Top 10 Biggest Guitar Fails Ever

Guitar masters can loose their grip from time to time.

Top 10 Biggest Guitar Fails Ever
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For this week's traditional UG Wednesday Question we asked you guys to name the single biggest guitar fail made by a renowned axeman. A lot of interesting suggestions kept flowing in, here are the ones that made the Top 10 based on your votes.

10. Kirk Hammett's "The Unforgiven II" Fail at Billboard Awards

That first note! Playing with a slide can be a tad tricky, resulting in easy out-of-tune slips like the one Mr. Hammett made at Billboard Awards during the band's "Load/Reload" era.

9. Tom DeLonge's (Blink-182) "First Date" Fail at MTV Europe Awards 2001

Sometimes it's not even a guitarist's fault when screw-ups happen. Take Tom DeLonge's 2001 fail at MTV Europe awards. Throughout the show, the guitar constantly troubled the young singer, due to a wireless transmitter error.

"Unfortunately, one of the guitars used by Depeche Mode from their performance earlier in the night still had its wireless transmitter on, and of course it was set to the same frequency as Tom's guitar," bassist Mark Hoppus said about the event over a decade later.

"After the intro, his guitar cut out completely for the rest of the song. So our triumphant show-closing performance fell flat, as Travis and I played a drum and bass remix and Tom sang along, hoping desperately that something would happen and his guitar would turn back on, or time would stop completely and we could all disappear.

"Neither happened. Then we got back on the plane and flew home. [Producer] Jerry [Finn] laughed at us the whole way. True story."

8. Synyster Gates Falling on Stage

Of course, a fail can be completely unrelated to your instrument, but to your stage behavior. Just check out Synyster Gates' onstage fall during one of the band's earlier live shows.

Despite tumbling across the stage, Syn seems to have just laughed it all off, even getting more crowd support after failing. But 'tis a fail nevertheless, and it's made No. 8.

7. John Frusciante's "Under the Bridge" Fail on Saturday Night Live 1992

High on heroin and on the verge of leaving the band, John Frusciante and RHCP delivered a unique performance of "Under the Bridge" on Saturday Night Live back in 1992. "I felt like I was getting stabbed in the back and hung out to dry in front of all of America while [Frusciante] was off in a corner in the shadow, playing some dissonant out-of-tune experiment," singer Anthony Kiedis said after the show.

However, a solid portion of fans agrees that Frusciante's performance was top-notch in its own way. And really, there aren't much typical fails on this one, as John's in tune and in proper timing pretty much throughout the whole song.

6. Dave Mustaine - "Symphony Interrupted" - "The Ride of the Valkyrie"

Back to sloppy playing, Dave Mustaine's "Symphony Interrupted" bad performance is sometimes attributed to technical issues. However, the squeaky sounds and clearly missed notes are very much present and can hardly be attributed to tech difficulties.


5. System Of A Down - Technical Difficulties Lowlands 2002

We're not sure what's going on here at 3:55, but guitarist Daron Malakian summed it up pretty nicely at the end with "This sucks, and so do we."


4. DragonForce "Through the Fire and Flames" Fail Live at Novarock 2013

Taking stage antics over the line, Herman Li of DragonForce didn't quite manage to pull his trick at last year's Novarock. He did manage to recover from the fail, sort of.


3. Slash F--ks Up "Welcome to the Jungle" Intro

After Axl's epic intro speech, Slash sure knew how to f--k it all up with that guitar intro. The year was 1991 and things were definitely happening for the band.

2. James Hetfield Fails to Switch Guitar Sound

Another source of guitar fails comes from all those pedals, knobs and switches - just take James Hetfield's 2011 sound flop as an example. Papa Het did manage to come out of it fairly nicely, even making a joke or two at the end.

1. Guns N' Roses - Golden Gods Awards 2014 - "Sweet Child O'Mine"

The No.1 fail happened this year at the Golden Gods Awards. We're not sure what happened there, but it sounds like one of those "shreds" videos. Imagine what it would sound like to combine DJ Ashba's sound and Axl's "Mickey Mouse" voice from that "Welcome to the Jungle" fail at Bridge School.

