Trying again on the previous 12 months, one factor turns into obvious: 2021 wasn’t missing in controversy.
The continuing pandemic – and political factors surrounding it – continued to foster drama. Like People throughout the nation who stay divided on matters like vaccinations, masking pointers and lockdown legal guidelines, rock stars discovered themselves choosing a aspect within the debate.
Different sources of competition this previous yr included intercourse scandals, arrests, opinionated public remarks and questionable decision-making. We run down the ten Most Controversial Rock Tales of 2021 beneath.
Nirvana Sued by Nevermind Child
In August, Spencer Elden, the person who as a child was featured on the enduring cowl picture to Nirvana’s Nevermind, sued the band’s former members, administration and the late Kurt Cobain’s property, claiming he was exploited for the image. “Neither Spencer nor his authorized guardians ever signed a launch authorizing using any photographs of Spencer or of his likeness, and definitely not of economic little one pornography depicting him,” court docket paperwork learn partially. The swimsuit additional alleged that Cobain agreed to place a sticker over Elden’s genitals within the well-known paintings, a promise that was by no means fulfilled. He claims to have suffered “lifelong damages” on account of the image. For his half, Dave Grohl mentioned he was paying little or no consideration to the lawsuit. “I believe that there’s way more to look ahead to and way more to life than getting slowed down in these sorts of issues,” he explained. “And, happily, I don’t must do the paperwork.”
Dave Ellefson Cyber Intercourse Scandal
Megadeth bassist and co-founder David Ellefson discovered himself in scorching water after graphic photographs and textual content exchanges between himself and a fan had been leaked online in Might. Rumors rapidly unfold that the girl concerned was really an underage lady whom the rocker was attempting to groom. Ellefson denied the allegations, stating that the interplay was taken out of context. Initially, Megadeth withheld action, ready to get additional particulars on what was occurring. Police experiences later confirmed that Ellefson had a number of virtual sexual interactions with a 19-year-old Dutch fan. Megadeth finally dismissed the bassist and removed the bass tracks he had already recorded from their upcoming album. James LoMenzo would later turn into the band’s touring bassist. In the meantime, Ellefson introduced he would search revenge-porn prices on account of the incident, later likening his ordeal to Jesus’.
Grammy’s Eddie Van Halen Tribute Leaves Followers Livid
“That’s it?” That was the collective response from rock followers who tuned in to the Grammy Awards broadcast in March. Most viewers anticipated the Grammys to honor Eddie Van Halen, the enduring Van Halen guitarist who died in October 2020. Throughout the “In Memoriam” section, a digicam panned to considered one of Van Halen’s well-known striped guitars, lit by a single highlight. Within the background, footage of the guitarist performing “Eruption” was projected onto a display screen. After which it was over. After about 15 seconds, the section moved on to different deserving honorees. Contemplating how the Grammys have honored different departed greats – Prince and David Bowie acquired expanded tribute performances by Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga, respectively – Van Halen followers noticed the comparatively quick celebration of the guitarist as a slap in the face. “Possibly an artist that reimagined how one performs an instrument, who continues to affect generations of musicians and actually modified the course of rock ‘n’ roll deserves greater than 15 second[s] on the Grammys?” former Van Halen singer Gary Cherone declared on Twitter, echoing the cries of many rock followers. Because it turned out, Eddie’s son, Wolfgang, had been invited to carry out on the awards present however declined the provide. “It was my understanding that there could be an ‘In Memoriam’ part the place bits of songs had been carried out for legendary artists that had handed,” Wolfgang later famous. “I didn’t understand that they’d solely present Pop for 15 seconds in the midst of 4 full performances for others we had misplaced.” Although the youthful Van Halen expressed disappointment in how the tribute was dealt with, he famous that his father would most likely be laughing. “Pop would most likely simply snigger it off and say, ‘Ehh, who offers a shit?’ He was solely in regards to the music anyway. The remaining didn’t matter.”
Eric Clapton Stirs Controversy With COVID Views
Eric Clapton made many headlines this yr, however most of them weren’t music-related. After initially voicing his polarizing opinions about COVID-19 vaccines and lockdowns in 2020, the legendary guitarist doubled down on his stance in 2021. Clapton launched additional protest songs, spoke out against venues requiring proof of vaccination and even accused Rolling Stone of conducting a “slur campaign” towards him. Most of the rocker’s views stemmed from his personal complications from the AstraZeneca vaccine, an ordeal he detailed in a Might interview. Nonetheless, Clapton’s vocal opposition to well being and security restrictions led him to be ostracized by a lot of his associates, together with blues guitarist Robert Cray. “I’d simply reasonably not affiliate with any individual who’s on the intense and being so egocentric,” mentioned Cray, who particularly took offense to references to slavery in Clapton’s anti-lockdown tune “Stand and Ship.” “We began enjoying a music that wasn’t significantly common to start out off with on the time we began enjoying. We’ve gained some notoriety, and I’m positive with that, however I absolutely don’t want to hang around with Eric Clapton for that to proceed.”
