Top 10 Rock Star Mug Shots
Now that Peter Murphy of ‘80s goth heroes Bauhaus has been arrested on charges of alleged DUI, hit and run as well as narcotics possession (charges to which he’s pleaded not guilty), the singer has joined the fraternity of rock stars who boast mug shots among their press shots.
Rock stars have been getting arrested for as long as there have been rock stars, going back to Elvis Presley getting busted for assault in 1956 after an impromptu autograph session at a Memphis gas station got physical when the mob blocked other customers from filling up. Over the years, rock legends ranging from Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin to Axl Rose and Richie Sambora have all had to sit for mug shots after committing criminal offenses of varying degrees.
Combing arrest reports, we’ve collected ten of the most famous, notorious and just plain bizarre rock star mug shots of the modern era.
Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong
The Bay Area pop-punk band leader ran afoul of the law when he was arrested for drunk driving in Berkeley, CA, back in 2003. Cops pulled him over for speeding, whereupon the arresting officers smelled alcohol on Armstrong’s breath. At .18 percent, he tested more than double the legal limit for intoxication behind the wheel. The incident was a precursor to his now infamous 2012 onstage rant during a Las Vegas concert resulting in a voluntary stay in rehab.
It was the punch heard around the world, when Jack White was arrested for assault after pummeling Jason Stollsteimer, lead singer of band the Von Bondies at a Detroit nightspot in 2003. White was eventually charged with aggravated assault, in part due to the extreme nature of the beating (as seen in the horrific pictures of Stollsteimer’s face after the fight). White pleaded guilty and was fined $500 and sentenced to take anger management courses.
The “American Bad Ass” was popped in an Atlanta Waffle House back in 2007 for a drunken late-night brawl between his entourage and a male patron in the restaurant over a woman that moved to the parking lot. Rock and his crew ultimately had to pay out $40,000 in damages as a result of the scuffle.
Long before he spearheaded the underground rock revolution of the early ‘90s, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was caught trespassing on the roof of an abandoned building in Aberdeen, WA, in 1986. The results are this mug shot of a then-19-year-old Cobain looking thoroughly unimpressed by it all.
The Smashing Pumpkins’ D’Arcy Wretzky
Wretzky made her name as the stoic but stunning bass player of the Smashing Pumpkins during their ‘90s heyday spent pumping out radio hits and packing concert halls. Years after leaving the band, she was arrested in 2011 for a 2009 incident when horses on her Michigan farm broke loose and ran rampant through a nearby town. She was busted again in 2011 on a separate DUI charge.
Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump
The lead singer of these recently-revived emo-rockers landed on the wrong side of the law in 2009 when he was popped for driving without a valid license. The singer took the incident in stride, telling MTV News, “Lesson learned. I technically broke a law, so technically I deserve whatever I get. But man, is my mom gonna be pissed.”
Apple was stopped in Sierra Blanca, Texas for possession of hash and marijuana on her tour bus just last year. She later addressed the incident onstage in Houston, telling the crowd, “Most of the people were very nice to me,” referring to the arresting officers. “There are four of you out there—I want you to know that I heard everything you did, I wrote it all down, with your names and everything you did and said, stupidly thinking I couldn’t see or hear you. I then ripped the paper up, but not before I encoded it.”
Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee
The usually fun-loving Lee was involved in the infamous 1997 North Carolina incident where he and bassist Nikki Sixx were charged for felony riot with ethnic animosity and simple assault on a security that allegedly roughed up a female concertgoer. No charges were filed for Lee’s questionable hairstyle at the time.
Weiland is no stranger to police stations, enduring multiple arrests over his tumultuous career. In 2008, charges stemming from a drunk driving incident resulted in this mug shot, when he spent only a few hours in jail on a sentence that originally slated for eight days.
Like Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, Manson’s 2001 arrest came after an altercation with a concert security guard during a Michigan show. Always theatrical, Manson, who was wearing a g-string at the time, spat on the guard before he “began to gyrate rubbing his genitals against the head and back and neck area of the security guard.” Good times!