Did you ever wonder what would happen if you took young libidinous men with overinflated senses of self and a penchant for mind/body-altering substances and plied them with millions in cash, adoring nubile minions, and substances lethal enough to knock out a pachyderm? The answer: sleaze.
Spin magazine has just published "The 100 Sleaziest Moments in Rock" issue, filled with tales of sex, violence, drugs, and other debauchery that have made the rock and roll canon such a serious intellectual pursuit, as well as loads of fun for us to chronicle.
"The most enduring rock 'n' roll tradition isn't smashing your guitar or breaking up your band over 'creative differences,'" Spin says in the intro to the cover story, "it's sleaziness. And now, as porn stars and strippers have become rock and rap's favorite accessories, as Behind the Music wallows in the history of pop debauchery, 'sleazy does it' is replacing 'keeping it real' as the order of the day."
Keeping it real sleazy then, here is the list of sleazy rock moments as Spin sees it. And when you're done, VH1.com wants to know what you think of the sleaze list. Do you think Spin got it right? Are there other epochal sleaze events they missed? Go to VH1.com's 100 Sleaziest Rock Moments Message Board and let us know.
The 100 SLEAZIEST MOMENTS IN ROCK:
1. Led Zeppelin's Seafood Fetish: Led Zeppelin are the undisputed gods of rock 'n' roll perversity. Their most infamous moment: a disgusting 1969 incident at Seattle's Edgewater Inn involving fornication with fresh seafood. The event remains the standard by which all rock debauchery has been measured.
2. Sid Stabs Nancy, Everyone Profits: In 1978 Sid Vicious is instantly transformed from junkie punk icon in rapid decline to the most infamous celebrity in the world. Everyone from Sid's record company (Virgin) to his mother and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood were out to make a buck off his newfound notoriety.
3. "Colonel" Tom Parker Destroys the King: A former circus carny, "Colonel" Tom Parker becomes Elvis Presley's manager, and ultimately winds up destroying whatever musical ambitions Elvis had.
4. Woodstock III Slimes Everyone: Greedy promoters hold the event on the hot, ugly runway of a decommissioned Air Force Base in upstate New York. By the time the weekend is over, 44 people were arrested, nearly 10,000 were treated for injuries, and women reported eight rapes and sexual assaults.
5. Pamela Des Barres Racks 'Em Up: Pamela Des Barres, rock's most famous groupie, gets to first base with Captain Beefheart, second base with Jim Morrison, and third base with Ray Davies, but hits home runs with Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, and Don "Heartbeat" Johnson, and lives to write about it. Des Barres later writes I'm With the Band (1987), a memoir of those scandalous days of old, now a bible for enterprising groupies.
6. Michael Jackson's Peter Pan Problems: Remember when tabloid coverage of Michael Jackson was fun? The climate changes in 1993, when a child accused him of sexual abuse.
7. Suge Knight's Innovative Management Style: Former UNLV football star, Bobby Brown bodyguard, and all-around hard-ass Marion "Suge" Knight takes his management tips from the book of Corleone in consolidating his Death Row hip-hop empire.
8. Fred Durst, Papa Roach Get Porn Again: In Backstage Sluts 1 and 2, the hardcore videos (soon to be a trilogy), Korn's Jonathan Davis, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath, Motorhead's Lemmy, Fred Durst, and Papa Roach recount their rock-star conquests.
9. Chuck Berry's Yellow Fever: In 1990 Berry is accused of installing hidden cameras in the ladies' room at his Missouri-based restaurant. Proving, in light of CBS's recent voyeur-fest Big Brother, that Berry is still very much the pioneer.
10. Diamond Dave's Bonus Program: During the band's 1979 tour, Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth institutes an "incentive program" to keep the roadies on schedule. Crew members are given backstage passes to dole out to the ladies of their choice. The roadie who gives out the pass pinned to the tube top on the floor of Diamond Dave's hotel-room floor is given $100 and a commendation at the next pre-show dinner.
