Life in the public eye means enduring wild rumors accepted as facts after a slew of retweets. Crazy rock star stories, like the Marilyn Manson rumors about removing a rib for flexibility, are fun in theory; but they don't usually hold any truth. But rock and rolls myths, such as curses in the music industry, have gained a life of their own.
A few rocker stories are so crazy, so outlandish, they sound as if they must be fake. But friends, family, journalists, and bandmates have corroborated these creepy rumors - which go to show truth is stranger than fiction.
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is well known for his history of imbibing and his sky-high substance tolerance. And, to their credit, some of the wildest rumors involving Richards contain an element of truth. For example, in 1973, Richards cleaned up with a three-day "blood cleansing" hemodialysis procedure in Sweden. So, the idea of Richards snorting his late father's remains didn't always seem too far-fetched.
After his dad's passing in 2002, Richards admitted he mixed a bit of the ash with some harder stuff and snorted the concoction. Richards later clarified what happened:
"[I] opened my dad's ashes and some of the blew out over the table. What am I gonna do? Do I desecrate them with a dustbin and broom? So I wet my finger and shoved a little bit of dad up me hooter."
Richards also allegedly told his daughters to do the same with his ashes.
Arguably, no rock and roll moments are as mythic as the ones involving Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off various animals. In 1981, with his first solo record on the verge of US release, Osbourne planned to release doves as a peace offering of sorts during the Epic Records annual sales convention. Instead, the intoxicated rock star grabbed a dove and bit its head off - then did it to another one.
Osbourne's decapitation of winged creatures didn't end with doves, though. On January 20, 1982, Osbourne was touring for his second solo album, Diary of a Madman. While performing at the Veteran's Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, IA, 17-year-old Mark Neal threw a bat on stage. Osbourne, assuming the animal was plastic, bit the head off a very real, very dead bat. He was taken to the hospital and treated for rabies, marking the last time he bit off any animal's head.
Keith Moon was the eccentric, drug-fueled drummer for The Who during the '60s and '70s. Mama Cass Elliot was a singer with the Mamas & the Papas from 1965 to 1971. But the two shared more in common than music, as both died tragically at only 32 years old. Elliot suffered a heart attack in 1974. Moon, meanwhile, overdosed on Heminevrin - a sedative meant to help curb his alcoholism - in 1978.
Eerier still, the two died while staying in a flat owned by Harry Nilsson. Nilsson made his home available to friends that needed it while in Mayfair, London, so Elliot took advantage of the offer while performing at the Palladium. Four years later, Moon died in the same apartment where Cass took her last breath.
KISS licensed their likenesses for use in a ton of commercial products and media during their 1970s heyday. Along with caskets, condoms, and Scooby-Doo appearances, the band agreed to appear in a Marvel comic book. The group donated blood to add into the red ink used to print Marvel Comics Super Special #1. Publicity photos even show the band mixing blood into the ink, and a notary public certified its authenticity.