10 Most Controversial TV Performances in Rock and Metal

A legitimate question - is anyone here still watching TV?

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There is nothing like rock and metal musicians shocking the audience with outlandish onstage behavior or just shits and giggles stuff that people like to interpret as shocking in their easily-offended brains.

Whichever the case may be, these are 10 fine examples of rock and metal musicians delivering the shock factor on TV.

The Doors Get Banned for Saying 'Higher' on TV

It might seem quite silly these days, or not, but saying a word "higher" was a big no-no back in the day, or at least on the "Ed Sullivan Show." When the Doors appeared on the show back in 1967 to perform "Light My Fire," they were instructed not to sing the "girl, we couldn't get much higher" line because sponsors didn't want anything that could be associated with drugs.

Jim Morrison went ahead and sang the troublesome line anyway, earning the band a lifetime ban from the show.

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Johnny Rotten Says No to Lip-Syncing By Blowing His Nose Into the Camera, Among Other Stuff

During an 1980 TV appearance with his post-Sex Pistols band Public Image Ltd., Johnny Rotten wasn't into lip-syncing, and opted to blow his nose into the camera and get the party started with the studio crowd instead. Never a "poser," it would seem.

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Metallica Sings About Killing Babies, Raping Mothers, Sucking Old-Man Cock, Fucking a Sheep, and a Goat, Ramming Cock Right Down Their Throat etc. On MTV Awards

Metallica's 1996 performance at MTV Europe Music Awards will go down in history as possibly the most profane show on a major award ceremony of all times. Instead of doing the usual bits, the boys opted for adding a pinch of punk with "Last Caress" and "So What," singing about all the jolly things mentioned in the sub-headline. Also, fucking school-girl twats. How nice...

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SOAD Drop an F-Bomb on 'SNL'

Seems very weakish when compared to 'Tallica, but System of a Down sparked a bit of TV controversy as well by dropping an f-bomb during a 2005 appearance on the "Saturday Night Live" show. Touchy people.

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Iggy Pop Goes Coocoo in the Most Awesome Way Possible

During a TV appearance in Australia in 1979, Iggy went a tad mental, and Iggy was awesome.

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Iron Maiden Make Fun of Lip-Syncing

Johnny Rotten wasn't the only one who was against lip-syncing, just look at the Maiden boys taking the piss out of this German show.

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The Vines Frontman Loses It on Letterman

The Vines frontman Craig Nicholls is known for peculiar onstage antics, but this stuff actually scared David Letterman a bit, as the host decided to stay in his chair once the band was done, instead of traditionally approaching the performer for a handshake.

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Kurt Cobain Orally Pleasures a Microphone

Well, a mic cannot be sexually pleased, but Kurt Cobain did something very dirty to it during this "Top of the Pops" performance. The thing was, Kurt didn't want to do any lip-syncing, and the organizers even broke their usual rules by letting him sing, but they still played the instrumental bits from the studio version tape. It wasn't enough for Kurt, as you can see.

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Fear Incite a Riot on 'Saturday Night Live'

The only reason why these guys even managed to miraculously reached "SNL" was the fact that John Belushi was a big fan. They brought a few friends as studio audience, and ended up inciting a riot and trashing the whole studio. Good times, and a good show.

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The Who Drummer Keith Moon Blows Up the Stage With Explosives, Hurts Himself and Causes Permanent Hearing Damage to Pete Townshend

Sure, Metallica win the profanity title, but the Who still reign supreme without saying a single nasty word. Instead - and this was way back in 1967 - the boys blew up the stage with explosives.

Drummer Keith Moon was the one leading the charge, as he brought some explosives for the finale of the "My Generation" performance. During the rehearsal, the boom was quite underwhelming, making ole Keith think that adding three times more for the live show was a good idea.

The result - a big bang that drove a piece of cymbal shrapnel straight into Mr. Moon and caused a permanent hearing damage for guitarist Pete Townshend. Nicely done, lads.

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Apart from the usual invite to share any relevant stuff that's not on the list in the comments, here's a question for ya - does anyone around here watch TV anymore?

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    NikkoBrajj
    What was the name of the band who's singer used to strip naked, take a shit at the floor, smear his face with his own feces then throw some at the audience until the police showed up to stop the performance? I think they deserve a mention, even though they never got really famous
    Candlewolf
    I guess that's the reason Alan Partridge referred to Iggy as a "sweating lunatic". PS Molly rules!
    Way Cool JR.
    Elvis!?
    Way Cool JR.
    This was one of the most controversial TV performances in music history. No one wanted him on their shows after it, and the Police even had to monitor his performances to make sure he stuck to the guidelines. He ultimately changed the way live music could be performed, and the rest is history.
    BobbyJones96
    the thing about the vocalist from the vines is he is aspergers, the band always tried to keep him calm leading into each show
    tomp19
    didn't flea play bass with his shoe once on TOTP because they made the bade do playback?