11. Superfreak Rick James accuses a party guest of stealing drugs and holds her hostage in his home.
12. Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones marries a 13-year-old girl; his son later dates the girl's mother.
13. Courtney Love's infamous public and private shenanigans.
14. Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil, the man who wouldn't sing until he'd been "serviced."
15. Elvis inquires about becoming an honorary DEA agent; President Richard Nixon gives him a badge.
16. Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones moonlights as a bisexual street hustler.
17. Eminem includes his daughter's voice in a song about killing her mother.
18. "Helter Skelter" psycho-criminal Charles Manson and his harem shack up with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys.
19. The Go-Go's film a raunchy video including their sex confessions and a roadie handling his own equipment.
20. Dick Clark acquires the copyrights on semi-hit songs and then overplays them on American Bandstand.
21. Brian Wilson's psychiatrist controls more than just his mind; he acquires part of his publishing royalties.
22. Ol' Dirty Bastard takes a limo to cash his welfare check with MTV cameras in tow.
23. In 1998, a number of journalists are assaulted, including former Blaze editor-in-chief Jesse Washington, who accuses Wyclef Jean of pulling a gun on him over a negative review.
24. When a member of the Bay City Rollers nearly OD's, their manager calls the press before an ambulance.
25. Axl Rose says he'll sign with a female A&R rep if she'll walk down Sunset Boulevard naked.
26. Sly Stone, leader of the funky Family Stone, stages a concert arena wedding for publicity.
27. Jim Morrison allegedly exposes himself at a Miami gig, gets arrested, and sets a precedent for overexposure.
28. Madonna cruises downtown Manhattan in her limo, picking up, then having her way with Hispanic studs.
29. French crooner Serge Gainsbourg sings love duets with his daughter.
30. Metallica turn in their fans for pirating their material without permission.
31. Groupie Cynthia Plastercaster invents an artistic way to hold on to favorite rock stars.
32. For a cocaine fix, Jimi Hendrix plays the opening of a Mafia-owned club and gets mixed up in a mob hit.
33. Sean "Puffy" Combs allegedly attempts to bribe his driver into taking a gun rap.
34. Dylan Carlson of Seattle group Earth goes shopping with troubled friend Kurt Cobain for the gun Cobain would use to kill himself.
35. The notorious Will Rogers Memorial Park men's room incident, which whams George Michael's reputation.
36. The manager of the Runaways impregnates the band's 16-year-old singer - but he's also sleeping with Lita Ford and Joan Jett.
37. Dr. Dre tries to toss rap TV show hostess Dee Barnes down a flight of stairs.
38. Jerry Lee Lewis marries his 13-year-old cousin.
39. The schoolgirl ways of "Rock and Roll, Part Two" crooner Gary Glitter.
40. The Mentors' El Duce claims Courtney Love offered him $50,000 to off Kurt Cobain.
41. Gene Simmons' stash of compromising groupie Polaroids.
42. "The Human Beatbox" from the Fat Boys gets it all on tape, and gets arrested.
43. "Femme Fatale" Nico uses her bum as a storage compartment for heroin.
44. Kid Rock promotes the joys of oral copulation.
45. Keith Moon drunkenly runs down his driver, killing him, and later claims he must have fallen accidentally under the car.
46. The Beach Boys' Dennis Wilson marries bandmate Mike Love's illegitimate teenage daughter just to spite him.
47. "Poo-Poo Rocker" GG Allin promises to kill himself onstage on Halloween, backs out, and OD's later that night.
48. Lou Pearlman launches the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, and takes a hefty share of the profits.
49. Limp Bizkit's record company, Interscope, pays for radio play.
50. Brit-poppers Happy Mondays come to America and try to buy all the crack they can get their hands on.
51. Dr. Nic legally prescribes drugs to Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis - but authorities don't seem to care.
52. A 14-year-old boy gets "serviced" onstage at a 2 Live Crew show in St. Petersburg, Fla.
53. Svengali Prince romances and produces music for brunettes like Carmen Elektra, Vanity, and Apollonia.
54. The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" steals verses from MC Grandmaster Caz.
55. Successful '70s label Casablanca Records folds in a cocaine snowstorm.
56. The FBI spies on musicians and rock journalists suspected of subversion.
57. Billy Idol lets his girlfriend take a drug rap for him in a bust in New York's Washington Square Park.
58. Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson's contest involving doo-doo and Froot Loops.
59. Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray shocks a concert crowd with insults and a suggestive comment about Madonna.
60. Control freak Phil Spector cheats his wife, Ronnie, out of royalties.
61. Kool Keith is a no-show for his set at Lollapalooza and has Eric B proposition his record label for more money.
62. Malcolm McLaren picks up a 14-year-old Annabella Lwin, puts her in a band (Bow Wow Wow), writes suggestive lyrics for her to sing, and has her pose naked for the band's album cover.
63. Ted Nugent signs on as his teenage honey's legal guardian to make the relationship legit.
64. Fifties record honcho Morris Levy capitalizes on payola, as well as stolen demos from John Lennon.
65. Keith Richards reportedly tries to sever his heroin addiction by getting a total blood transfusion.
66. John Fogerty gets sued for sounding too much like Creedence Clearwater Revival.
67. Neil Young gets sued by his record label for not sounding like himself in recordings.
68. Rappers the Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac feud over Faith Evans.
69. Fred Durst charms Christina Aguilera with a milk shake and then joins Eminem in dissing the pop diva.
70. Gram Parsons OD's and is unresponsive to ice cubes and fellatio, so his friends burn his body in the desert.
71. Michael Jackson outbids Paul McCartney on 250 Beatles copyrights, sells a song to Nike, and earns millions.
72. Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea grabs a fan from the MTV Spring Break audience and sexually assaults her.
73. Dwarves guitarist Hewhocannotbenamed fakes his own stabbing for publicity.
74. The infamous Internet version of the Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee honeymoon tape.
75. More video, this time of Poison's Bret Michaels and Pamela Anderson.
76. Motley Crue's Vince Neil releases his own raunchy video.
77. Biographer Albert Goldman slurs John Lennon and Elvis Presley in books to "bring them down to size."
78. Club kid Michael Alig murders drug dealer Angel Melendez and dismembers the body.
79. Naughty by Nature's Treach brings his record label vermin in a McDonald's box after it nixed his accessory idea.
80. Eleven Who fans die in an oversold Cincinnati stadium.
81. Liam Gallagher of Oasis bolts from MTV Unplugged and heckles his singing brother Noel from the audience.
82. Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant's body is dug up from its grave by fans - to see his T-shirt.
83. White Panther proteges MC5 get pelted by rocks from rioting ex-fans while arriving by limo to a corporate show.
84. Members of the Swans auction off body parts and send their semen to writers who gave them poor reviews.
85. The Eagles get $1,000 per ticket for a New Year's Eve concert, setting a new precedent.
86. Korn get physical over a photo shoot.
87. Insane Clown Posse harass Spin for mocking them in a satirical cartoon.
88. Alice Cooper has "affairs" with jelly doughnuts, and then admits he made it up.
89. Radio's dodgy concert tactics.
90. When Fleetwood Mac can't fulfill touring commitments their manager creates another band with the same name.
91. Salt-N-Pepa's producer make millions off their albums, while the ladies make thousands.
92. Country singer George Jones gets his car keys taken away - so he rides to the liquor store on a lawnmower.
93. British new wavers the Stranglers allegedly violate a fan with a celery stick at a New York show.
94. L7 raffle off a shag with a band member.
95. Pre-fame Moby relieves himself on the sushi bar at an industry party.
96. Diana Ross organizes a Supremes reunion tour with a hefty fee for herself, less for the other ladies combined.
97. A homeless man poses as Peter Criss from Kiss and tells faux story to Star magazine.
98. Immortal Records founder Happy Walters gets kidnapped and assaulted, allegedly by Suge Knight.
99. Sub Pop buys press by entertaining journalists with "free trips and beer."
100. Guitar player Robert Johnson supposedly sells his soul to the devil in exchange for his talent.