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20 Craziest Rock Star Arrests

Updated June 14, 2019 2.3k votes 350 voters 57.6k views19 items

List RulesVote up the wildest rock star arrests.

The best rock stars have a history of bad behavior. Living in a world surrounded by drugs, alcohol, and partying is an invitation to trouble, and even the biggest musicians in the world haven't been able to avoid run-ins with the law. Wild stories about Axl Rose, Keith Moon, and others often start with partying and end with the boys in blue.

There is a long history of rock stars getting arrested for the craziest things, not just drug-related. Some are not entirely surprising, but you might be shocked to learn what some musicians did to end up in handcuffs.

  • Photo: North Kern State Prison / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Phil Spector, one of the most highly regarded music producers of the '60s, was also known as an unstable maniac - something confirmed when he shot and killed actress Lana Clarkson in 2003. Spector denied killing her, but was found guilty during the sensational trial. He was sentenced to 19 years to life after a lengthy trial that ended in 2009.

    "All of our plans together are destroyed," Clarkson's mother said in a statement read in court. "Now, I can only visit her at the cemetery."

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  • Photo: Chess Records / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Chuck Berry was infamously arrested in 1959 after he reportedly attempted to smuggle a 14-year-old girl he met in Juarez, Mexico, across state lines. Though Berry claimed it was for an employment opportunity at his nightclub in St. Louis, MO, authorities believed he was trying to bring the girl across state lines for "immoral purposes."

    "Never saw a man so changed," Carl Perkins, who toured with the guitarist in England in the '60s, recalled of Berry after his arrest and five-year imprisonment. "He had been an easygoing guy before, the kinda guy who'd jam in dressing rooms, sit and swap licks and jokes. [But] in England he was cold, real distant and bitter."

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  • Photo: Livioandronico2013 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    During a 2001 performance in Michigan, Marilyn Manson grabbed a security guard named Joshua Keasler from behind and used him as a human stripper pole. Manson spit on Keasler and rubbed his genitals on the security guard's head.

    The singer was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, as well as criminal sexual conduct. The sexual conduct charge was ultimately reduced, and the singer was not required to face jail time as the original charge would have mandated.

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  • Photo: Eva Rinaldi / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Culture Club singer Boy George had a truly bizarre run-in with the law in 2007, when he was arrested for imprisoning a male escort. The singer and the model had engaged in a naked photo shoot and shared cocaine before Boy George accused the escort, named Audun Carlsen, of hacking into his computer and handcuffed him to a wall fixture before beating him with whips and chains. Carlsen escaped after wrenching himself free and fleeing into the streets.

    Boy George was sentenced to 15 months in prison for the strange ordeal. He was released for good behavior after serving four months.

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