11 Onstage Injuries Sustained by Rock Musicians

Self-inflicted, fan-inflicted, gear-inflicted...

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Whether we're talking about small clubs or massive arenas, performing on stage can be dangerous business. So many things can go wrong and cause anything from mild discomfort to lethal injuries.

Needless to say, these things have happened to prominent rock and metal musicians too. Eleven neatly summed up examples await below.

Krist Novoselic Nearly Kills Himself With a Bass Throw

This one took place at 1992's MTV Awards, as Krist the bass player thought it was a smart idea to chuck his bass way high up in the air and welcome it with ahurms wide opan. He survived, leaving us with this piece of pure gold:

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James Hetfield Nearly Gets Killed by Stage Pyrotechnics

Metallica's Montreal in 1992 might be one of the first things to pop up in yer noggin when you think about onstage accidents. During "Fade to Black," frontman James Hetfield took a few wrong steps and ended up right beneath one of the flame-throwing devices.

He ended up with many nasty burns and was immediately rushed to the hospital. Making matters worse, Guns N' Roses decided not to perform the same night, inciting a fan riot.

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Gene Simmons Catches His Hair on Fire

During his signature fire-breathing schtick in 1973, Mr. Gene Simmons took a wrong turn and ended up catching his hair on fire. He encountered the same problem at least around 10 times throughout his career, yet he still does it.

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Frank Zappa Pushed Off Stage by Fan

In 1971, Frank Zappa infuriated one of the fans by performing a cover of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand." With the Fab Four's breakup still being a fresh wound for many of the fans, one of the lads took things too far and pushed poor Frank off the stage.

He ended up with severe injuries. "The band thought I was dead," Zappa said. "My head was over on my shoulder, and my neck was bent like it was broken. I had a gash in my chin, a hole in the back of my head, a broken rib and a fractured leg. One arm was paralyzed."

Lou Reed Bitten on the Butt by a Fan

During Lou Reed's 1973 performance in Buffalo, NY, a crazy concertgoer thought it was a good idea to stand up, shout "Leather!" and bite Lou's rear end.

The Edge Falls Off the Edge of the Stage

This one is quite fresh - the Edge doesn't pay attention to the edge, falls off the edge.

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Keith Moon Blows Up Himself Along With His Drum Kit

The Who drummer Keith Moon is known for blowing his drum kit up on a few occasions, but during this particular performance, the band's 1967 appearance on the "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" TV show, Keith placed a bit too much of the explosive stuff.

As the legend goes, this explosion was the reason behind guitarist Pete Townshend's hearing problems.

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Kurt Cobain Gets His A-s Kicked by Security Guard

Some people say he deserved it. Would you agree?

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Steven Tyler Falls Off Stage While Performing "Love in an Elevator" - Twice

Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler fell off stage twice within a year, both times while performing "Love in an Elevator." Check out his little dance routine going wrong below.

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David Lee Roth Cuts His Nose Open With a Mic Stand

During Van Halen's rehearsals for their recent performance on the "Jimmy Kimmel" show, David Lee Roth had a little accident with the mic stand, resulting in a few stitches on his nose. He performed nevertheless.

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Dave Grohl Breaks Leg During Concert, Continues the Show Anyway

We'll end it with the latest major onstage injury, courtesy of Mr. Dave Grohl. The Foo Fighters frontman broke his leg during a recent show in Sweden, but did the Grohlest thing possible by continuing the show with his leg in a cast.

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48 comments sorted by best / new / date

    You guys are obsessed with Grohl. We get it.
    I literally read this article just to confirm my suspicion that it was made just to put Dave Grohl as number one.
    Pete Townshend performed the windmill routine on a Strat (in 1989 in Toronto, I think) and impaled his hand on the whammy bar. Which I imagine would hurt...
    It was in Wisconsin, if my memory isn't totally shot. The doctor that treated him on the spot was from my hometown in central Illinois.
    No Zakk Wylde cutting his hand open but continues to play despite heavy bleeding!!!!
    That pic of Lou Reed looks like it was taken at the same time his buns were getting nommed.
    I had always heard that the Zappa incident happened because the guy thought Frank was making eyes at his girlfriend. Either way, they're pretty dumb reasons for pushing someone off stage.
    Yabba Who
    It was in London, England, on Dec 10 1971 when Frank was pushed off the stage by Trevor Charles Howell in a fit of jealous rage after his girlfriend told him she had a thing for Frank and Frank made eye contact with her. Howell attempted to flee but audience members caught him and delivered him to Frank's road crew. Frank was in a wheelchair for almost a year afterwards and suffered back pain for years to come. His larynx was also crushed which legend says is responsible for his deeper voice.
    I think Matt Bellamy once messed up one of his stage antics, and whacked his own guitar against his teeth. He had to get stitches.
    Bruce Dickinson at Rock In Rio 1985, chucks his guitar in the air and it cracked him on the nose. Blood pouring down his face but he still carried on.
    Curtis Mayfield, paralysed when a lighting rig fell on him in 1990, probably the most serious (unless you count Dimebag)
    You also forgot Steven Tyler hitting Joe Perry in the head with his mic...and Ace Frehley getting electrocuted.
    Don't forget that Steven Tyler fractured his shoulder on that one.
    Freddie Mercury, during a 1984 tour, fall down a stair and almost broke his leg. Some guys of the crew carried him to the piano where he played Bohemian Rhapsody and had to stop because his leg hurted so much.
    Baby Joel
    dimebag deserves the #1 spot
    Dude...I know you do this whole thing as a joke but c'mon man...that was just too far
    Baby Joel
    I'm not joking. I'm being entirely honest. I think that Dimebag in that last show got a lot more injuries than any of these guys
    Phil Anselmo injured his head during a Down gig and he still played the show, covered in blood and all...
    Timo Kotipelto of Stratovarius burnt his hand, playing S.O.S the same way as Hetfield
    Paul Gilbert got the drill stuck in his hair once and almost drilled his brains out!
    I remember reading somewhere that Elton John once bashed his head on a low hanging pipe while playing at Madison Square Garden and the band thought he'd been shot...