EntertainmentMusicWhen Rock meets the Police: 12 singers who were...

When Rock meets the Police: 12 singers who were arrested


Rock has always been a daring, rebellious, hooligan musical style. More than one rocker and on more than one occasion he has been arrested by the Police. Almost always for minor crimes related to the possession or consumption of drugs or public disorder. Rockers like to have a good time. And that is paid.

In this article we review the stories of 12 rockers who had problems with the authorities. From the uncontrollable Janis Joplin to the rebellious David Crosby, through icons like Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Prince or Johnny Cash.

Axl Rose, he favorite from Policia 

In his hometown, Lafayette (Indiana), the Guns N’ Roses singer had more than one problem with the agents. In interviews, Axl Rose himself admitted to causing disturbances on public roads and being arrested drunk. He does not keep good memories of that place, and he has always declared that he is convinced that the police caught his mania. They were going for him.

What has been recorded are four arrests, although more than twenty have been known. On one occasion, as a minor, he was imprisoned for three months. Welcome to the Jungle.

When he was over 18 years old, he continued with that peculiar lifestyle. On another occasion he was detained for ten days for drug intoxication and public scandal. The image corresponds to the moment of the arrest for stealing a bicycle. The truth is that Axl Rose caused quite a bit of trouble in quiet and boring Lafayette. And he hasn’t been there again. Could it be that he does not keep good memories?

Prince, flying joker

The artist formerly known as Prince was arrested by Jackson police on March 29, 1980 for putting on a scandalous show on a plane. He and his keyboardist Dr. Fink grabbed an emergency megaphone and began to assemble it mid-flight. typical rockers.

It is the most famous image of Prince in the police station, although throughout his life as an artist he was under the watchful eye of the Police for possession of illegal substances. The alleged dealer of the artist, Doctor D, assured in an interview that for more than twenty years he supplied him with drugs. The addiction cost Prince about $300 a day. Not everything is purple.

Johnny Cash, outlaw

In 1965 Johnny Cash was arrested when the authorities opened his suitcase. Hundreds and hundreds of pills and tranquilizers fell to the ground. Where was that thirtysomething going with so much merchandise? In the file image he really does look like an outlaw .

After paying the corresponding fine, the singer-songwriter was able to forget about the incident. What he did not forget was drugs. In the late 50’s he had already had more than one encounter with amphetamines, and during the 60’s he became a compulsive drinker. The amphetamines continued to accompany him to be able to stay awake and active during his tours. A subject that he treated himself in his autobiography.

Johnny Cash was arrested up to four times. On one occasion, for starting a fire in the forest (accidentally). However, he never spent a night in the dungeon. In any case, being arrested turned out to be good business: his image as an outlaw boy was reinforced, and that attracted more public towards him.

Kurt Cobain, rock climber

You just have to imagine the scene: drugged and trying to climb a fence on which a ‘No Trespassing’ sign hangs. It’s 1986 and that blond young man is Kurt Cobain. At that time he surely did not imagine that a few months later he would end up forming one of the most important bands in rock history.

By the time the police arrived, Cobain had already entered private property and climbed onto the roof of an abandoned building. He was still very high. The arrest must have been interesting. In the photographs taken at the police station, the future leader of Nirvana gives off an intense smell of adolescent spirit.

Glenn Frey, the badass of the Eagles

The Eagles were a great band. Literally too. Many musicians lived in those dressing rooms, and all with big egos and strong personalities. Glenn Frey, one of the lead singers, is known to have punched one of the guitarists (Take it easy, Glenn!). It is not difficult to imagine that this group of young millionaire musicians also had their problems with the authorities.

In the image Frey appears arrested in 1973. The charges: drug possession and taking drugs in public. And that in that year they had not yet known multimillion-dollar success. It would be in 1976 when bills would rain on their heads, thanks to the albums Hotel California and  Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) , two of the best-selling records in history.

Ozzy Osbourne, subscriber of the polemic

The observations of the police claimed to have found Osbourne “incredibly drunk.” He was arrested in 1984 for public intoxication. In the images you can guess that crazy face that always accompanies the controversial Ozzy.

In 1989 he again had a serious incident due to being drunk. He tried to strangle his wife. The police arrested him and he was charged with attempted murder. The judge ruled that he would have to spend three months away from his family and enter a rehabilitation center if he wanted to see them again.

Janis Joplin, a protest girl

It was the crazy year 1969 and, in that lively hippie environment, one of the voices of youth had a run-in with the authorities. The young Janis Joplin was arrested for shouting all kinds of obscenities at the police during a demonstration.

Ultimately the charges came to nothing, because the judge recognized Joplin’s freedom of expression. She was never arrested for drug use or possession, but it was very clear that she used them. Months after the incident with the police, Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose. She joined the tragic 27 Club.

David Bowie, the elegance of the prisoner

In 1976 David Bowie and his friend Iggy Pop were arrested in New York for possession of marijuana (182 grams, specifically). Although a couple of months later the charges were dropped, the elegant photograph that the English singer was taken at the police station remained for history.

In this arrest Bowie came to spend a few hours in jail. The photograph was first made public in 2007 by the website ‘The Smoking Gun’, and quickly went viral. Here you have the video of the news that was given of the arrest.

Mick Jagger, playful

It was 1967 and the Rolling had been on stage for five years. Success came loaded with money and drugs, it seems. Mick Jagger was arrested for possession of amphetamines and sentenced to three months in jail. He was 24 years old.

That same year Jagger had another encounter with the police. This was much more media. He was at a ranch owned by Keith Richards, surrounded by friends. What was going to be a fun weekend ended with a movie police raid. The agents entered the party and arrested everyone for drug possession. Mick Jagger was found in bed with a girl and chocolates. What a combination!

David Crosby, the mischievous

Of all the badass rockers David Crosby is the most experienced. His extensive musical career is plagued by scandals, problems, alcohol, drugs, arrests, escapes and near-death experiences. The prolific singer was arrested in 1982 for possession of drugs and weapons. When asked why he was carrying a gun, he said, “John Lennon, man. John Lennon”.

In the sixties he had used drugs (like everyone!), in the seventies he had known his greatest successes, and in the eighties he had his particular descent into hell. In 1985 he was again arrested for drunk driving. He got to spend nine months in a Texas jail. An experience that marked him forever. He continued to have problems with the law and managed to leave his country on his private boat, living in international waters for several weeks. Rocker’s life!

Jim Morrison, the scandal

Another subscriber to the controversy and the confrontations with the authorities, whether they were his family or the United States Government. The truth is that Morrison never liked to follow the established rules. He came to be arrested live on stage, in what meant one of the historic moments of rock.

In the image, however, we see the moment of another arrest. On this occasion for “indecent public exposure.” The events occurred in 1970 during a concert in Miami. They can be read in the following article. Morrison’s short and intense career ended on July 3, 1971, when he was found dead in the bathtub.

Jimi Hendrix, spirit of 69

Again 1969, and again drug possession. These rockers didn’t learn. It was Jimi Hendrix’s turn to be arrested by the Police, although he was finally declared innocent. In the file image it does not appear that he had consumed anything or was confused or bewildered. It was 69, after all.

Jimi Hendrix became the highest paid artist at the Woodstock Festival. He had had alcohol problems since 1962, and was introduced to LSD in 1966. After 1967, he smoked cannabis and hashish regularly and took amphetamines and LSD, mostly while on tour. According to his biographer, at the time of his death in September 1970, “few stars were as associated with drug culture as Jimi.”

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