3. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    In the don't try this at home category.

    I was playing in the band Lickety Split back in the late 70s and early 80s and I had a set of 4 flashpots that used a gun powder and flash powder combination set off by an electrcal charge that I would activate with a series of foot switches. I would set them across the front of the stage and activate them at certain highlighted points in songs. I would only use them in rooms with high ceilings and only with the permission of the club owner or manager since the flames would be 6 feet high and also put off a stench and smoke. All the band members knew when to get away from the flashpots at specific points in the song so they would not get injured.

    We were playing a place in Saltsburg, PA that had a ceiling that was shorter than I would have liked but set up the flashpots anyway. The stage was maybe 1-1/2 feet off the floor. We were into a song and a drunk guy came stumbling up to the stage to ask something before the song was over (we see that all the time) and leaned over the front of the stage over top of one of the flashpots just as I hit the switch. A 6 foot flame shot up in the guy's face and he went stumbling away in a daze. Fortunately, he was not hurt (that I know of) and he probably discovered the next day that his eyebrows were singed off. After that, I took many precautions when using the flashpots and then decided it was not worth the risk of hurting somebody or causing a fire.

    P.S. I still have the set of flashpots if anybody wants to buy them. :D

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