112 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Mack888
    Next top 10...it's gotta be stage rants.
    Everlong729
    I'm gonna guess Axl will win that one
    Mack888
    Definitely. The one where he almost gets hit by what appears to be a hard skin filing stone made for the hard skin on ones heels.
    jaybrink10101
    I think the usually-nice Josh Homme may have that one...he bottled a guy for being a prick after a good minute of calling him every name under the sun.
    Sixxstarr
    yeah...the whole walking off stage during his after james hetfield was hit by pyro and ending up with a riot kinda puts him up there
    Krieger91
    Haha, I had an idea that Malakian would be on here.. If it's not him messing up 'cause he's too busy jumping around, he seems to consistently have technical difficulties. Yet he always makes a joke out of it. When I saw them in Milan last year, at one point, the guitar wouldn't switch to clean, and he simply started dancing and playing air guitar around the stage. Was awesome haha.
    Smigzy
    Hes one of my all time favorite guitarist... But Frusciante always was a world class d-bag personality wise. That's great you want to experiment. But don't do it on national tv while promoting your latest album without talking to your bandmates first. What a jerk.
    buddy1991
    He quit the band almost immediately after this. According to Anthony's autobiography he was in a pretty messed up state of mind. Either way, I think that version sounds awesome up until the ridiculous yelling near the end.
    Smigzy
    I actually liked the version/video. I had never seen it before. Was it the same show where they were playing Stone Cold Bush and Fru was pissing around so kedis kicked him in the ass? But clearly by seeing Kedis in the video and and reading what he said about it... He wasn't ok with it and I just see it as Frusciante being a childish d@ck.
    MestFan99
    Kiedis accidentally whacked a mic into Frusciante's face (is what I think you were referring to) - yes, it was the same night.
    DickHardwood
    He didn't like that the band were playing tv shows and going massively big. He's famously anti-fame.
    schirripar
    Frusciante botched the performance after Kiedis kicked him into his microphone earlier in the night. It was just all tension at this point. To call him a jerk is a tad presumptuous, but I mean hey who isn't a jerk.
    MetalRock4ever
    I think the next one should be biggest guitar fails by newer bands. In the voting article, there were some hilarious videos which deserve to be seen by many
    KaleviHagqvist
    or guitar saves
    Izzy-Sweet
    Raise that roadie's wage! F*cking amazing, you wouldn't have even noticed anything was ever wrong.
    Mack888
    I hope you're talking about the epic guitar spin fail where the guys guitar strap broke and the axe sailed about 20 feet up into the air
    extraversion
    john frusciantes rendition of 'under the bridge' wasn't a fail, he was merely improvising for a song on live television that he grew to hate.
    12rstevenson
    System really pulled that off and made it an excellent part of the performance. Daron is awesome.
    cyclonus
    No Lil Wayne?
    MetalRock4ever
    That is one of the obvious ones (and would be in the top places of the list), but the article, where you voted for biggest guitar fail, did say no Lil Wayne or Fred Durst.
    cyclonus
    Did it not occur to you that most Lil Wayne nominations were most likely in jest and due to UG telling everyone they couldn't nominate him?
    MetalRock4ever
    Yes, though he was an obvious fail, but he wasn't the best jests suggested in the comments section (fails done by up-coming bands, or new bands).
    svelle
    I think the Guns N Roses Fail is pretty close to lil waynes performance.
    MattHessing
    Fudge that man Fred Durst should have been #1!
    The_Wilrus
    I feel your down votes are unjust and not enough people have seen the "solo" you are referring too. It is painful but because its Durst also a delight.
    MattHessing
    To be fair, I was joking. After seeing every other post in the votes being for Lil Wayne or Fred Durst despite the article clearly stating they wouldn't accept them, I thought I'd continue the joke. I guess unless you write SARCASM in big letters it may not be recognised...
    Kornholic
    The downvotes are there because you guys are illiterate.
    aureliusgtr
    why did Kornohilic get downvoted, you all are illiterate, the vote was for biggest guitar fails by ACTUAL GUITARISTS and specifically stated the fred durst and lil wayne fails were NOT part of this
    metallideth88
    Honestly, I do not know where UG took this list from cause most of these were not even nominated.
    Everlong729
    Pretty sure all of these were nominated dude.
    metallideth88
    6. Dave Mustaine - "Symphony Interrupted" - "The Ride of the Valkyrie"???? 10. Kirk Hammett's "The Unforgiven II" Fail at Billboard Awards????
    Mack888
    Go check the comments section of the Wednesday question and see for yourself man
    Vickshow
    I saw both of these in the comments Wednesday morning after I got off work because I remember watching both of them.