Bruce Springsteen Arrested for DWI
In February, the general public realized that Bruce Springsteen had been arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed space. The accusation stemmed from an incident in November 2020, when the legendary singer-songwriter was driving his motorbike by New Jersey’s Gateway Nationwide Recreation Space. Springsteen was reportedly acknowledged by some followers who requested him to take photos and provided him some tequila, which he accepted. Quickly afterward he was pulled over by police. That the arrest got here to mild in February – on the identical time Springsteen appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for automobile firm Jeep – solely additional amplified the eye. Two prices had been finally dropped, whereas Springsteen pleaded responsible to a 3rd, lesser cost. He would pay a $540 positive for the misdemeanor.
Marilyn Manson Accused of Abuse
In February, Evan Rachel Wood got here ahead with allegations she was “horrifically abused” by Marilyn Manson for years. “I used to be brainwashed and manipulated into submission,” the actress declared in a submit to social media. Within the wake of her claims – which pointedly addressed rumors about Manson that had circulated for years – a number of different ladies stepped ahead to allege comparable abuses. The shock-rocker’s label would quickly sever ties with Manson regardless of his insistence that the claims had been unfaithful. Months later, Rolling Stone revealed an in depth expose protecting the accusations levied towards the singer, reporting, amongst different issues, that the musician had a “dangerous women” room in his house that he used to psychologically torture ladies. In November, police searched Manson’s house as a part of the still-ongoing investigation.
Brian Might Almost Will get Canceled Over Cancel-Tradition Feedback
In late November, Brian May turned heads with some feedback made to the U.Okay.’s ITV community. “I’m positive … [Queen] could be compelled to have folks of various colours and totally different sexes and a trans individual – however life would not must be like that,” Might mentioned whereas voicing his considerations over cancel tradition. The guitarist’s feedback, which got here after the BRIT Awards eradicated its female and male classes in favor of an all-inclusive, non-gender artist of the yr class, acquired harsh criticism, particularly from those that interpreted them as derogatory towards the trans neighborhood. Might later said that his phrases had been “subtly twisted” and blamed “predatory press hacks” for making him appear “unfriendly to trans folks.” “Honest apologies to anybody who has been damage by the tales,” he proclaimed in a message posted to social media. “My coronary heart is open as all the time to people of all colours, all creeds, all sexes and sexualities, all sizes and shapes – and all creatures.”
Metallica Get Censored
Because of the ongoing pandemic, music followers had been already greater than used to digital live shows by the point 2021 arrived. Nonetheless, nothing might have ready them for Metallica’s efficiency throughout the BlizzCon gaming conference. The enduring metallic act was set to shut the digital occasion with a rendition of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” delivered from its studio. Nevertheless, these streaming on Twitch had been met with a stunning twist. Quite than broadcasting the efficiency in its pure state, the audio was cut out and changed with generic synth music in a transfer to keep away from later bother relating to copyrights. “The upcoming musical efficiency is topic to copyright safety by the relevant copyright holder,” learn a message onscreen. In the meantime, followers who had been hoping to see – and listen to – Metallica had been understandably outraged.
Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Ted Nugent is a lightning rod for controversy. The suitable-wing rocker ended 2020 with an exclamation level, calling COVID-19 “not an actual pandemic” and emphatically declaring “Fuck you and your bullshit vaccine.” Lower than 4 months later, Nugent introduced he had contracted COVID-19. Although he at one level believed he wouldn’t survive the ordeal, he continued to voice his displeasure with vaccine mandates, masks legal guidelines, lockdowns and different pandemic-related restrictions. However COVID feedback weren’t Nugent’s solely controversial remarks. The guitarist additionally used the n-word whereas describing the “biggest praise” he’s been given and expressed support for acquitted killer Kyle Rittenhouse.
Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame Snubs
There’ll all the time be debates over who does and doesn’t deserve enshrinement within the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, however arguably the loudest cry got here from these demanding metal artists get their due. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Dio and Motley Crue all stay on the skin wanting in, whereas Ozzy Osbourne – who was inducted as a member of Black Sabbath – has but to be honored as a solo artist. Reacting to outcry about Maiden’s absence particularly, the Corridor of Fame’s CEO admitted the group was “an impactful, influential band.” “I believe to get to the core of it, folks just like the stuff that is closest to them, and I believe they should broaden their pondering of rock ’n’ roll,” he defined. “It is a huge tent. Rock ’n’ roll was by no means simply 4 skinny guys with lengthy hair and guitars. It is all the time been various. We take that interpretation that these are all variants of rock ’n’ roll.”