Rockers who partied way too hard

When you think of the words "rock star," what do you think of first? The music? Yeah, right. Of course not. No, chances are you think of booze, drugs, sex, groupies, and all night binges that end in a hospital or prison cell or six feet under.

And there's a reason why rock stars are synonymous with excess: because that lifestyle isn't just some exaggerated cliché, it's the way many big name rock stars actually lived. Don't believe me? Well, here's a look at some rockers who seriously partied just way too hard.

Keith Moon

The Who's Keith Moon is considered by many rock purists to be one of the greatest drummers of all time. But he holds another, more dubious position in the pantheon of rock legends: he's the one who perfected that whole "trashing the hotel room" thing. And racking up repair bills in excess of a half million dollars is just the beginning; besides an uncontrollable alcohol addiction, Moon's party antics also reportedly included driving a Rolls-Royce into a pond, dropping sticks of dynamite into random toilets, and passing out on stage during concerts. He overdosed at the age of 32, ironically on pills prescribed to help him get sober.

Keith Richards

Maybe the most infamous hard partying hard rocker of all time, Keith Richards has defied modern medicine by still being alive. It's almost impossible to quantify his partying, but let's start with this: he once claimed to have snorted his own father's ashes. "He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared," he said in an interview. "It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive." I think that's the very definition of partying too hard.

Ozzy Osbourne

Considering Ozzy Osbourne is known for biting the heads off of animals, it's a little difficult to pick a moment in his life that doesn't qualify as too much. For instance, he once got banned from the city of San Antonio, Texas, for peeing on The Alamo while dressed in his wife's clothing. So that's a good starting point. But it's not even the most outlandish party story involving Ozzy's pee. See, one time he got in a contest with Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx to see which one could display the most egregious behavior. Ozzy snorted a line of fire ants off the pavement, urinated on the rest of the ants, licked them up, and then licked up Sixx's urine as well. Sixx conceded the victory to Ozzy, but I'm not really sure there are any winners in this situation. Certainly not the ants, anyway!

Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx

Speaking of Nikki Sixx and Mötley Crüe, Sixx regularly partied so hard he was left for dead. Literally. Not only was he tossed in a dumpster by people who believed he had died of an overdose, he actually did die of an overdose once, only to be revived by paramedics. His response upon waking in the hospital? He tore out his IV, ran home, and banged a line of coke with some groupies. He was not joined, however, by bandmate Tommy Lee—probably because Lee was such a party animal the band's managers routinely chained him to his bed for his own safety. Ah, the glamorous rock lifestyle!

John Bonham

Led Zeppelin's wild bacchanalias are the stuff of rock legend. But there's partying, and then there's partying way too hard. Zep drummer John Bonham tipped over the edge permanently in 1969 with what has become known as "the mudshark incident." The details are sketchy and disputed, but what we do know is that Bonham was there, and so was a groupie, along with a guy with a movie camera filming everything. And there was some kind of dead shark which was then used in ways which are not fit for discussion even on the internet. Yep. That qualifies as going a bit over the line.

Steven Tyler and Joe Perry

Back in the 1970's, Aerosmith's lead duo earned the nickname The Toxic Twins. And I do mean earned it. While recording one of their albums, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry rented out a convent—of course—and turned it into a drug mecca, filled with booze, dope, and debauchery. It got so bad that an intervention was eventually staged—by notorious drug fiend Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead. Yes, the Toxic Twins were so out of control Jerry flipping Garcia tried to talk them down. That's bad.


You know that sequence in The Hangover where Mike Tyson's pet tiger gets loose in the hotel room? Well, that actually happened, but not to Tyson. No, it was Guns 'N Roses legend Slash who ended up on the business end of a "pet" mountain lion. And that's just one of the many tales of excess from Slash's heyday, which also included drug-fueled hallucinations, and renting out the entire floor of his hotel to house all the groupies he was planning to, ahem, party with. Of course, this kind of lifestyle takes its toll, and at just 35 years old he was given a week to live due to heart failure brought on by excessive drug use. Luckily for rock fans, he pulled through. Hey, if a mountain lion couldn't stop him, a bum heart certainly wasn't going to do it.

Iggy Pop

I'm not sure "partying" is exactly the right word to describe Iggy Pop's frequent descents into hedonistic self-destruction. Unless you consider life itself to be a party. Because that's what partying was to Pop: a lifestyle. Fueled by heroin, Pop's time with his band The Stooges came to an end when the band began a brawl with a biker gang right in the middle of a concert. Pop got so out of control that he skipped right over rehab and checked himself into a mental institution. Luckily, David Bowie eventually helped Pop wean himself off dope. "Lust for Life" indeed.

Ralph Rieckermann

Finally, there's partying too hard, and then there's what Ralph Rieckermann of The Scorpions got himself into. What do you do when drugs, booze, sex, and rock n' roll are no longer giving you that buzz? Well, according to Rieckermann, the next step is snuff parties, where guests pay to watch people actually get murdered in front of them for sport. That's about as sick as it gets. Rieckermann later backtracked from his statement, saying he was taken way out of context. Given there's no good context for that, you know, fair enough. But if you're so jaded you have to watch people die to get off? Bro, you've definitely taken this partying thing way, way too far.