Everyone likes to see a metaphorical rock-star car crash, but these surprising stories are, like, for real.
By Ben Barry
1. Brian Johnson versus Ms Dynamite
Aerosmith and Run DMC proved a rock/rap collision can storm the charts, yet when AC/DC’s lead singer clipped Ms Dynamite while racing at Silverstone circuit, the only smash hit involved the female rap star and a chunk of Armco.
2. Ozzy Osbourne
While he promised to live fast and die young on a cocktail of drugs and booze, the godfather of heavy metal almost died at very low speed indeed and at quite an advanced age when a quad bike toppled over and pinned him to the ground. He’s been paranoid of them ever since.
3. Cozy Powell
Powell’s hit single Dance With The Devil was essentially a drum solo accompanied by Suzi Quatro, but Powell probably could have done with Quattro on his car in 1998 when he crashed a Saab on a wet motorway. Intoxicated, unbelted and talking on the phone to his lover at the time, Powell went to boogie with Beelzebub shouting ‘oh shit!’. Last words don’t come more rock ’n’ roll than that.
4. George Michael
The ex-Wham! star might’ve stayed in the closet for years, but it seems he’s now incapable of even remaining in a car, a fact proven by his inexplicably moving from a seated position in the back of a Range Rover to a bouncing down the road position in the fast lane of the M1. Nevermind Freedom, Mr Michael, next time we suggest kiddie locks and a seatbelt.
5. Keith Moon
The Who’s stick man was a rampaging lunatic of an alcoholic drug-abuser. You wanted him behind a drum kit, not the wheel, as escapades with cars and swimming pools had previously proven. A chauffeur seemed the perfect solution. Yet this arrangement had clearly not been understood when Moon ran said chauffeur over while escaping an angry mob outside a pub.
6. Rick Allen
In olden days, drummers were said to require a minimum of two arms, Corvettes straight roads. Def Leppard’s drummer proved that only one of these were true when he crashed his Corvette off a Yorkshire road, losing an arm but returning to play on the multi-platinum Hysteria. Give the man a hand. Ba-dum tish.
7. Paul Gray
Wearing masks and injecting drugs might be building blocks to the perfect rock CV, but these are not transferrable skills for the road, as demonstrated by Slipknot’s bassist. Gray could really have done with better visual acuity and improved communication skills when he smashed his Porsche through a red light and was too blasted to exchange insurance details.
8. Josh Homme
Rock stars love crashing parties, but the Queens Of The Stone Age frontman took it literally when he ploughed his 1967 Camaro through a fence to avoid a collision. Crunching to a stop in front of an outdoor party, Homme climbed from the wreckage to announce: ‘Sorry I’m late.’ Duuude!
9. Randy Rhoads
Not strictly a car crash, but what are we, slaves to semantics? Ozzy’s bus driver took axe-god Rhoads for a joyride in a small plane. They buzzed the tour bus twice, but on the third attempt the buzz became a crunch as wing struck roof and the plane cartwheeled. An ad for guitarist with PCV licence was placed.
10. Brian Harvey
Most music-biz prangs involve drugs and booze and driving into things. Yet East 17 star Harvey ripped up the script by not only being run over by his own car, but by blaming three tuna-mayo-and-cheese-filled baked potatoes for making him fall out of it in the first place. ‘You’ve got to laugh,’ he said. Indeed we did.