The world is buzzing over Steven Slater, a flight attendant for Jet Blue airlines who got fed up with his job, went on a profanity-laden tirade over the public address system on a plane sitting on the runway, grabbed a couple of beers and escaped via the inflatable slide designed to be used as an escape (he was arrested shortly thereafter). Slater has become something of a folk hero, dividing the people who thought what he did was totally nuts and the people who are saying this incident is a moment that expressed the rage of many in the service industry.
Also, it was seriously rock and roll.
Which is why, for today at least, we’re making Slater an honorary rock star and putting him in the class of top musical temper tantrums. He joins the following icons.
In a performance that still lives in the lore of live music in New York City, Fiona Apple took the stage at Roseland Ballroom and made things rather problematic for all involved. She was so upset by the sound problems she was having that she started ranting about the club staff, threatening journalists not to pan her, crying and leaving the stage twice. She only got through a handful of songs before calling it quits.
In one of the most famous breakdowns in history, Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten decided that his band had come to the end, and he yelled at the crowd “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” He then walked out both on the fans in the club and the band itself.
Always a moody performer, Rose ascended to new heights at a show in Montreal in the summer of 1992. After opening band Metallica’s set had to be cut short because of frontman James Hetfield’s pyro-related injury, Rose showed up late (which made the gap between performers even longer) and then left the stage after only nine songs, claiming he was having problems with his voice.
Perhaps the prolific singer-songwriter should stay away from Minneapolis, Minnesota. In a famously choppy appearance in 2003, Adams constantly complained about sound problems and made fun of local hero Paul Westerberg. In 2007, he again left the stage early after spending most of the set trying to move his monitors into the right places. And that’s not including all of the near-fights Adams has gotten into with concert attendees who call him Bryan Adams and request “Summer of ’69.”
Just about every show has been a bad day at the office for Love, though the tour in the wake of Live Through This was especially problematic. In the wake of husband Kurt Cobain’s death, she went on long rants and often threatened people in the crowd.